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Negotiations up to next week’s UN climate conference in Copenhagen have turned into “a bit of a ping-pong match between China and the United States”, says leader of the European Parliament’s delegation.

Michael von Bülow03/12/2009 07:15
Just days before the opening of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, COP15, Europe has been more or less pushed to the sidelines, watching as China and the United States seek to set the rules of the game, writes the New York Times.

“That’s of course the unfortunate situation for Copenhagen,” said Jo Leinen, a German member of the European Parliament and leader of the chamber’s delegation to the conference, according to the newspaper.

“It’s turning into a bit of a ping-pong match between China and the United States, with each just looking at the other,” he said.

The EU has made an effort to appear as a climate front-runner and set a standard to the rest of the world. The question remains, however, if that is enough to call the shots in Copenhagen.

“The EU frankly doesn’t have the political clout to determine the outcome at Copenhagen,” said Peter Haas, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

But the EU still has a lot at stake in Copenhagen. The bloc is facing huge pressure, Haas added, to “keep the prospects of a global deal alive so that European business leaders and voters believe they are on track to take advantage of green technology markets of the future”.

Source: issd