Tuvalu News

Tuvalu, Others Voice Copenhagen Climate-Change Dismay


December 22, 2009

Ban Ki-Moon UNMany world leaders are now voicing their dismay over the results of the United Nations hosted climate-change conference held in Copenhagen, 7th to the 18th of December, 2009. This had the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon scrambling to defend the world organization.

"While I am satisfied that we sealed a deal, I am aware that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as many would have hoped. Nonetheless they represent a beginning - an essential beginning. We have taken an important step in the right direction." Ban said. [Photo, right]

He then called on world leaders to attend a summit next September to boost efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals MDGs, which seek to slash a host of social ills, ranging from extreme poverty and hunger to maternal and infant mortality to lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015.

However, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a new global environmental body, while describing the Copenhagen conference "at best flawed, at worst chaotic." He also expressed outrage at how China - the world's biggest polluter, and other countries were able to "hijack the conference."

According to Brown, "Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down these talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries."

Of course China, which seems to have benefited from making the fewest concessions, was very positive with the outcome of the conference.

"With the efforts of all parties, the summit yielded significant and positive results," according to Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Apisai Ielemia Tuvalu PM[Left, Apisai Ielemia]

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu says he will not sign a climate change agreement that does not meet his demands on limiting global temperature rises.

Tuvalu and other small island states had been pushing for global temperature rises to be kept below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and include commitments from countries such as China and India, which claim "developing" status, while having extensive polluting manufacturing industries and high technology industries that rival the western world.

But the country’s Prime Minister, Apisai Ielemia says they were coming under extreme pressure to accept a conference target of 2 degrees.

“We have nowhere to run to because our islands are tiny, we just have to prepare ourselves individually, family wise so that they know what to do when a cyclone comes in or a hurricane blows because there is nothing else we can do. There is no mountain we can climb up, there is no other inland where we can run to like in your big countries.”

Instead of producing a legally binding agreement, the word delagates agreed continue on to study a last minute accord drawn up by a select few nations - the United States, India, Brazil, China and South Africa. President Barack Obama called this a "breakthrough that lays the foundation for international action in the years to come."

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not seem to mind this agreement. "If every country and every leader insists at being at the table in every single discussion, you can't get anywhere."

Greenpeace was a little more blunt about it. "Copenhagen has become a 'climate crime scene' after over 120 Heads of State squandered an historic opportunity to agree a climate saving deal,” said Kumi Naidoo, the International Executive Director.

Meanwhile, time moves on. We continue to pollute Planet Earth, and hope for Tuvalu fades.

Brian Cannon

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