Domino effect needed: world leaders can still save Copenhagen



Posted on 17 December 2009  | 
Copenhagen, Denmark - Leaders arriving to sign a Copenhagen climate agreement and finding that they now need to salvage it need to take a global rather than national approach to the numerous outstanding issues, WWF said today.

“It looks like The Copenhagen Climate Summit could have made it through the valley of death”, said Kim Carstensen, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

“It’s encouraging that some new offers are starting to hit the table. Now is the time for Heads of States to show their leadership skills. We need to turn the positive dynamic into a real domino effect, so that actions by countries add up to a global effort that protects us from climate change.”

Carstensen said that after days of deadlock there was renewed movement on the long term climate financing issue. If the renewed finance discussion also leads to willingness for more ambition on emissions reductions targets, there could still be a Copenhagen climate deal with some substance.

“Europe has often claimed a leadership role on climate and now is the time to exercise it,” said Carstensen.

“A bold step forward on emissions cuts to 2020 – moving to at least the necessary 30% cut from 1990 levels – could be the deal making gesture the climate talks need at this point. The developing world would be able to see that some of the developed world is listening to their concerns.”

Carstensen said it was welcome to hear US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tell the Copenhagen climate conference that the US stands ready to do its fair share.

“US help in mobilising an additional $100 billion annually by 2020 to help climate change initiatives and adaptation in the developing world is also extremely welcome”, Carstensen added.

However, we need to know that this is new and additional money and not a reshuffling or double counting of existing aid.”

To back up the positive signals sent to the international negotiations in Copenhagen, WWF calls on President Obama to make domestic climate and clean energy legislation his top priority.

WWF hopes that positive moves by the US and the EU could also inspire China to up the ante.

“The levels and conditions of transparency of emissions cuts in the emerging economies are another sticking point in Copenhagen that’s still clouded in silence” said Carstensen.

“A move from China on this highly contentious issue could break a real deadlock.”

For further information:

Natalia Reiter, WWF International, nreiter@wwfint.org  +41 79 873 8099

 



The slash and burn method, though illegal, is used by local farmers to clear forests for land cultivation. This is one of the problems WWF-WAFPO is working to address.
Slash and Burn, Wasampo, Western Region, Ghana
© Glen Asomaning/ WWF WAFPO Enlarge

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required