When the Guardian, that champion of everything “green” says it, you know it was a failure.
The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement last night in Copenhagen, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.
After eight draft texts and all-day talks between 115 world leaders, it was left to Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to broker a political agreement. The so-called Copenhagen accord “recognises” the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but did not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.
American officials spun the deal as a “meaningful agreement”, but even Obama said: “This progress is not enough.”
“We have come a long way, but we have much further to go,” he added.
The deal was brokered between China, South Africa, India, Brazil and the US, but late last night it was still unclear whether it would be adopted by all 192 countries in the full plenary session.
The agreement aims to provide $30bn in funding for poor countries to adapt to climate change from next year to 2012, and $100bn a year after 2020.
But it disappointed African and other vulnerable countries who had been holding out for far deeper emission cuts to hold the global temperature rise to 1.5C this century. As widely expected, all references to 1.5C in previous drafts were removed at the last minute, but more surprisingly, the earlier 2050 goal of reducing global CO2 emissions by 80% was also dropped.
The agreement also set up a forestry deal which is hoped would significantly reduce deforestation in return for cash. It lacked the kind of independent verification of emission reductions by developing countries that the US and others demanded.
Obama hinted that China was to blame for the lack of a substantial deal. In a press conference he condemned the insistence of some countries to look backwards to previous environmental agreements. He said developing countries should be “getting out of that mindset, and moving towards the position where everybody recognises that we all need to move together”.
Read entire story at the Guardian here
Now compare what the Guardian has written, to what Obama says:
My summary of the Copenhagen Climate Conference is just a bit less wordy.