June 7, 2010

Civil Society Analysis of Climate Negotiations Warns

(Jubilee South) BONN, Germany – Today, civil society organizations from across the globe have released a statement analyzing the state of UN climate negotiations after one week of talks in Bonn – with the current state of the negotiations suggesting the world is on track for a 4 degree increase in temperatures by 2100.

The analysis reveals that there are grave concerns that the negotiations are headed toward a world with no meaningful international agreement to control climate change. Such a system would lead to 4 degrees of warming and catastrophic climate change impacts, according to an article in the scientific journal Nature.

Many rich countries are seeking to replace the current system in place to tackle the problem – including the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, in which developed countries recognise their culpability for causing climate change – with a weaker system based on voluntary pledges.

Commenting at a press conference unveiling the analysis of the first week of the talks, Meena Raman, policy analyst from the Third World Network, said:

“The system advanced by many developed countries offers the worst of both worlds – a system with no science-based targets for developed countries and with inadequate pledges, expansive loopholes and carbon markets allowing them to shift the burden further to poor countries.”

Matthew Stilwell, Director of the European office of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, added:

“If the European Union backs down on the Kyoto Protocol then we may well end up with no aggregate target for developed countries, no requirement for legally binding national targets, no comparability of efforts, and no requirement that reductions are achieved domestically, without resorting to instruments like carbon offsetting. That would be a disaster for  international law and for the planet.”

Mithika Mwenda, Coordinator of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said:

“We need the negotiations to be open and accessible – it is deeply concerning that the Bali Roadmap is not being honoured and that the vulnerable countries are being sidelined.”


Notes to Editors:

1. The statement, signed by groups from across the world finds that:

The Bali road map understanding, which envisages the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and another outcome covering US emissions and developing country actions, is being ignored.

In its place many rich countries are advocating for voluntary pledges of emission reductions – not legally binding, scientifically based targets.

The total of the voluntary pledges has a huge gap from the legally binding science-based targets needed and could lead to 4 degrees in warming.

Rich countries are not being transparent about how they intend to meet their weak emission pledges: how much they will ‘offset’ in developing countries or hide in loose rules on counting land-use emissions and the use of surplus allowances.

Rich countries are trying to move negotiations out of the UN and into smaller forums, undermining the ability of poor countries to organize and represent their interests