Informal talks among the environment ministers on the draft deal, criticised by rich nations and emerging economies, continued over the weekend with the hope that they could agree on a text that could be put before the heads of state and Government
Danish police detained more than 200 activists on Sunday on a second day of street protests over climate change as environment ministers met for informal talks to advance negotiations on a new pact.
Police stopped an unauthorized demonstration headed toward the city’s harbour and carried out a security check of some of the participants, Copenhagen police spokesman Flemming Steen Munch told The Associated Press.
The hundreds of demonstrators were outnumbered by police officers in riot gear who surrounded them. Steen Munch said police found bolt-cutters and gas masks when they searched a truck that led the demonstration. At least 200 activists were detained, he said.
Police said only 13 of the 968 people detained during and after a mass rally a day earlier in Copenhagen remained in custody Sunday. Of those, three -- two Danes and a Frenchman -- were set to be arraigned in court on preliminary charges of fighting with police.
An estimated 40,000 people joined the mostly peaceful march toward the suburban conference centre where the 192-nation U.N. climate conference is being held.
Riot police detained activists at the tail end of the demonstration when some of them started vandalizing buildings in downtown Copenhagen. Windows were broken at the former stock exchange and the Foreign Ministry.
A police officer received minor injuries when he was hit by a rock thrown from the group and one protester was injured by fireworks, police spokesman Steen Munch said.
Critics blasted the Danish law that allows police to make preventative arrests if they believe a demonstration will turn violent and hold suspected troublemakers for up to 12 hours without a court arraignment.
“They have arrested 1,000 people. And they only followed up on three of them,” Amnesty spokeswoman Ida Thuesen said. “There are lot of people who haven’t done anything and had no intention of doing anything.”
Informal talks continue
The conference took a day off Sunday, though more than 40 environment ministers were meeting for informal talks at the Danish Foreign Ministry on greenhouse emissions cuts and financing for poor nations to deal with climate change.
The pledges on emissions cuts so far are short of the minimum proposed in a draft agreement to keep temperatures from rising to a dangerous level.
The European Union, Japan and Australia joined the U.S. Saturday in criticizing the draft global warming pact that says major developing nations must rein in greenhouse gases, but only if they have outside financing. Rich nations want to require developing nations to limit emissions, with or without financial help.
India not to offer more than its pledge
Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said his country -- the world’s No. 5 greenhouse gas polluter -- will not offer more than its current pledge to slow its growth rate of emissions. It has offered to cut greenhouse gases measured against production by 20 to 25 percent by 2020.
China has made voluntary commitments to rein in its carbon emissions but doesn’t want to be bound by international law to do so.