Neil Thorn, head of advocacy for CAFOD discusses whether faith-based groups had been listened to during the talks…

Trócaire on Copenhagen failure

source – www.trocaire.org

World leaders’ failure to reach a legally-binding deal in Copenhagen spells disaster for millions of the worlds poorest people, according to Trócaire’s climate advisor Niamh Garvey, speaking from the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

“Our leaders have continued to talk rather than act,” said Niamh.

“People in developing countries have been failed miserably today by a hollow, half-baked political outcome that will leave millions fighting to keep their heads above water.”

Niamh said the talks had been dogged by an untransparent process that saw a paper produced by a small number of countries that could not be adopted by all.

“Rich countries were not willing to make necessary decisions on emissions reductions and financing. Countries set their own individual targets based on what they considered economically and politically viable rather than what is required by science and justice,” she said.

“It is inconceivable that more than 100 world leaders gathered in one room have failed to reach a legally-binding deal and have passed up an historical opportunity. And there is still no clear timeline that lays out how an agreement fixed in international law will be achieved in the coming months.

“Governments, including Ireland, need to get back at the negotiating table and deliver a real deal as soon as possible. This will require re-building trust between developing and developed countries. Ireland must show its willingness to take action by adopting a strong climate change bill at home that commits to a 40% domestic emission reduction by 2020 and guarantees that Irish contributions to climate financing are 100% additional to overseas aid.”

Niamh said the next round of global negotiations must secure a legally-binding outcome that includes:

  • At least 40 per cent cuts in carbon emissions by rich countries by 2020 from 1990 levels.
  • A minimum of $195 billion in new funding from rich countries every year to help poor countries deal with the impacts of climate change and pursue greener growth.

In Brief – the Copenhagen summit outcome:

The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), today ‘noted’ the ‘Copenhagen Accord’ document produced by a number of countries on Friday night, including the United States, but did not formally adopt it.

The Copenhagen Accord includes a reference to keeping global temperatures to below 2 degrees celsius, but does not set a global emission reduction target or a mid-term emission reduction target for developed countries.

The Copenhagen Accord promises $30bn for climate finance in developing countries over the next three years, and agrees to ‘set a goal’ of providing $100bn each year by 2020 of finance from a range of sources.

There is no reference to a legally-binding agreement.