Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Sweden complained that the recent Copenhagen climate change summit was a “disaster.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described it as “at best flawed and at worst chaotic.” Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, dubbed the outcome confirmation of a “climate apartheid.” For South Africa it was simply “not acceptable.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who for over a year had been urging the 192 members of the United Nations to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen, saw things differently. In a statement issued by his press office, Ban said the two-week meeting had a “successful conclusion with substantive outcomes.” Speaking to reporters, the secretary-general expanded on that: “Finally we sealed the deal. And it is a real deal. Bringing world leaders to the table paid off.” However, he tempered his praise for the participating delegations by noting that the outcome “may not be everything that everyone hoped for.”
In fact, the outcome fell far short of what Ban had been calling for over the last year. He had originally hoped the meeting would produce a legally binding agreement with ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and funding to help developing nations cope with global warming. Instead it “noted” an accord struck by the United States, China and other emerging powers that was widely criticized as unambitious and unspecific.
That accord set a target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times — seen as a threshold for dangerous changes such as more floods, droughts and rising seas. But it did not say how this would be achieved. It also held out the prospect of $100 billion in annual aid from 2020 for developing nations, but did not say where the money would come from. Decisions on fundamental issues such as emissions cuts were pushed into the future.
While UN climate talks involving world leaders descended into chaos and farce in the rooms and corridors of this immediately forgettable Copenhagen exhibition centre, a parallel world flourished in its main conference hall.
Meetings of world leaders and environment ministers through Thursday night and Friday yielded a series of draft climate texts, each more toothless and lacking in ambition than the last. NGOs despaired. The assembled media veered between disbelief and boredom. And outside in the snow the vegans, climate activists and other protest groups kept up a steady drumbeat of protest in the snow.
from UK News:
With the clock ticking for world leaders to clinch a climate deal in Copenhagen, the last place you want to be is stuck at the back of a long queue.
But for thousands of delegates meeting in the Danish capital, that is exactly where they have spent endless hours this week.
from Environment Forum:
Will the guardians of the Nobel Peace Prize make another green award in 2009 to encourage sluggish talks on new U.N. climate treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen?
Or is it too early after environmental prizes in both 2004 and 2007?
The five-member Nobel panel likes to make topical awards to try to influence the world -- a prize announcement on Oct. 9 linked to climate change could hardly be better timed since 190 nations will meet in Copenhagen in December to agree a new pact for fighting global warming.