A Glimmer of Hope

After two long weeks of cold weather, protests and delays in negotiations, the UN talks in Copenhagen finally came to an end. World leaders failed to produce an ambitious, legally binding deal, but the political agreement welcomed by the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon this Saturday represents an essential step forward.

The Copenhagen Accord is a statement of intentions of the majority of nations, developed and developing, to stabilize the climate below 2 degrees Celsius, provide long-term financing, adopt transparent reporting practices. More importantly, it is a prompt start for developing country action.

But time is running out for a global solution to climate change and we must move quickly towards a global agreement. At CI, we are particularly disappointed with the fact that the accord failed to recognized the key role of forests in helping people and nature to reduce climate change and adapt to its impacts.

Many country delegates, NGOs and participants are returning home for the holidays disappointed. The work is not done yet. 2010 will start with the challenge of acting decisively to seal a global agreement with emissions cuts and financing to tackle climate change.

As he was preparing to leave Copenhagen, Dr Fred Boltz, head of Conservation International’s Copenhagen delegation said: “The clock is no longer just ticking – it’s ringing an alarm, and if we don’t listen the consequences for people and biodiversity will be catastrophic.”

Here is what we released today on what happened in Copenhagen.

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