The Philippine government gave no official reason for dropping Bernarditas Muller, a key negotiator on behalf of the 130 G77 developing countries. But non-governmental groups said it was clearly linked to her long-standing opposition to US and European attempts to abandon the Kyoto protocol, the legal agreement that commits rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Muller, one of the world’s most experienced climate negotiators, helped draft the Kyoto treaty in the 1990s, but western countries have regularly criticised her unyielding defence of developing countries’ environmental interests. Earlier this year a senior British diplomat accused her of “single-handedly holding up” development in the Philippines and blocking progress in the climate talks.
In a joint statement, 20 environmental and development groups in Manila, including Oxfam, accused Philippine president Gloria Arroyo of bending to pressure from America, following US Secretary of State Hillary Cinton’ recent visit. via Guardian UK