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Copenhagen Climate Conference - Nnimmo Bassey interview

US shot down binding agreement, claims Friends of the Earth

by Genevieve Roberts

Article published on the 2009-12-19 Latest update 2009-12-19 14:42 TU

Greenpeace activists are led away by security staff after displaying a sign before an official state dinner hosted by the Danish Queen at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen(Photo: Reuters)

Greenpeace activists are led away by security staff after displaying a sign before an official state dinner hosted by the Danish Queen at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen
(Photo: Reuters)

The Copenhagen summit was a disaster for the world's poor. That's the damning conclusion from green campaigners Friends of the Earth, who say the summit was a 'failure' where no legally binding agreement was reached and blames the US and corporate interests for the result.

Reaction: Nnimmo Bassey for Friends of the Earth International

19/12/2009 by Genevieve Roberts

Millions of people from poor and vulnerable countries will be condemned to hunger and loss of life because of the delay in action to tackle climate change, they say.

“Many of the less developed countries brought serious demands to the table," says Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International. "But by the end, what we saw was an accord made by just a few nations.

"This accord is not legally binding, it’s a political statement. Without legally binding commitments, there is no way to be sure it will be attainable. This is a disaster for the poor nations - the urgency of climate change was not really considered. And two degrees is disaster for Africa, where it would be three degrees.”

Bassey says that the “whole process lacked transparency”.

During the summit, he claims, a “strong corporate lobby” and “people who want to make money from the carbon market” undermine efforts to find a strong and fair UN agreement to tackle climate change.

Bassey particularly criticises the role of the US.

“They do not behave like global leaders. The statements of the President and positions of the negotiators have all been narrowed down to the security needs of the United States. It’s a global challenge, not restricted to one nation, no matter how powerful that nation may be.  And this is why the US more or less shot down the entire process.”

 

 

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