John Key has landed! And with quite a thump. He just delivered what can only be described as a very promising speech to the Copenhagen conference, in which he clearly acknowledged the needs of vulnerable nations, and called for all countries to “give a little so as a world we can gain a lot.”
His words stand in stark contrast to those of his minion, Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser, who in preceding days has described developing countries’ pleas for their own survival "extremist". As Key gave his rather moving address this morning (in which he also contradicted Groser’s claims that a deal is out of the question), Groser sat with his head down, no doubt feeling like a fool. So he should. His general attitude to the talks and breathtaking arrogance have rubbed many up the wrong way and damaged our international standing.
John Key now needs to back his pledge to listen to the voices of vulnerable nations and to the science, and commit to a 40% by 2020 target and urge other countries to join him in raising their targets too. It’s clear without this kind of bold move, our future is extremely bleak.
Meanwhile Greenpeace International continues to take action to demand leadership, in order to save the talks and establish a real deal. Just moments ago, Greenpeace’s very own “Head of State” arrived at the Queen’s gala dinner for real Heads of State, 120 of whom are now here for the climate talks. Our distinguished faux-world leader and his entourage entered the dinner and held up two banners reading “Politicians Talk, Leaders Act.” The interlopers were there to represent the millions of people around the world who want a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty.
To conclude, we’re now down to the wire. The rich world must commit to deeper emissions cuts and funding for developing countries to lower their own emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change that are already being experienced. And John Key must stay true to his word.