December 21, 2009

"Hopenhagen" turns into "Nopenhagen"

Widespread anger over climate deal

By Richard InghamThe agreement was met with dismay by campaigners, who said it was weak, non-binding and sold out the poor.

"By delaying action, rich countries have condemned millions of the world's poorest people to hunger, suffering and loss of life as climate change accelerates," said Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, calling the outcome "an abject failure".

"The blame for this disastrous outcome is squarely on the developed nations."

"It can't even be called a deal. It has no deadline for an agreement in 2010 and there is no certainty that it will be a legally binding agreement," Antonio Hill of Oxfam said.
Copenhagen:  A lesson in geopolitics

By Joanna KakissisThe accord, which gutted a comprehensive agreement to pay poor countries to protect their forests, since the mass cutting of trees accounts for 20 per cent of global emissions, is not binding and does not have a set date for capping carbon emissions.

It provoked reactions from fury to despair.

Lumumba Stanislaus Dia-ping, Sudan's chief negotiator, compared it to the Holocaust, while Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, referenced the sulfur of hell and suggested that Obama was Satan.

Ian Fry of Tuvalu, the drowning island-nation that has become the poster country for the perils of rising sea levels, likened the accord to "being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our people and our future."
And:Cleo Paskal, a fellow in the Energy, Environment and Development Programme at the British think tank Chatham House, says the world's changing political landscape is partly why even Obama's last-minute brokering did not produce something powerful.

"Climate change has become part of global politics," Paskal says. "There was a very high expectation from the West that a deal would be pushed through. But what's happened is a real wake-up call to how geopolitics has changed."

Environmental groups, developing nations such Venezuela and Cuba, and much of the European media criticised Obama for the deal.

"He formed a league of super-polluters, and would-be super-polluters," environmentalist and author Bill McKibben wrote in the American magazine Grist. "It is a coalition of foxes who will together govern the henhouse."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Copenhagen Talks = "Climate Injustice" and Natives March in Copenhagen.

Below:  "Evo Morales said rich countries owe poor nations 'climate reparations.'" (Gallo/Getty)

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