While the world demanded persuasive and intelligent decision-making from their heads of state, the UN meetings left most people numb with disappointment. That said, we know the battle didn't finish at the climate summit. Our leaders are not done yet, and neither are we. Reactions to the meeting are critical and vital to restoring hope in our ability to act while there’s still time. We are our greatest hope, and we look to our grassroots leaders to give us our bearings, and let us know where we stand, post-COP 15:
A clearer and less destructive treaty than the text that emerged would be a sheaf of blank paper, which every negotiating party solemnly sits down to sign… At no point has the injustice at the heart of multilateralism been addressed or even acknowledged: the interests of states and the interests of the world's people are not the same. Often they are diametrically opposed. In this case, most rich and rapidly developing states have sought through these talks to seize as great a chunk of the atmosphere for themselves as they can – to grab bigger rights to pollute than their competitors. The process couldn't have been better designed to produce the wrong results.
George Monbiot, “Copenhagen negotiators bicker and filibuster while the biosphere burns”
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It is not clear how many countries have endorsed, but essentially this was an Accord pushed by major industrial countries including the USA and Canada, in order to give some semblance of “success” in Copenhagen… And the Accord as approved is even weaker than earlier drafts. An earlier draft referred to a reduction target of “at least 80 per cent by 2050”, and “aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990.” With no aggregate target, reduction commitments are voluntary, with no guarantee of reaching the target implied by the 2 degree C limit (Accord paragraphs 1 and 2). The Accord also fails to require 1990 as a base year.
Greenpeace Canada Campaigner Dave Martin, “The Flopenhagen Accord: A Failure and a Greenwash”
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This "deal" is beyond bad. It contains no legally binding targets and no indication of when or how they will come about. There is not even a declaration that the world will aim to keep global temperature rises below C. Instead, leaders merely recognise the science behind that vital threshold, as if that were enough to prevent us crossing it.
The only part of this deal that anyone sane came close to welcoming was the $100bn global climate fund, but it's now apparent that even this is largely made up of existing budgets, with no indication of how new money will be raised and distributed so that poorer countries can go green and adapt to climate change.
In a single day, in a single space, a spectacle was played out in front of a disbelieving audience of people who have read and understood the stark warnings of humanity's greatest scientific minds. And what they witnessed was nothing less than the very worst instincts of our species articulated by the most powerful men who ever lived.
Joss Garman: Copenhagen - Historic failure that will live in infamy
* * *Have you had a look at the "Copenhagen Accord"? What do you think? Read it for yourself [PDF] and let us know what you would say to world leaders about their their votes for our climate future.