Copenhagen a ‘tragedy’

As the dust settled around Copenhagen's Bella Centre developed and developing countries signed off COP15 by agreeing to 'take note' of an accord.

As expected the deal was not legally binding as the phrase was removed from earlier drafts of the accord by delegations against a legally binding document.

However, the Copenhagen Accord, thrashed out by the USA, China, Brazil, India, South Africa and an European Union block, is politically binding on those countries that signed up to it, and their names will be formally listed alongside the official text.

Overall, delegates failed to adopt the accord and opted for the lesser option by taking ‘note’ of it.

This was due to a developing world block of countries refusing to agree with the accord and a vocal group of Tuvalu, Sudan, Bolivia, and Venezuela attacking it.

Britain’s energy and climate change minister, Ed Miliband, said it was ‘disappointing’.

He said: “I was told that actually the deal looked like it might be just blocked … the Sudanese delegate in particular had compared the deal to the holocaust and was trying to whip up anger against it.”

Christian Aid’s senior climate change advocacy officer Nelson Muffuh said: “This is a tragedy that will harm the many millions of people in developing countries who are already suffering the effects of climate change.

“We hoped that sanity would prevail but powerful nations didn’t come to negotiate, they came to play hardball.

“Lives will be lost as a result. Already more than 300,000 people a year die as a result of climate change. That number will go up.”

Luke Walsh

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