Day Four of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009

While negotiations continue over the formation of an international emissions treaty in Copenhagen (COP15), the run up to the conference helped develop a rash of announcements regarding emission caps and research and development from Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the US.

Although many of these announcements fall short in meeting the goal of trying to limit the mean global temperature rise to 2 °C, it is progress compared to their earlier commitments and lays the groundwork for further negotiation at the COP15 meeting.

[If] the deadlock between developed and developing nations appeared to have been loosening, it could not have helped when Todd Stern, the top U.S. climate negotiator, categorically dismissed the idea that wealthy countries like the U.S. should owe the developing world a debt for the years of unfettered carbon emissions that are now contributing to climate change. "I actually completely reject the notion of a debt or reparations or anything of the like," Stern said in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

Heated discussions started Dec. 9 over a legally binding treaty and deeper emissions cuts that have spilled over into day four of the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. Rifts between developing countries are also being voiced as the U.S. delivers tough talk to developing nations particularly China on emissions cuts, as the divide between rich and poor nations grow wider. The debate between rich and developing economies shows the reality of how difficult negotiations are among these more than 190 nations at the conference.