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Lack of Accountability Threatened Copenhagen Climate Talks ( 21 October 2009)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lack of Accountability (Threatened) Copenhagen Climate Talks

Gland, Switzerland: conservation organization WWF today issued a warning to the world that a lack of political nerve could divert the world from achieving a climate deal in Copenhagen.

“The world doesn’t want Copenhagen to come to mean another Doha,” says Kim Carstensen, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

“Kite flying in the media and diplomatic manoeuvres behind the scenes are a reflection of the industrialized countries trying to lower expectations as they continue to dodge the hard decisions on slashing their emissions and funding the transition to a low carbon economy. The world is looking for leadership, but instead the leaders are starting to hand out their excuses in advance.”

WWF has been tracking the growing diplomatic whisper campaign, noting references to another plan on climate which excludes a binding legal agreement in Copenhagen.

WWF says that a legally binding deal is the only format that will give the world a chance to avoid increasing predictions of climate catastrophe.

“There is only Plan A or Plan F and plan F stands for failure,” says Carstensen.

“Climate won’t wait on ministers` political and diplomatic manoeuvres. Leaders must not avoid difficult decisions now because the fact is that these decisions are only going to get harder.

“Many countries in the developing world have already acted and are signaling that they can move further, but they also need the legal certainty and confidence that industrialized countries will meet their commitments.

“Substantial sectors of business and labour also are gearing up to move, but they are calling for the sort of certainty that comes from a legally binding global agreement. Investors and markets need confidence in order to really kick start the low carbon economy,” says Carstensen.

Carstensen says it was no coincidence that the upsurge in suggestions a deal was off appeared in the run-up to negotiating teams going into the final preparatory meeting in Barcelona in just over a week.

“This is a dangerous game because it could distract the negotiations before Barcelona next week and cause significant failure in Copenhagen,” Carstensen says.

“Every ingredient bar one to make a deal is in place. Governments have had two years of negotiating times and space, they have all the science they need, all the text options and words they need and all the arguments they need to be convinced that now is the time and place to do the deal. The only missing ingredient is political will.”

"The US Senate must pass a bill in time for December, as their leadership has promised; but we certainly don’t want to see other industrialized countries hiding behind what they think the US Senate will do.”

WWF is calling for the retention of the Kyoto protocol for industrialized countries together with a new protocol in Copenhagen that is legally binding for all major emitters.

The deal should include - amongst others - ambitious emission reduction targets from industrialized countries, recognition and support for developing country actions, commitment to scaled up climate finance especially for adaptation, and a new institutional and governance arrangement under the guidance of the UN.

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
21 October 2009
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=168)

For further information:

Martin Hiller, Head of Communications Global Climate initiative +41 79 347 2256 mhiller@wwfint.org
Phil Dickie, WWF International News Editor, +41 79 703 1952, pdickie@wwfint.org


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