Civil Society Denounces US Bullying Tactics & Backroom Deals

US has Undermined Climate Talks with Bullying Tactics and Backroom Deals

Civil Society Denounces U.S. Plan for Fast-Tracking Warming, Worsening Humanitarian Crisis, and Fueling Ecological Collapse

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2009: Despite President Obama's assurances and claims of progress at the UN Climate Talks, the negotiations continued into the early morning as civil society leaders were left out of the sessions at the Bella Center and protesters gather outside.

"For the U.S., which is the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases, to come to Copenhagen and try to strong arm the world into accepting a phony accord that will do nothing to prevent climate catastrophe is beyond irresponsible; it is criminal." said John Peck, Executive Director of Family Farm Defenders and member of Via Campesina.

"At the present, before the end of the final plenary, the draft Copenhagen Accord sets dangerously low emissions targets and provides too few resources to stop the unfolding climate catastrophe gripping the planet," said Professor Michael Dorsey with the Climate Justice Now! Network. "The Accord is little more than rhetoric hiding a failure to actually address the climate crisis. This destructive Accord represents a death sentence for Africa, the Amazon, Indigenous Peoples, and small island nations."

"An accord secretly crafted without the participation of developing countries is another example of the U.S. using its power to manipulate the outcome with no binding commitments," said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "We are highly suspicious of the tactics of the US obstructing a Kyoto Protocol agreement, while at the same time aggressively trying to push through a forest carbon offset agreement called REDD+ with weak safeguards that could violate the land and forest rights of Indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities. Indigenous peoples here in Copenhagen have been demanding action -- not false hopes and empty promises -- and these delays and bullying tactics amount to continued carbon colonialism."

"The COP 15 has seen an obscene amount of lobbying by the emerging corporate carbon dealers who are peddling false solutions, while the oil and coal lobbies are still the elephant in the room," said Camila Moreno, of the Global Justice Ecology Project from Porto Alegre, Brazil. "The common sense solutions that have been demanded by social movements and civil society around the world are to leave fossil fuels in the ground and make a deal that is legally binding. Today's developments do nothing to move those real solutions forward and could wipe entire nations off the map."

"This is an emergency and we need climate justice now! We must acknowledge that we from the south are the real creditors and the governments of the North are the real debtors. They owe the world economic debt, ecological debt and climate debt and they must pay now," said Wahu Kaara from the Kenya Debt Relief Network.

Kate Horner, the International Director of Friends of the Earth US, said:"This is the United Nations and the nations here are not united on this secret backroom declaration. The US has lied to the world when they called it a deal and they lied to over a hundred countries when they said would listen to their needs. This toothless declaration, being spun by the US as an historic success, reflects contempt for the multilateral process and we expect more from our Nobel prize winning President."

President Obama stated on the Saturday morning that a deal had been concluded that, while not perfect, was a good one and one upon which further negotiations can be built.

This is a total and utter farce and the way it would appear very few of the developed nations, least of all the United States, the biggest of all polluters, had not even the slightest intention to come to a proper deal as to trying to keep the Planet's temperatures in check below 2dec C.

Way too much was at stake, for them, such as the USA, as regards to their oil and coal industry and to their pollution lifestyle, to be able to agree to what is needed.

The USA refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol and they had no intention to create and sign anything that would be legally binding at Copenhagen. Far from it. But then again, who are the biggest payers into the campaign funds of American politicians; the oil and the coal industry.

It was once said that the oil industry in America was in bed with government and that was true then. Nowadays it is the case that the oil industry is in government and we can see this in the way the United States talks nicely but does nothing as far as pollution and emissions are concerned.

Canada is no better either when it comes to the Alberta Tar Sands and as to Britain... in that instance we will have to wait and see for the Prime Minister Gordon Brown may have made promises but may not be able to deliver, especially as he is facing an election in Spring of 2010.

© 2009