Climate accord is 'political fudge'

 

The non-binding global climate change deal reached in Copenhagen yesterday is a “political fudge” and not a significant breakthrough, Minister for the Environment John Gormley has said.

He was speaking after an agreement brokered by the leaders of five of the most powerful nations on Friday night was recognised but not endorsed by delegates representing 193 countries at the United Nation Convention in Copenhagen. The 13 day conference ended yesterday.

“I am not coming away from Copenhagen proclaiming it is a significant breakthrough, it is anything but,” he said on RTÉ’s This Week radio programme.

Admitting he was disappointed with the outcome Mr Gormley said: “I would say that certain parties came to the talks with the idea not of moving position, not of negotiating, but of blocking.”

“Really, they do not want a unified text and they don’t want legally binding commitments at this stage.”

He said the approach taken by certain, unnamed, countries was, “simply a case of denial and continuing denial that this [climate change] can be fixed in this very convoluted, hazy way. It can’t. We need specific commitments.”

Mr Gormley said the talks had broken up in a “very bad spirit” and that EU environment ministers would meet next Tuesday to discuss where the process goes from here.

Yesterday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the accord was an “essential” first step and emphasised that the agreement, which, for now, runs to only three pages of text must be made legally binding late next year.

The Convention decided to “take note” of the document, known as Copenhagen Accord, and not endorse it. Binding cuts on emissions have effectively been postponed until the next global convention, which takes place in Mexico at the end of 2010.