COP17 grinding to a halt

Climate Crises deepen with UN talks ending amidst acrimony

Press release - 10 December, 2011
All attributable to Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, who following a peaceful protest out side the main plenary hall yesterday has been barred from the Climate Conference in Durban.

“Many governments departing the UN talks in Durban tonight should be ashamed. When they return home we wonder how they will be able to look into the eyes of their children and grandchildren. The failure here will be measured in the lives of the poor, the most vulnerable and least responsible for the global climate crises,” said Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

“The UN climate talks in Durban, were supposed to both reinforce and agree new global rules for tackling climate change - from the outset the objectives were in stark contrast with what the reality of climate change demands. They have been about creating a base for a climate deal that is already many years overdue.

“As the talks began they were about trying to close the massive gap between what climate science says needs to be done and what governments are currently committed to. Yet, they are not in Durban to close that gap, all they have to do is decide on a new deadline for agreeing, and they can’t even do that.

“Two years ago in Copenhagen we were promised a 100 billion USD fund would be set up to help the poorest adapt to and mitigate climate change. In Durban they only planned to design a way to collect and distribute the money. They could not even do that. Now, not only do we not have a bank to put it in, the money remains as illusive as an I.O.U from Bernie Madoff. Today, vulnerable people are dying because of climate related impacts, they cannot wait, they need help now.

“While the talks may be complex, the truth is simple. We are nowhere near where we need to be to avert catastrophic climate change. There is no real political capital on the table in Durban, big countries may be bullying the small ones into submission through aid programmes and trade. With the fate of hundreds of millions of people at stake, progressive countries need to get serious about reigning in the blockers like the US, they need to start talking sanctions, there must be repercussions.

Time has all but run out and a serious crisis requires serious political action on behalf of the willing.

“Chief among the blockers by far is the US, which is clearly operating at the bidding of the carbon cartels. Its negotiators have no place in the room. Other powerful governments and blocs, like the EU, China, and India should have outmaneuvered them by joining together to side with the most vulnerable to make real progress rather than being forced to dance to the tune of the carbon corporations.

“While the diplomats, lawyers, pundits, NGOs rake over the tepid embers of the full document in search of good news, any good news, the carbon cartels will once more be drinking champagne and dancing in the streets of Durban tonight – job done, business as usual.”

Greenpeace will provide a brief on the details of the final agreement in the coming hours.

Greenpeace in Durban:

Media: Susan Cavanagh +27 (0)76 5400493

African Media: Fiona Musana +27 (0)78 082405

Events media: Szabina Moses +27 (0)763799990

For interviews with Kumi Naidoo: Omer Elnaiem +27 (0)727202308

For Photo/video throughout the meeting: Maarten van Rouveroy +27 (0)713264981

All Greenpeace information and background on Durban, including press releases, can be found here: