This just went out over a news network and email list at the UN negotiations in Barcelona:

"The Gambia, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by ALGERIA, EGYPT, BOLIVIA and VENEZUELA called for all contact groups under the AWG-KP to be suspended until conclusion of work by the contact group on Annex I emission reductions." (Environmental News Bulletin, 3 November 2009)

Translation: Many of the countries in Africa just stopped one half of the UN climate negotiation process until rich countries say how much they will reduce their carbon. 

This is a big development in a process that often moves in tiny, tiny steps, and a testament to the fact that these negotiators feel that they have the political space to act boldly.  You all solidified that space on the 24th of October, and the Africa Group – a large coalition of African countries – is stepping up and using it.  The Least Developed Countries bloc, another coalition here, stands solidly behind the 350 target, and as you might guess, these two groups overlap quite a bit.  We’ve had great conversations with delegates here, some even coming up to tell us about their 350 event back home. 

This is a major story of the week from the last round of negotiations before Copenhagen, so we’ll try to follow it closely in between our meetings with country delegations to deliver the message of the 24th.  From yesterday’s developments, it seems like the pressure that we built together is helping to move things.  So thanks again (we won’t ever tire of saying it), from us and from many of these brave countries who have searched us out here at the negotiations to extend their thanks as well.

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