The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Meena Raman, (+45) 52 68 46 29
Erich Pica, (+45) 30 74 47 09
Lars Haltbrekken, (+47) 91 61 21 91
Helen Burley, (+45) 53 99 59 27
Nick Berning, (+45) 30 48 31 73
In the U.S.: Kelly Trout, (in the U.S), 202-222-0722,

Climate Talks: Rich Countries to Blame for Deadlock


As world leaders gather at crucial UN climate talks in Copenhagen, Friends of the Earth International said that rich countries are squarely to blame for the lack of any meaningful progress made so far.

Leaders of industrialised nations like the United States, which have contributed most to climate change, still have the opportunity to surprise the world and deliver a strong and just agreement, Friends of the Earth International added.

An announcement by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that the US would contribute an unannounced 'fair share' to a $100 billion fund for climate finance has failed to provide the momentum the talks desperately need if a strong and fair agreement to tackle climate change is to be reached.

Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth U.S. said: "It's good to see the United States finally talking about putting longer term funding on the table to solve the climate crisis, but the proposal announced today is hollow. The amount falls far short of what the United Nations says is needed. Inadequate funding will condemn the poorest to languish in poverty while the world suffers from climate chaos. In addition, loans and private investments must not substitute for public money, and it is unclear how much of this package is public."

Friends of the Earth believes that the Heads of State still have the opportunity to reach a meaningful outcome if leaders of the rich industrialised nations decide to live up to their historical responsibilities and make a strong and just climate agreement possible.

The last several days have seen a no substantive progress and very low levels of ambition from rich countries on emissions reductions targets and climate finance.

African countries suggested that up to $500 billion of 'fast start' finance is necessary to break the logjam.

Although discussions are proceeding based on the existing negotiating framework established under the United Nations, this has only been after repeated attempts by developed countries to introduce new proposals behind closed doors.

Meena Raman, from Friends of the Earth Malaysia, said: "Developing countries are not the problem here, they are simply asking that rich countries honour their obligations. This means committing to tough new targets to cut their emissions, in line what science says is needed, rejecting offsets and providing the money for developing countries for adaptation and mitigation.

"Rich countries have missed every deadline they set this year to agree new targets to cut their emissions and now they have the audacity to blame developing countries for the current deadlock. Rich countries must not cause the failure of Copenhagen talks."

Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 74 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FOEI campaigns on today's most urgent environmental and social issues.