As the Copenhagen meet is moving towards an irretrievable collapse, the blunt-speaking charity Oxfam has denounced the developed West for failure to offer anything concrete whereas it has been the worst offender all along.
Despite promising action two years ago in Bali, rich countries have steadfastly refused to make the sharp emissions reductions demanded by the science or provide the new money needed to help poor countries tackle climate change, it contended.
Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said in a statement:
"Let us be under no illusion. We do not have the makings of a deal which will prevent climate catastrophe or protect the world's most vulnerable people. These talks will fail unless rich countries deliver the money they promised two years ago to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Poor countries are ready to deliver on their side of the bargain - rich countries must show they are willing to do the same."
"Like court magicians rich country negotiators are conjuring up a deal for their political masters which provides the illusion of action but delivers next to nothing of substance. Poor countries will not be fooled by spin - as they have already made clear they will not sign a suicide pact in Copenhagen."
All the elements of a good finance deal are on the table - we don't need new ideas or more talk. World leaders know what a fair and strong deal looks like. They have two days to make it happen."
A flurry of finger pointing won't deliver a deal now. Poor countries, who are fighting for climate action, should not be made scapegoats by rich countries who have led these talks to the brink of disaster."
The outcome of two years of negotiations under two parallel negotiating tracks was published early this morning- key gaps include:
The scale of emissions reductions for rich countries (Annex 1) is creeping up towards 25%, however the proposals are riddled with loopholes. A real reduction of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 is demanded by the science.
The offers of around $10 billion per year in climate finance are a fraction of the most credible estimates of $100 billion for adaptation and $100 billion for mitigation by developing countries. A rapid scale up of funding to $200 billion per year by 2020 is needed plus a guarantee that this money will be additional to existing aid commitments.
Weaker systems of review and verification have been proposed but they do not provide the assurances that are needed. A strong system of compliance within a legally binding treaty structure is the political decision that is needed, Jeremy Hobbs urged.