December 19, 2009, 11.00. The COP just agreed on one sentence with a weak text as just an Annex. National short term interests have blocked any step towards solving one of the biggest challenges mankind faces. The momentum is now missing to move towards a low carbon economy and to reduce the loss of carbon rich ecosystems like forests and wetlands.
"The COP takes note of the Copenhagen Accord of the 18th of December of 2009." Including an Annex with the weak accord and a list of supporting countries, this is the only pathetic outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
With a unique gathering of over hundred leaders of state, this should have been the moment to address one of the biggest challenges for mankind. There are now no binding emission reduction targets, no plan to reduce emissions from the loss of the world’s ecosystems, and if approved a weak agreement for climate change adaptation measures.
Alex Kaat (Netherlands) Wetlands International: “National interests have blocked progress on every detail of the negotiations. Apparently there were only heads of state present, not world leaders.”
Papa Mawade Wade (Senegal) of Wetlands International Africa: "For Africa the failure of Copenhagen is a disaster. It is in this continent that the impact of climate change is most severe, while many people have few opportunities to adapt."
Wetlands International was present with a team in Copenhagen and followed all negotiations in the last years, including the other 5 UNFCCC meetings in 2010. The organisation has advocated addressing the alarming emissions from wetlands loss including organic peatsoils. Wetlands International also asked for attention for the role of wetlands as a buffer for water related climate impacts.
The final draft texts for various decisions did incorporate many of our views although other issues remained unresolved or were weak. The role of ecosystems for climate change adaptation was recognised; wetland emissions were adressed in the draft policies for both developing (REDD) and developed countries (proposed changes in Land Use paragraph of Kyoto Protocol). These draft policies will not be approved.
Alex Kaat: “The operation to get wetland loss addressed in the UN climate policies was a success, but the patient has died.”
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