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Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

Last updated on: December 16, 2009 18:41 IST

Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

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Betwa Sharma Betwa Sharma in Copenhagen

Negotiations to hammer out an 'equitable and fair' deal on climate change were deadlocked on Wednesday, even as hundreds of climate activists were tear-gassed, beaten up and detained for trying to break into the UN-sponsored Climate Summit in Copenhagen and establish a 'people's assembly', accusing the 193 participating countries of not trying to reach a new deal to combat the menace.

With countries sticking to their positions on sticky issues like emission cuts, the deal looks.

With just two days left to seal a deal that is acceptable to all, world leaders acknowledged that a deal at Copenhagen would be 'very difficult' and there was 'no guarantee of accord'.

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Image: A police officer beats a protester at a road block during a demonstration outside the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Photographs: Christian Charisius/Reuters
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Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who is leading the Indian delegation, said the BASIC group -- comprising India, China, South Africa and Brazil -- "is united and we would like to reiterate that we want an equitable and fair agreement to emerge out of Copenhagen."

"But if for some reasons there are disappointments, BASIC will not be to blame," he told reporters.

His statement came even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh get ready to arrive in Copenhagen on Thursday for the final leg of the 12-day climate change summit, which will be attended by US President Barack Obama.


Image: US President Barack Obama listens to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a meeting at the White House.
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

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In the midst of nine days of unproductive talks, Connie Hedegaard, the Danish president of the UN climate conference, resigned as the head of the talks to make way for Denmark Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen to give a political push to the negotiations.

Hundreds of climate activists were detained today for trying to break into the UN-sponsored Climate Summit here and establish 'people's assembly', accusing the 193 participating countries of not trying to reach a new deal to combat the menace.

Police fired tear gas and arrested hundreds of protesters near the Bella Centre, the venue of the world's largest conference on Climate, amid apprehensions that the talks may collapse.


Image: Activists of the Climate Justice Action gather at the Taarnby Railway Station near Copenhagen.
Photographs: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix/Reuters
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Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

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Around 1,500 climate activists tried to march on the Bella Centre, but were prevented by the police and were taken into custody.

Authorities had barricaded the building to cut it off as the protesters had announced that they would walk to the center and establish "People's Assembly" there.

The protests came as world leaders begin to arrive to attend the last leg of the Climate Summit that draws to a close on Friday.


Image: Police clash with protesters at a roadblock near the venue of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen.
Photographs: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters
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Copenhagen: Protestors bashed up; talks may collapse

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The protesters also alleged that there was lack of transparency on talks at the conference.

"Everyday individuals, local governments, and responsible companies demonstrate their commitment to solve the climate crisis.

Global action on Earth Day aims to convince world leaders that a failure to reach consensus on climate agreement is a failure of responsibility to their people," said Kathleen Rogers, president, Earth Day Network.


Image: Police surround protesters outside the venue of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen.
Photographs: Christian Charisius/Reuters
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Negotiators from 193 countries are trying to hammer out a climate deal as the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Speaking at COP 15, Climate Change Champion Al Gore urged the negotiators to show the political will and seal a deal for the sake of future generations.

"We cannot allow Copenhagen to become Doha. We here must reclaim the ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. That is our challenge," he said.


Image: Protestors march towards the Bella Center, where the UN Climate Change 2009 Conference is taking place.
Photographs: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters
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