Commenting on the latest development in Copenhagen

23.59 pm Friday 18 December, Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, said:

Press release - 18 December, 2009
"The city of Copenhagen is a climate crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport in shame. World leaders had a once in a generation chance to change the world for good, to avert catastrophic climate change. In the end they produced a poor deal full of loopholes big enough to fly Air Force One through.

"We have seen a year of crises, but today it is clear that the biggest one facing humanity is a leadership crisis.

"During the year a number developing countries showed a willingness to accept their share of the burden to avert climate chaos. But in the end, the blame for failure mostly lies with the rich industrialised world, countries which have the largest historic responsibility for causing the problem. In particular, the US failed to take any real leadership and dragged the talks down.

"Climate science says we have only a few years left to halt the rise in emissions before making the kind of rapid reductions that would give us the best chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. We cannot change that science, so instead we will have to change the politics - and we may well have to change the politicians.

"This is not over, people everywhere demanded a real deal before the Summit began and they are still demanding it. We can still save hundreds of millions of people from the devastation of a warming world, but it has just become a whole lot harder.

"Civil society, the bulk of which was locked out of the final days of this Climate Summit, now needs to redouble its efforts. Each and every one of us must hold our leaders to account. We must take the struggle to avert climate catastrophe into every level of politics - local, regional, national and international. We must also take it into the board room and onto the high streets. We can either work for a fundamental change in our society or we can suffer the consequences of one."

Other contacts: INSIDE THE COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE CENTRE: Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace International communications, +45 526 556 22, +31 646 197 332, Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace International head of climate policy: +45 52 65 55 80 or +49 171 878 0817 Mike Crocker, Greenpeace US communications +1 202 215 8989Ailun Yang, climate campaigner, Greenpeace China: +45 50 11 06 41 Mark Breddy, Greenpeace communications EU unit, +45 526 556 72, +32 496 156 229,

VVPR info: For video of a statement by Kumi Naidoo contact Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International +31 646 19 73 22 For photos contact John Novis, Greenpeace International +44 7801 615 889

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