16 Dec 2009

Copenhagen: petition to rescue deal

I can hardly bring myself to blog about Copenhagen - three days to go and it seems despite all the hope the summit is failing.

Photo: Rooks whirling in wind over Randwick

Today the world's leaders arrive for an unprecedented 60 hours of direct negotiations. Can a last tidal wave of public pressure for a deal rescue the summit?

Click below to sign the petition for a real deal in Copenhagen - the Avaaz campaign already has 11 million supporters!! Every single name is actually being read out at the summit - sign on at the link below and forward this to everyone!

Here is what Prince Charles had to say: "As our planet's life-support system begins to fail and our very survival as a species is brought into question, remember that our children and grandchildren will ask not what our generation said, but what it did. Let us give an answer, then, of which we can be proud." Full speech here.

Stroud teenager Issy Ellis-Cockcroft is part of the UK delegation – see her blog plus films and how she is getting on at www.livingonsunshine.org.uk

I have also been moved to read the messages on the Copenhagen tree outside the Sub Rooms - mostly written on Saturday at the Stroud Climate event - here are dozens of the messages from the people of Stroud typed up by Emily and circulated to Transition Stroud:

No half measures, we need a fair, just deal on climate change – for all countries We can only do so much individually – help us do more together “Copenhagen, give us your answer do, we're all crazy, we're all dressed in blue. Unite and all start trying, to stop and all start trying for all it's worth, let's save the earth, reduce your CO2!” (sung) Look after the earth for my grandchildren Let's do what we can, while we can Think of the starving people around the world. Stop global warming!!! Think! Stop taking oil and coal. Think! Our planet needs our help. Don't give up the fight Wake up and love the earth We need to take responsibility Our children and grandchildren need action NOW! Walk, cycle, reduce, reuse Fair deal please for Africa “Politics is the art of the possible” show it to us Copenhagen Hurry Up – Dan age 11 Sow the seeds of light, visions for the future generations in the dark times. Reduce carbon emissions, be satisfied with less, live sustainably Om Chanti Cut CO2! Stop pissing our planet away for gain and greed take action for all our children and their children, now! Act now for social justice, equality and the planet Act now so our grandchildren can enjoy our beautiful world as we have been privileged to do Think differently, think of others Ntau ya shotta (time is running out!) Our planet needs to live Redistribution of wealth and power will end global conflict Please, please, please, we need strong, short term reductions now. It is almost too late! We ask that all governments do all they can now for our grandchildren. Not to act is criminal. We are the people we have been waiting for. Now is here. Examine your hearts not your bank accounts. Get real! There is only one earth. We are running out of time, oil and natural spaces. Stop putting your heads in the sand, act now! Our beautiful earth. How beautiful all you activists are out there – let's step into our power now for this great turning. Human change will only make climate change. Rich nation delegates – listen to the voices of developing countries! Climate is an economic issue! A lower standard of living – a higher higher standard of life. It's our generation that has made this mess, but it is our children, and our grandchildren who may not have a planet to share. Act now – every single one of us must take responsibility but our leaders have the real power to bring change. Make our day! Save our planet! We want the earth to last for many more decades, we love the earth and hope for a real, lasting deal! Tusino Tak! Freedom.We have it to change who we are and how we behave We need to believe it is happening! We do care, help us save our planet. Please grant the earth the same rights humans expect. Attraverso il azlone del figlio l'immenso dolore del padre sia placato per mezzo della liberazione di tutte de tue creature. (apologies if anything miss-spelled.) Go for it – you can do it! Wind, water, solar, we need to think how we can use our planet, not abuse it. Please take ambitious, binding and fair decision for the sake of your children. Clean energy, sustainable resources. I know change is not easy... be the change, the time is now we need to replace our rampant consumerism with respect for the planet, respect for future generations and respect for other species. Consider grandchildren urgently Just do it – don't be dumb! Think of the planet – not your egos!! Act now! For everyone. “We will not die quietly” It is not just about us, remember the other denizens of the world Please don't take my sunshine away


Philip Booth said...

From Avaaz:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu told hundreds of delegates and assembled children:

“We marched in Berlin, and the wall fell.
"We marched for South Africa, and apartheid fell.
"We marched at Copenhagen -- and we WILL get a Real Deal.”

Copenhagen is seeking the biggest mandate in history to stop the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. History will be made in the next few days. How will our children remember this moment? Let's tell them we did all we could.

Anonymous said...

Hi Phillip,

DO you know why Caroline and other top green party folk still carry on talking about staying below a 2 degree rise in average temp, when this flies in the face of top IPCC authors (see http://stevehynd.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/copenhagen-and-the-2-degree-guard-rail-the-wrong-goal-missed/) and many countries ambitious position at Copenhagen?

Why have the greens not taken a more optimistic target?

Andy said...

This was in The Guardian today -

Gordon Brown is right to warn that failure at Copenhagen is a real possibility (Report, 16 December). If the talks do fail, it will be in no small part down to the frustrating reluctance of EU leaders to step up the EU's negotiating position – and show leadership where it is so desperately needed.

As an MEP involved in the negotiations on the EU's position going into COP15, I am alarmed by reports in the last few days that the EU is drawing up a weaker "plan B" on emissions reduction – potentially replacing its commitment to 30% cuts by 2020 with 30% by 2025. Such a move would send a damaging signal at a time when momentum is already lagging. If the EU pursues an unconditional 30% by 2020, it could change the pessimistic mood; to discard it could be a nail in the coffin of a deal.

What's more, there is a keen irony in the fact that the EU is trying to position itself in COP15 as a key actor on climate change, at the same time as ministers in Brussels are signing off a very weak agreement on deforestation legislation. Why promise millions of euros for measures in developing countries to prevent deforestation but fail to close all loopholes in EU law on importing illegal timber?

If this wasn't bad enough, it now seems possible that the current proposals for a new climate deal in COP15 could even lead to a rise in emissions. Current loopholes in the climate negotiations – notably on "hot air" (surplus permits to pollute) and the accounting of emissions from land use and forestry – could actually lead to an increase in industrialised country emissions by 2020. No wonder the developing nations are so cynical about what is currently on the table.

Caroline Lucas MEP

Philip Booth said...

Thanks for pointing out re degrees and link - I agree too many of us Greens still talk about the 2 degrees - although to be fair most say we need to be less than that. The 2 degrees has come to be understood more readily as the significant temperature change but as you note it is now way out of date. I will make a note of that and mention to Caroline's team.

Global Greens - which includes representatives from Asia Pacific, African, American and European Green parties - have called for 2 degrees or less but also clear 2020 targets for developed countries of at least a 40% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels, with an interim assessment point in 2014.

Anyway to that bit from the website:

We must take urgent action now to move to a low or zero carbon economy, making a bigger and more significant effort than our Government or the EU presently contemplate. The Labour government now proposes a target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. The EU has agreed 20% by 2030, or 30% if other industrialized countries agree to also make reductions. Neither target is adequate. The latest scientific predictions suggest that an industrialized country, such as the UK, needs to reduce emissions by 90% by 2030, or approximately 10% per year from now on.

The Green Party is the only party with policies that approach a 10% annual reduction.