Copenhagen Climate Change Conference

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 4:44 pm on 5th January 2010.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Labour, Kingston upon Hull East 4:44 pm, 5th January 2010

I attended the Copenhagen conference in my capacity as the Council of Europe's rapporteur on climate change. May I offer my congratulations to my right hon. Friend and the Prime Minister-as did many people at Copenhagen-on the leading role that they played in bringing about the Copenhagen accord? The Opposition clearly do not understand that, as at Kyoto, an agreement was reached in principle and the details will come later during years of negotiations. That is called the process of the United Nations. We did not secure a legal UN agreement because-as the House knows, and as I have constantly said-it was never possible to secure a legally binding agreement at Copenhagen. The matter will be decided in the negotiations.

May I ask my right hon. Friend, who will be involved in those negotiations, to take into account, as one of the criteria relating to burden-sharing, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities? May I also ask him to recognise pollution as measured per tonne? In America it is 20 tonnes per person; in Europe it is 10; in China it is 5; and in India it is 2. If we take those issues into consideration, we shall be able to combine social justice, the eradication of poverty, and growth and prosperity, along with a greater chance of agreement.

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