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"Obama is more Bush than Gore" say environmentalists as Bonn talks end

12 Jun 2009

Climate talks fail to progress as rich world dodges responsibility

Friends of the Earth has blamed rich countries for the failure of the latest round of UN climate talks, which ended today in Bonn, to produce the outline of a new global deal to tackle climate change. With just six months to go before world leaders are due in Copenhagen for a summit to sign the new treaty, the emissions targets that industrialised countries are offering for 2020 fall far short of what the science requires according to the enviromenmtal organisation.

Oisin Coghlan, Friends of Earth Director, said

"Despite the changed rhetoric of President Obama, US negotiators in Bonn still sound more like they work for George Bush than Al Gore."

The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say industrialised countries need to cut their emissions to 25 to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, given their historical responsibility for the build up of greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. But the US is only offering to return to 1990 levels by 2020, a 0% cut, while Japan is only offering an 8% cut. Europe is offering a 30% cut if others follow suit, but even that falls well short of what is needed.

Mr Coghlan continued:

"The negotiators are all looking for the softest target possible for their own country. They are forgetting that you can't negotiate with the atmosphere. We either cut emissions enough to stop climate change running out of control or we don't."


Friends of the Earth is calling for a show of people power to press political leaders to focus on our shared future and the common threat climate change poses to all humanity.

"We asking people to join the Stop Climate Chaos event on Sandymount Strand tomorrow at noon to create a huge human hourglass to remind our political leaders that time is running out to agree a strong, fair deal to prevent runaway climate change", Mr Coghlan concluded.

Find out more about the Stop Climate Chaos event.

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