Friday, December 18, 2009


Image Credit: Greenpeace via Flickr

The initial reactions from environmental groups confirm that Copenhagen was not Hopenhagen, but more of a Nopehagen where nothing of significance happened. Here are a few reactions.

Not fair, not ambitious and not legally binding. The job of world leaders
 is not done. Today they failed to avert catastrophic climate change.

The city of Copenhagen is a climate crime scene tonight, with the guilty
men and women fleeing to the airport in shame. World leaders had a once in a generation chance to change the world for good, to avert catastrophic 
climate change. In the end they produced a poor deal full of loopholes big
enough to fly Air Force One through - Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo

Climate negotiations in Copenhagen have yielded a sham agreement with no real requirements for any countries. This is not a strong deal or a just one -- it isn't even a real one. It's just repackaging old positions and pretending they're new. The actions it suggests for the rich countries that caused the climate crisis are extraordinarily inadequate. This is a disastrous outcome for people around the world who face increasingly dire impacts from a destabilizing climate. - Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S

The world's nations have come together and concluded a historic--if incomplete--agreement to begin tackling global warming. Tonight's announcement is but a first step and much work remains to be done in the days and months ahead in order to seal a final international climate deal that is fair, binding, and ambitious. It is imperative that negotiations resume as soon as possible. - Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

The only way the world can be sure the US is standing behind its commitments is for the President to clearly state that climate change will be his next top legislative priority. The ultimate test of his leadership will be engaging the Senate and delivering action in Congress early next year.

The world's future hangs in the balance. At this critical hour, the fierce urgency of now, of which Dr. King spoke so about eloquently, is ringing loudly. - WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts

Island countries like Maldives were asking for a global temperature rise of no greater that 1.5C to give them any chance of a future. The draft deal in Nopenhagen set the bar at best at 2C. That could spell disaster for island nations.

Every eyes were on Obama today as if his words could miraculously stitch the world together. If he can barely get his own party together, there was no way he could get the entire world together. Obama's hands are tied by the US senate. He is wary of committing to anything he feels the senate will shoot down.

While the world leaders were busy negotiating, climate change deniers like Senator Inhofe flew to Copenhagen telling people that no climate deal will pass in the US senate. His words (via TruthFightsBack)
John Kerry was here yesterday and said we will pass something ...that is binding and is going to be cap and trade. That is not going to happen. I know John Kerry wants it to happen, but it is not going to happen.

Characters like Inhofe can make such statements because he doesn't have any skin in the game. His seat is safe and his election finances intact. The only language climate change deniers understand is the language of trade and money. I feel it is time for countries who will be most affected by climate change to form a Climate Aligned Movement. Align your trade interests with countries and states that have your climate interest in mind. If Maldives is importing things that are made in Oklahoma, this is the time to reevaluate and align trade interests with climate progressive states and countries. If you are in bed with the very same businesses that are funding Inhofe, this is the time to realign your trade interests.

I don't care much about Hugo Chavez, but what he said in Copenhagen is absolutely and brilliantly true - "If the climate was a bank [the west] would have already saved it."

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