Two years have passed since world leaders promised all of us a deal to stop climate change. After two weeks of UN negotiations, politicians breezed in, had dinner with the Queen, a three hour lunch, took some photos, and then delivered what could only be described as the 24-hour Head of State tourist brochure of Copenhagen instead of a climate treaty.Members of the tcktcktck coalition, which consists of more than 15 million people, today call "Climate shame" on heads of state in Copenhagen. © Greenpeace / kbuus
Don't believe the hype, there is nothing fair, ambitious or
legally binding about this deal. The job of world leaders is not
done. Today they shamefully failed to save us all from the effects
of catastrophic climate change.
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. What we needed was a
legally binding agreement that was fair to developing countries and
ambitious when it came to emissions cuts and ending deforestation.
In the end they produced a poor deal full of loopholes big enough
to fly Air Force One through. We've seen a year of crises, but
today it is clear that the biggest one facing humanity is a
The Little Mermaid laments the COP15
outcome. © Greenpeace / kbuus
Who's to blame?
During the year, a number of 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 industrialized world, countries that have the largest historic
responsibility for causing the problem.
In particular, the US failed to take any real leadership and
dragged the talks down.
The scientists are saying that we have only a few years left to
stop 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
Fifteen million people demanded that world leaders take
responsibility and make good on their promise to deliver a real
deal to save the climate. World leaders clearly heard us - echoing
our messages in many of their own speeches.
Not done yet
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.
Our Executive Director and chair of the Tcktcktck coalition,
Kumi Naidoo, said, "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
also need to 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."
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