Durban climate talks ending: Polluters won, people lost

Press release - 11 December, 2011

Durban/Sydney – 11 December 2011 - As the latest round of UN climate talks in Durban draw to a close Greenpeace declared that it was clear governments across the world listened to the carbon-intensive polluting corporations instead of listening to the people - people who want an end to our dependence on fossil fuels and real and immediate action on climate change.

“The grim news is that the blockers, led by the US, have succeeded in inserting a vital get-out clause that could easily prevent the next big climate deal being legally binding,” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director. “If that loophole is exploited it could be a disaster.  And the deal is due to be implemented ‘from 2020’ leaving almost no room for increasing the depth of carbon cuts in this decade when scientists say we need emissions to peak."
“Right now the global climate regime amounts to nothing more than a voluntary deal that’s put off for a decade. This could take us over the two degree threshold where we pass from danger to potential catastrophe.”
"Our atmosphere has been loaded with a carbon debt and the bill, carrying a Durban postmark, has been posted to the world’s poorest countries. The chance of averting catastrophic climate change is slipping through our hands with every passing year that nations fail to agree on a rescue plan for the planet," concluded Naidoo.
“Australia arrived in Durban with reason to be proud, having succeeded in putting a price on domestic carbon pollution,” said Paul Winn, Greenpeace Australia Pacific forest campaigner, “But our political leadership failed to prosecute the argument for a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement when it was needed,” said Winn.
“Instead of listening to the people demanding action or to countries like the low lying Pacific nations who are most at risk from climate change, our leaders have pandered to the polluters – the global corporations making a fortune from pulling dirty coal and oil out of our fragile earth,” concluded Winn.
Media: Susan Cavanagh +27 (0)76 5400493 till Sunday, then +31 6 46 16 2037
African Media: Fiona Musana +27 79 8940495
For interviews with Kumi Naidoo: Omer Elnaiem 31 6 29001148
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media officer: Julie Macken 0400 925 217
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Forest campaigner: Paul Winn 0409 993 438