Accusations over climate talks failure continue

Accusations over the failure of the COP6 negotiations in The Hague continue to overshadow the environmental implications.

British deputy-prime minister John Prescott came under heavy criticism on Monday 27 November following his claims that his French counterpart, Dominique Voynet, was to blame for the failure to reach a last minute deal in The Hague. The recriminations over the failure of COP6 have added to existing Franco-British tensions in the run-up to the important EU Nice summit next month.

The UN has announced that, as the conference was not formally closed, it will be arranging a COP6 II session in Bonn in May 2001 in a bid to reach an agreement. The likely arrival in the White House of George Bush Jr. has many commentators convinced that the odds of reaching a deal in Bonn will be even less than they were in The Hague.

A number of organisations questioned the way in which the negotiations were conducted. The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) were critical of the influence of European Green politicians. FORATOM said that "nuclear energy was used for political manoeuvring, rather than being recognised for its true value in reducing CO2 emissions."

The Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament on the other hand blamed the US for "ignoring the writing on the wall". Alexander de Roo (Vice-President of the European Parliament's delegation to the climate change negotiations) said: "It is worrying to see that the biggest polluter on earth is unwilling to take its responsabilities to avert a huge climate catastrophe".

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