Posted by: ecodestination | November 10, 2009

US, EU slack on legislation despite upcoming Copenhagen summit

What the hell, government leaders?

Did you catch that BBC article last week reporting that the UK government believes it is  highly unlikely that a climate treaty will be agreed on in Copenhagen next month? Oh, and a full treaty is about a year away.

You’re kidding, right?

Just two years ago, governments across the globe promised to get their respective asses in gear at the summit in Copenhagen to take place in December 2009. Did they lose their calendars? Poor governments. It’s not like they have anyone to get their shit organized.

Let me rephrase, actually: it is the governments of more developed countries that are failing everyone else, while developing countries rightfully complain that they’re getting screwed.

“When we left (UN talks in) Bali two years ago, we all expected that would be agreeing on a legally binding outcome to respond to the urgency… that we were on the verge of catastrophic climate change, so we’re very disappointed,” said Selwin Hart from Barbados, speaking for the group of small island developing states.

“If we don’t take urgent and ambitious action, the reality is that some small island developing states will not be around within a couple of decades – certainly not by the end of the century.”

Activists hold placards as they sit near a hoarding with a world map during a press conference to mark the hundred days countdown to the Copenhagen summit, in New Delhi in August. Photo by

But EU delegates say the treaty is so complex that getting through the legal red tape will not be possible this year. Conversely, South Africa’s Alf Wills, who co-ordinates the G77/China bloc of developing countries on extending the Kyoto Protocol, thinks it’s a political issue, as officials aren’t agreeing on what moves to make. He said developing countries have already put their proposals forward.

Artur Runge-Metzger, chief negotiator for the European Commission, said a period of 3-6 months might yield results. And US delegates said their legislation will not be ready in the next 6 months.

Environmental groups rightly opine that developed countries haven’t gotten as far as other nations because, well, they chose not to.

“So much can blamed on the Big Carbon special interests driving Washington. If Europe doesn’t stand up to America to save this deal, there could be grave implications for millions across the world,” said Joss Garman of Greenpeace.

Come on, Obama, don’t let the world down.

By the way, here’s a great chart that lays out where countries stand on climate change issues.


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