The monument commemorates the explorer’s discovery of the New World. However, today Columbus is pointing at the nation that bears historic responsibility for climate change, and which has done most to obstruct a climate-saving deal in Copenhagen.
That US legacy has continued this week, with history’s largest emitter refusing to move forward to ensure the integrity of a legally binding agreement, allowing the EU and other industrialised countries to retreat from their commitments.
“Of course failure is still an option in Copenhagen. If the political courage of the industrialised world’s leaders, like Obama, Merkel and Sarkozy, remains missing in action, then the deal won’t get done,” said Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director Martin Kaiser. “However, all the pieces are in place. There is enough time. We know what a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty looks like.
“The history of climate talks has taught us to expect the unexpected. We got the climate convention, the Kyoto Protocol, its ratification and the US back into the negotiations in Bali – all in the face of deep cynicism. This is just the darkest hour before the dawn.”
“Consensus is not forming around a weak deal. That is just wishful thinking from the industrialised world. Developing countries are pushing back with their own political reality and they are fighting for their survival. There is still everything to play for,” said Kaiser.
As a final reminder of where the countries are at in the weeks before Copenhagen, Greenpeace released its “Guide to Climate Politics” that identifies President Obama as the head of state who has most failed to provide the leadership necessary to ensure a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.
Behind the guide lies a detailed assessment of the positions of key heads of state on the issues that will make or break a climate deal at December’s Copenhagen Climate Summit. It assesses their positions regarding emission reductions, a finance mechanism, forest protection, the legal framework of the Copenhagen deal and their domestic action to reduce emissions. Full details are available at http://www.greenpeace.org/climate-politics-guide.
“We singled out President Obama because, more than any other head of state, his actions fall short of his promises to take action on climate change. At home, he stood aside while Congress let the fossil fuel industry hijack its climate legislation. On the international scene, he has been silent while his negotiators obstruct the progress on the most important treaty in a generation,” said Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA’s climate campaign director.
Joris den Blanken
EU Climate & Energy Policy Director
Telephone: +32 2 274 19 19/Mobile: +32 476 96 13 75
Fax: 32 2 274 19 10
Source: Media Newswire