Hopes of a deal fade at Copenhagen

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown yesterday moved to dampen expectations of the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference, as China indicated a detailed agreement would be out of the question.

Brown warned world leaders that future generations would blame them for risking the survival of the human race if they failed to reach an accord this week. He said: “It is not enough for us to do the least we can get away with when history asks that we demand the most of ourselves.”

The Prime Minister used his speech to delegates from 192 countries to outline six broad principles, including a 2 degree cap on global temperature increases and the need to cut emissions from developed nations by 80 per cent by 2050. However, Brown admitted a comprehensive plan was unlikely to be signed off by today and said a deal should be agreed within a year rather than the six months he previously promised.

His stance reflected a darker mood as the summit draws to a close, with the Chinese delegation appearing to back away from a binding agreement. A Chinese delegate was reported as favouring a “short, political declaration” rather than a detailed plan, although officials later chimed in with Brown’s call for a proper agreement by the end of 2010.

The conference closes today.