Umbrella group blocking agreement in Marrakech

Press release - 9 November, 2001

Coral eco-systems are vulnerable to climate change

Greenpeace demanded today that Canada, Australia, Russia and Japan stop their petty bickering over minor elements of the final package at the climate negotiations here in Marrakech and accept the deal that's on the table.

"The question I have for the Umbrella group is: Do they have a mandate to block this deal, and hold the climate to ransom?", said Bill Hare, Greenpeace International climate policy director.

"Canada's Prime Minister Chretien promised last week that Canada would ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. Their bottom line for these negotiations was to secure an agreement for a Clean Energy Workshop to be held early next year, as part of its scheme get Kyoto credits for exporting electricity to the United States. They received that concession last week, on top of the concessions they received in Bonn last summer.

"Australia should be shown the door. The Australian government goes to the polls Saturday and while the current administration has said it won't ratify without the US, the two major opposition parties have already promised to ratify if elected.

"Russia has already been given generous sinks allowances and is demanding more, while the Japanese are seeking to unravel the agreement reached in Bonn."

Throughout last week's negotiations, the Umbrella Group was haggling over every word in the negotiations.

"It's time to stop caving in to pressure from the Umbrella Group and start protecting the climate," said Hare.