The UN climate talks in Barcelona, the last ahead of the big conference in Copenhagen, will be a litmus test of whether government leaders have given their delegates a mandate to move towards a legally binding deal that has the potential to save the world from climate change.
Signals from some politicians suggesting the climate deal would not be sealed in Copenhagen but in an unforeseeable future are irresponsible and could trigger a domino effect where one country after another will try to give up and lower the level of ambition.
Countries who will not take action will be responsible for climate chaos, the weakening of the authority of public institutions and finally loss of trust of their populations around the world who believe that these negotiations must have an ambitious and binding outcome.
“Delegates who gathered here must show the rest of the world, their leaders and voters back in their countries that a deal can be made and that an understanding between rich and poor nations is possible,” said Kim Carstensen, the leader of WWF Global Climate Initiative. “We ask them to show unity on key issues including finance, legally binding character of the treaty and ambitious emissions reductions.”
“We call on the delegates to kill the rumors about delaying the deal. They must show that they can do it and show willingness to agree the legally binding climate deal.”
According to WWF the argument that a Copenhagen treaty would not be legally binding is unacceptable.
“After all these months spent in talks and negotiations we cannot come out now and say that all this was just informal chat, can we?” Carstensen said. “A lot of political momentum has been built up around Copenhagen, and the world expects leaders to show courage and cut the deal in Copenhagen. Any talk about delaying the deal is extremely dangerous because it takes pressure off the negotiations.