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Copenhagen climate conference branded a 'mess'

PUBLISHED: 10:23 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:37 07 September 2010

ENVIRONMENTALISTS across Camden have slammed the Copenhagen climate conference as a complete mess and are pessimistic about what the world s leaders will be able to achieve. The 11-day conference, which is due to end tomorrow, has seen lead

Susanna Wilkey

ENVIRONMENTALISTS across Camden have slammed the Copenhagen climate conference as a complete mess and are pessimistic about what the world's leaders will be able to achieve.

The 11-day conference, which is due to end tomorrow, has seen leaders of the world's 180 countries attempt to thrash out a deal to tackle global warming.

The talks have been plagued by hold-ups and were temporarily suspended on Monday after a delegation representing developing nations withdrew their co-operation.

Whatever is agreed in Copenhagen will come into force on January 1, 2013 and replace the Kyoto protocol which was the last global attempt to save the environment.

Camden's eco-champion Cllr Alexis Rowell says it is not over yet but isn't hopeful for the results.

"Copenhagen is a complete mess," he said. "There is no real time left to make a significant deal.

"They are not going to get big enough cuts in emissions and according to scientists we need at least 40 per cent by 2020. It also looks like we are going to allow rich countries to offset emissions which is ridiculous.

"There is no significant agreement to transfer funds from rich to poor countries to help them deal with climate change.

"My sense is that we are going to end up with such a messy deal that is going to be really hard to turn into something that we need. I am not very optimistic at all."

Dr Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute and Hampstead resident, is extremely pessimistic about the outcome of Copenhagen.

He said: "Even the most ambitious targets that countries are taking to Copenhagen are far too low. All the countries are arriving with the action they are prepared to take as a country but this is something that cannot be negotiated.

"The planet's atmosphere does not care about individual countries, we need to act now as a whole."

West Hampstead climate activist Tamsin Omond is at the Copenhagen conference and said two significant things are happening.

"One is inside a massive conference centre outside town where countries like Tuvalu protest in the corridors and people in suits try to figure out the future," she said.

"The other is on the streets, in the markets, town squares and yes even the shopping malls of Copenhagen.

"Out in town people are stopping, gesticulating, listening - some are even storming off - but no-one's being silent about climate change.

"I have little hope for a fair deal to come out of COP 15, but the legacy of COP 15 won't be the deal that is struck. It will be a new awareness: that climate change is a global problem that needs every one of us to create its solution."

Highgate green councillor Maya de Souza wants the richer countries to put more money on the table to support the developing countries.

She said: "The amount being offered is still a paltry sum - less than the money poured into energy efficiency in the UK - and that's for the whole world.

"We need tens of billions to be offered not the one or two billion on offer at the moment.


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