A split in the G77 can be papered over.
Tuvalu demanded and recieved a suspention of the conference of the parties, the forum for negotiations, for several hours when demands the G77 had laid out for a tough legally binding treaty was opposed by China and some other members of the G77 who wish to to put development as a high priority. Such a split is damaging to the developing world's negotiating position. Although nations such as China and India were already known to be against having to make major reductions in CO2 emissions they have managed to avoid a split with the G77 and AoSIS. Now that there is a split can it be repaired and will it threaten the developing world's negotiating position?
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Only a temporary suspention
The suspension that was given was only temporary, until 15:00, to allow some internal negotiations to take place. The suspension is over the full scale discussions of a proposal for a tough new binding treaty that has been put forward for consideration by Tuvalu and others in the G77. This means that the issue is reletively easy to solve, discussions can easily be had once all sides have settled down.
If they cant agree even on full scale discussions on a proposal how bad would the split be if the proposal went further than discussions, once they get on to actually deciding if Tuvalu's demands can be met the nations that wish to put development first will not be able to stay in line with the G77.
Differences in position are well known and not new
China is only part of the G77 by being a +1, G77+China. Both China's and those other countries who want to put development first like Malaysia and India position and the G77's position have been known for some time, there was bound to be some friction between them. This is nothing new and can be worked around.
Negotiating positions are far apart
China and most of the G77 are a long way apart from each other on the issues, any attempt by both parties to claim that they are singing from the same hymn sheet would be false. The G77 is pushing for not only a tough new binding treaty but if possible wants to keep CO2 concentrations down to 350 ppm rather than the 450 the developed world and china will settle for as well as large amounts of compensation. China, India and other industrialising countries wish to have room to develop their economies, this means pushing the burden onto the developed world and so reduce the amount they themselves have to commit to. The G77 want to push beyond the Bali Action plan while China insists that negotiations stick closely to it.
Negotiating positions being far apart on some issues does not mean that they cant support each other on other issues. There are many areas where they still hold similar views, particularly with relation to the developed countries standpoint.
G77 cant afford to rely on the biggest developing nations
The G77 has to accept that it is likely to be on its own. This is better for them as with the industrialising countries on board they would inevitably have to make concessions to these countries with incompatible negotiating positions in order to keep a united front. They would then have their initial demands compromised for when they negotiate with the developed nations and have to make yet more concessions.
Not cooperating with the big developed nations would greatly weaken the G77, most of their members are small and have very little to put onto the negotiating table, all they can do is plead for help from the developed world. The developing world needs to be in step so that the countries that have increasing clout in the world and do have something to bargain with - their increasing CO2 emissions and any associated reductions, can negotiate in part for those who cant offer much in the way of reductions so that the world as a whole comes out with a better deal.
What do you think?