What a good global deal looks like (and other crucial updates!)

Food & climate change article written on the 15 Dec 2009

Photo: OxfamAUS

Things are getting crazy around here!

The Ministers have arrived and head of states (aka. Prime Ministers and Presidents) are on their way.

As I am writing this, however, the talks have stalled. This is because, in short, everybody thinks that everybody else is not doing enough. Oh the irony.

The different streams of negotiations have been suspended and restarted several times now, but be assured (or unsettled depending on your perspective) that there are ‘informal’ meetings continually running.

In contrast to this, December 12 provided us a ray of hope with action from all around the world. The pressure is mounting from all directions.

Violence?

I am sure you have all seen the media about violence in Copenhagen. It has been a little disheartening for many of us here as the vast majority of action as been peaceful.

In fact, of all the ‘violence’ that was reported on December 12 in Copenhagen charges have been so far only laid on 3 people…. (mind you, to get this number they had to arrest almost 1000 people). So…. Just to put those numbers straight, tens of thousands marched (the police estimated 100 000), and 3 people have been charged.

If only the media was more interested in the substance of this convention.

Australia’s walk against warming!

I would like to personally congratulate all those in Australia who attended the walk against warming. In a positive twist, a few people from delegations from the Global South, asked me about the marches in Australia. They have been encouraged about your calls for justice.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave an inspiring speech to a few hundred of us just outside the convention centre.

Watch this video to hear his speech (I can promise that you will not be disappointed!)

What are we asking for?

As we head into, what is beginning to look like a very chaotic final week I thought I would spend some time outlining what we are actually asking from a global deal.

The essentials checklist as outlined by Climate Action Network available online includes:

  • A commitment to keep warming below 2 Degrees Celsius
    • this requires reducing greenhouse gas concentrations to 350 ppm and ensuring global emissions peak within the 2013-2017 period
  • Industrialised countries as a group must reduce emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020
  • Developing countries must be supported in their efforts to limit growth of their industrial emissions
  • Emissions from deforestation and land degradation must be reduced to zero by 2020
  • Developed countries need to provide at least US$195 billion in public financing per year by 2020, in addition to aid commitments for developing country adaptation and mitigation
  • An adaptation framework that immediately and massively scales up predictable and reliable support for developing countries
  • Copenhagen outcomes must be legally binding and enforceable

This is the week we have been waiting for.

Now is this time for strong international climate action.

Many of the powers in this world do not want to see a strong deal out of Copenhagen. We must all take action to tell our leaders what we expect from them, indeed, what we demand.

Tracking for you,
Phil