APEC “deal” on Copenhagen ignores the world’s most vulnerable - Greenpeace

Press release - 15 November, 2009
Greenpeace today slammed the so-called “deal” made at the APEC leaders meeting this morning, to essentially relegate the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit outcome to nothing but a political agreement: postponing decisions on the legally binding agreement the world needs into an unclear future date.

"Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen has become complicit in a US so-called 'deal' which would put Obama's political difficulties ahead of the survival of the world's most vulnerable countries," said Kaisa Kosonen, Climate Policy Advisor for Greenpeace International, in Copenhagen ahead of tomorrow's "Pre-COP" gathering of key environment ministers in preparation for December's climate summit.

 "I don't think majority of countries will buy this face-saving plan. When Obama started downplaying the Copenhagen outcomes, did he  check with the world's most vulnerable countries as to whether their survival was now negotiable? That's certainly not the message we have heard - climate change impacts are already affecting millions across the developing world and they need action now. There is no real excuse to postpone decisions on legally binding ambitious action", said Kosonen.

She questioned whether any EU leaders knew about the Rasmussen's cop-out deal. They were not at APEC, which includes some of the industrialised countries - the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

" EU leaders, including Merkel, Sarkozy and Brown, must immediately step in and publicly oppose this back down from a legally binding climate agreement in Copenhagen," she said.

Just two weeks ago in Barcelona the 43-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) expressed outrage at attempts to steamroll the world's most vulnerable countries into accepting a watered down political agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Their calls are supported by the Africa group which said it would accept only legally binding commitments on deep emission cuts and adequate funding from the industrialised world for climate adaption and mitigation, including tackling deforestation.

"This is not about time but rather the absence of political will from industrialised countries, which are refusing to take their fair share of the global efforts, and instead continue to postpone important decisions into eternity. Denmark should be ashamed of itself for caving in to Obama in this so-called deal," said Kosonen.

Industrialised countries recognised two years ago that they would need to cut their emissions in the range of at least 25-40%. But right now their aggregate emissions stand at a mere 10-17%, not enough to stop climate change. The industrialised countries at the APEC meeting are largely those at the lower end of this range.