Danish stitch-up climate change agreement

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News from COP15 of a leaked accord text was profoundly disappointing. Whilst it raises concerns of outside forces undermining the conference, coming as it does on the back of the hacking of climate change data, that concern is secondary at the moment to the face-value blow this document deals to the primary aim of reducing carbon emissions and providing fair and equitable assistance to aid developing nations in meeting their targets.

“It’s time to ditch this “Rich-country Agreement” before it even gets off the starting blocks.”

It would appear that the host, Danish, government has been holding secret meetings with rich nations to pre-prepare a draft statement, excluding input from the developing nations, amongst whom are those most immediately impacted by the effects of climate change. The leaked agreement puts huge emphasis on the paper trading of so-called carbon credits and hands control of the financial assistance for developing nations to the World Bank; an organisation seemingly highly supportive of the fossil-fuel industry.

Commenting on the document, which threatens the UN negotiations in Copenhagen, Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, said:

“The draft Copenhagen Agreement is profoundly destructive – it violates the principles of the UN negotiations. “In massively expanding the con of carbon offsetting, and in handing control of new money for developing countries to the World Bank – the largest lender for fossil fuel projects on the planet – this accord would be a disaster.

“The Danes holding secret back-room meetings with a few select countries is also deeply disappointing – the world expects the host country be neutral.

“Instead, we have Denmark colluding with other rich nations to stitch up the talks before they’ve even begun – and excluding representatives of developing countries, those which are the least responsible for having caused climate change, but who will suffer most if we fail to tackle it.

“The only way to achieve a strong and fair agreement is in an even-handed and open way – with the inclusion of all countries, sticking to the principles of the UN Climate Convention. It’s time to ditch this “Rich-country Agreement” before it even gets off the starting blocks.”

Friends of the Earth is demanding that the Government changes its approach to climate change with its Demand Climate Change campaign.

You can help the campaign group put pressure on your representatives by signing its international petition to world leaders for a strong and fair climate deal at http://www.demandclimatechange.org .

What we want from Copenhagen (COP15):

  • Rich countries to fulfil their legal and moral responsibility cut emissions first and fast – and pledge to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 at home without offsetting;
  • The leaders of rich countries to abandon their promotion of carbon trading – an irresponsible and dangerous gamble which will do nothing to protect us from catastrophic climate change;
  • Proposals to be scrapped which would allow rich countries to buy chunks of forest whilst continuing to pump out emissions: an approach which won’t solve climate change or halt deforestation.

This issue matters; don’t let the Government of multinationals fob you off with a half-baked solution. You won’t pay the price, but your children and grand-children will face the consequences.

Now is the time to get active. Here are some places to start: