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UN climate conference closes without adopting 'Copenhagen Accord'

Posted Dec. 19, 2009 / Posted by: Nick Berning

For Immediate Release

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -- On the day that the UN Climate talks officially closed, Friends of the Earth International warned against the false conclusion that the UN Climate Conference has adopted the 'Copenhagen Accord.'

The Copenhagen Accord announced on December 18 by U.S. President Barack Obama was not adopted by delegates to the United Nations climate conference here. Instead, delegates merely 'noted' the agreement's existence, giving it no force whatsoever.

Today rich countries led by the United States are pressuring poorer nations to ditch the UN process and sign onto the Copenhagen Accord. They are threatening poor nations that refuse to sign on with the loss of their share of the $100 billion that rich countries have pledged to compensate for climate impacts the rich countries themselves have caused.

UN officials are struggling to figure out what the Accord even means and how it's related to the UN process, but what's is clear is that it was not approved by the 192 countries that are members of the UNFCCC.

By signing onto the Accord, poor countries risk displacing the legitimate negotiation process taking place under the auspices of the UN.

The US is so desperate to claim a Copenhagen success that it is now attempting to destroy the existing climate process and sideline 20 years of real multilateral negotiation.

Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International Chair, said:

"First the US came to Copenhagen with nothing new to offer, and now it's trying to package the weak, flawed, unjust 'Copenhagen Accord' as a replacement for the UN process -- and armtwist poor countries into signing on.

"President Bush ignored the UN process, now President Obama risks torpedoing it.

"Countries seeking a just and effective solution to climate change should not sign this illegitimate and distracting 'Copenhagen Accord.' They should instead ensure a rapid return to the formal UN process to achieve a fair, strong and legally binding agreement as soon as possible within the next year.

"Developing countries have shown real leadership in Copenhagen and must not give up the UNFCCC for the 'Copenhagen Accord.' "

For more information:

Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth US: + 45 30 48 31 73 or email
nberning@foe.org

Henry Rummins, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland,
+44 776 16 01 666

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