Two years has
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 politicians.
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
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."