Friday, December 18, 2009

for OUTREACH at COP15 (18th December 2009)

Earth is on fire! But Copenhagen has been too cold for leaders to act!
Stop playing climate games with our lives!
by Uchita de Zoysa (Convener - Climate Sustainability PLATFORM)

It is the last day officially at the COP15 and the climate games are not yet over. While the earth continues to warm-up, the rich country negotiators and their leaders are playing road side soccer with our lives. They have chosen their own sides and intend to beat the smaller and poor country teams by hook or crook. Coming to cold Copenhagen, we at least expected this game to be played in front of a world audience, and hoped that the leaders from G77 and China together with USA, EU and UN will be playing real ball. Well, once again it is not just one game, but a whole heap of games are played by the different teams in a closed stadium at the Bella Centre; and they have also closed down the gates on the spectators. Beware! They are playing games with our lives!

Failing to agree on a new political deal on cutting emissions and providing finance for poor countries in the fight against global warming, British Prime Minster Gordon Brown had admitted earlier this week that getting a deal was "an uphill struggle". UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had said, "I have been urging both developed and developing countries that they should all come on board. I think that they can and must do more, in terms of mitigation (curbing emissions), in terms of financial support packages. Financial support for developing countries is one of the keys in getting this deal agreed in Copenhagen". But John Ashe of Antigua, chairman of one negotiating group, reported to the full 193-nation conference on Wednesday morning saying, "I regret to report we have been unable to reach agreement".

Once again it is the USA who is finding ways to block an agreement that binds them to commit to emission cuts. The American delegation apparently had objected to a proposed text it felt might bind the United States prematurely to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, before the US Congress acts on the required legislation. So where is USA President Barrack Obama? Please tell us where you stand, with or without your legislature, as you had done since taking office. At least that will provide us some humour to get to 2012.

We now do not care much of what the Copenhagen outcome is going to be, because we have not only lost confidence, but lost trust on the global climate leadership. Our demand from the Climate Sustainability PLATFORM is clear; "Climate and Sustainability need to be addressed together, not decoupled. Therefore, the world needs a binding international agreement on 'Climate Sustainability'. An agreement on Climate Sustainability will be decisive in coming together as one world to reverse decades of irresponsible consumption, production, and trade patterns and to build an equitable, fair, and just world. Climate sustainability must be the shared vision of the UNFCCC because it is the aspiration of the people."

Former Secretary General of the UN-WSSD Mr. Nitin Desai last week joined the call from the PLATFORM when he said an 'International Agreement on Sustainable Consumption and Production' by 2012 is what we need. The outcome of COP15 is now becoming insignificant. Any rushed agreement will not be enough to create a better world for all the children to enjoy happier lives in 2050 and beyond. Copenhagen also is not the end of the line for us on earth. Therefore, we plan to deliberate on our own destinies. Launching my book a week ago in Copenhagen I said, and in conclusion of this series of articles at COP15 I state; "It has to be CLIMATE SUSTAINABILITY"

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