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Meaningless Copenhagen declaration highlights global inaction

The superficial last-minute statement agreed by leaders at the Copenhagen conference, with no substantive progress made on any of the critical issues, highlights the weak promises of action from the developed world - targets which cannot deliver the 2C goal.

Civil society must now mobilise to drive leaders towards meaningful emissions targets and financing commitments if a substantive deal is to be reached in the next 12 months.

"The near collapse of these talks is thanks to the complete failure of developed world leaders, including Mr Rudd, to understand the depth of global commitment to real action on the climate crisis," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said from Copenhagen.

"The rich world demanded compromises from the developing world but offered none itself.

"Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama and other leaders completely misread the commitment of the developing world to the Kyoto Protocol structures and to the serious emissions reduction targets needed to deliver a safe climate.

"The developing world was never going to be willing to be taken for a ride at Copenhagen.

"The genesis of this near collapse has been clear for at least 12 months. The Greens made the point last December that the woeful 5-15% cuts offered by the Rudd Government would undermine global action and that is exactly what has come to pass.

"Kevin Rudd should be held personally responsible, as he said he would be, not only for refusing to do what everyone knows is necessary, but also for trying to bully those who wanted real deal into accepting his greenwash.

"The critical issues here were always going to be the adequacy of targets and financing put on the table by the developed world, and we needed to see both lifted dramatically if any progress was to be made here.

"Instead, the developed world used the conference to undermine their commitments even further through land use change loopholes and moves to undermine the Kyoto framework.

"The world waited for Obama, expecting him to deliver a circuit-breaker. Instead he delivered a none-too-subtle attack on China which reportedly made negotiations even more difficult.

"We must not forget that the underlying tension here was caused by the continued refusal of the USA to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. If the US joined Kyoto, the two-track process which led to this procedural road-smash would never have been necessary.

"The only way to rescue this process is for countries like Australia to recognise that their targets do not even match the 2C goal, let alone a stronger one, and lift their sights to what is necessary before next year's conferences in Bonn and Mexico City."

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