Copenhagen climate summit: Will it be FAB?

In a little less than 2 weeks, Copenhagen will be transformed as negotiators, leaders, media and campaigners descend on Denmark’s capital. So, let’s take a look at how things stand on the eve of the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen.

We’re calling for a FAB deal at Copenhagen, one that’s Fair, Ambitious, and Binding. The largest and longest polluters must slash their emissions by 40% by 2020 and rich countries (the ones who have done the polluting) must pay to help developing countries get on the green path and to cope with the effects of a changing climate. If that happens, Oxfam will come away from Copenhagen with big smiles. So, where are we on the path to get a FAB deal?

At the final set of pre-negotiations, negotiations, there was mixed news. The European Union - who will be negotiating as one bloc - put a figure on the table regarding adaptation. Unfortunately the figure was less than half of what we think is needed every year.

They said that this fund should be between 22-55 billion Euros, a fairly broad figure. This is less than we give to the cows and the farmers through the Common Agricultural Policy. Oxfam reckons that this global fund needs to be in the region of 100 billion Euros per year with Europe providing 35 billion of that. They’re a long way from reaching the par score but at least they’ve started talking real numbers.

On carbon emissions the world leaders are still trying to stare each other out. Despite two years of intense negotiations rich countries have yet to agree overall commitments to cut carbon emissions. It’s all a bit confusing and there’s lots of foot dragging going on. That’s definitely not a good sign that a deal will be reached.

At the last talks in Barcelona people started talking about making a “politically binding” deal at Copenhagen rather than the “legally binding” deal that had previously been talked about. What’s the difference? One has consequences if you don’t adhere to it and the other one doesn’t. I’ll leave you to work out which is which.

We’ve had victories and set backs so far in the run up to this vital Summit. Gordon Brown agreed to attend and now President Obama is coming to the party. It’s vital that we get the deal that poor people need.

It’s been a long road to get to Copenhagen. There’s still much that can be achieved at the Summit and we all need to keep the pressure on our leaders by attending events like the Wave. There are still grounds for optimism that with the right political will and enough public pressure a FAB deal can be reached.

Whatever happens we must keep fighting until a FAB deal is signed.


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