A huge disappointment is what the European Parliament delegation to the COP15 said about the agreement on climate change which was reached at last in Copenhagen. The outcome and the procedure show an urgent need to reform the UN working method.
President Jerzy Buzek of the European Parliament, who was at the negotiations in Copenhagen all day Friday, said nevertheless:
"Copenhagen will only be a first step. We must learn the lessons of how to improve the negotiating process. There are some positive elements to the agreement, but the EU should continue to put pressure on the rest of the world to reach a more ambitious agreement at a later stage."
Climate protection postponed
"The agreement in Copenhagen is a huge disappointment and postpones climate protection to a later date“, said Jo LEINEN (S&D, DE), who headed the European Parliament’s Delegation to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen and is the chair of the Environment Committee.
"The document lacks a long-term vision for 2050 nor have short-term targets for 2020 either been laid down in the final document. The present commitments of industrialized countries will by no means meet the CO2 reduction requirements stated by the scientific panel of the United Nations.”
MEPs deplored the fact that the 'Copenhagen Accord' is not a legally binding agreement, and only "recognises" the need to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The developed countries should commit to a goal of mobilising 100 bn dollars by 2020 to help the developing countries cope with the impact of climate change. The agreement also includes a method for verifying industrialised nations' emission reductions
Jo Leinen said that the main responsibility for the weak agreement lay with China and the US. "The US has failed to adapt their reduction targets to global needs. China has refused to sign a treaty with international obligations,” he said, adding that "the Copenhagen Conference demonstrated the highly unsatisfactory and inefficient method of UN conferences. A deep reform of the decision-making process in the framework of the United Nations is an urgent necessity."
Vice-chair Karl-Heinz FLORENZ (EPP, DE) of the COP15 delegation, added:
"It is a slap in the face for the world. There has been a huge lack of trust during these negotiations. Some developing countries have been blocking without contributing in a positive manner to the text. For further negotiations it will be crucial to overcome this for the further negotiations," he said.
European Parliament delegation
The European Parliament participated in the Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen with an official delegation of 15 members, between 14 and 18 December. EP President Jerzy Buzek also attended the conference from 17 December.
MEPs were in Copenhagen to follow the negotiations and support efforts to reach a follow-up agreement for the Kyoto Protocol. Parliament co-legislates with Member State governments on EU environment policy, and the Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, on 1 December 2009, has given it an even more prominent legislative role: its consent is now required for international treaties, which would include any new climate protection agreement.