Copenhagen - The climate negotiation in the Fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen has come to a sour end. The world's high expectation for a meaningful and binding agreement is doused with icy cold water by a non-binding deal dubbed as "Copenhagen Accord" - a deal primarily brokered by the most powerful and leading polluter country in the world -- the United States.
America sees a diminished role for the United Nations in trying to stop global warming after the "chaotic" Copenhagen climate change summit, an Obama administration official said today.
Jonathan Pershing, who helped lead talks at Copenhagen, instead sketched out a future path for negotiations dominated by the world's largest polluters such as China, the US, India, Brazil and South Africa, who signed up to a deal in the final hours of the summit. That would represent a realignment of the way the international community has dealt with climate change over the last two decades.
US Climate Envoy Blames ALBA for Copenhagen Failure, Backs Sidelining UN
A top US climate negotiator has said he hopes to see the United Nations sidelined at future talks on global warming. On Wednesday, US Deputy Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing said the scale of the climate talks called for a rethinking of the UN’s role. Pershing cited the objections of the ALBA bloc, which he said had blocked an agreement in Copenhagen.
Only a few years ago, a cry went up that the United States needed more oil refineries. The perceived shortage was so acute that George W. Bush, president at the time, even offered disused military bases as sites for building them.
Not only did that never come to pass, but the reverse is now happening. The business of oil refining is mired in a deep crisis, with five refineries having shut down this year, including plants in Delaware, New Jersey, California and New Mexico.
CONTACT: Marianne Lavelle (202) 725-7638
The Climate Lobby from Soup to Nuts
1,160 Businesses and Groups Lobbying on Climate Change; Venture Capitalists, Food Companies Now Among Those Fighting for a Place at the Table
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 28, 2009 — President Obama said at Copenhagen that the United States is committed to action on global warming, but the domestic politics are only growing more complex. A Center for Public Integrity analysis of the 140 interests that jumped into the fray for the first time in the third quarter of 2009 reveals a marked trend: Firms and organizations which feel they've been overlooked are fighting for a place at the table. Among them: venture capitalists and food companies, including America's most iconic soup maker.
Dec 19 (IPS) - The climate change summit proved to be a "spectacular
failure even according to its own terms," but civil society had "some
successes," such as the inclusion of certain issues on the climate
agenda, and making the voice of the South heard loud and clear.
That was how activists assessed their efforts at 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as the climate change talks came to an agonising end Saturday in Copenhagen.
The proposed agreement early Saturday morning sought to privide $30 billion to poor countries from 2010 to 2012 to adapt to climate change, a paltry sum compared to war spending and a rejection of what the Global South had asked for: justice and reparations, not charity.
By Ellen Choy
Dear UN: We are losing faith in you quickly. Please advise. With love, Future Leaders
As Copenhagen boils with anxiety about today’s mass climate justice action at the Bella Center, all I can do is lower my head at the United Nations in complete disappointment. Shutting out thousands of representatives of civil society from entering the UN conference this week, without showing a drop of compassion, has put me teetering on the edge of renunciation. We came to the UN conference to represent ourselves, as young leaders from the US and youth of color who believe that our presence here matters, and that the story we share can benefit the international community.
To: The Danish Parliament
Over the past week, tens of thousands of people from across the planet
have taken to the streets of Copenhagen demanding real and just
solutions to climate change. But on the streets, as well as inside the
UN Climate Change Conference, delegates and ‘outsiders’ alike are
doubting that the conference will reach a deal that isn’t a disaster
for most of the world.
Inside the Bella Centre, where the UN delegates are meeting, numerous critical voices have been marginalised through technical and procedural manoeuvres. Others, like Friends of the Earth International, have had their accreditation revoked. Outside, the policing of protest has been consistently draconian and occasionally brutal.
La Paz, Bolivia, where I was born and spent my first 18 years "could perhaps be the first large urban casualty of climate change," according to The New York Times.  I've been tracking the melting glaciers that supply water to the La Paz metropolis for the last few years. Each year the pace of melting has outstripped prior predictions in dramatic fashion. As a kid and a teenager I used to visit the emblematic glacier, Chacaltaya, mentioned in the Times article. It is now gone. Extinct. Scientists speculated that it would be gone by 2020; it formally disappeared this year. The crisis is no longer a futuristic prediction. It has arrived. The human impact stands to be incredibly stark. Margarita Limachi Álvarez, a Bolivian woman living in a village impacted by receding glaciers was quoted in the Times article saying, “A lot of us think about not having kids anymore. Without water or food, how would we survive? Why bring them here to suffer?”
Let's transpose that experience to a U.S. context: Lake Mead, which is a major source of water for LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Tucson, and Phoenix, has a 50% chance of being completely dry by 2021.  That is only 11 years from now. Major urban centers in Southwest U.S. are going to suffer dramatic decreases in water supplies within the next decade.
Tens of millions of lives are at stake in Copenhagen and beyond. Literally. Our profit- and growth-based economy has pushed the planet's life systems to the brink. Hence the motto on the streets of Copenhagen this week: "We need Systems Change, not Climate Change." It's way too late for compromises.