Environmental and Social Justice Award 2014  
  October 2014, Kandy- CEJ recognised thirteen environmental and social rights defenders who served many years during the Environmental and Social Justice Award 2014.Former vice president of the International Court of Justice,  
   
 
HopEN[D]hagen
Hemantha Withanage Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice
Climate talks 2009 ended with no legal agreement. Last minute Obama manage to bring several big countries such as India, China, and Brazil, to agree on non transparent accord brought by US. This is a disgusting game of the developed nations. Many nations including Tuvalu opposed the accord.
Undoubtedly Copenhagen has been a failure. Justice has not been done. The actual legally binding agreement was postponed to June 2010.

Climate change is responsible for many disasters today. By delaying action, rich countries have pushed millions of the world’s poorest people to hunger, suffering and loss of life.

A confidential United Nations paper leaked on December 17 predicts that averages temperatures will increase to 3degrees even with the current international pledges are fully implemented. This will mean at least 5 degrees increase in African countries. This is effectively a death sentence for many in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including small island states, who had demanded a limit of 1.5 degrees.

Instead of committing to deep cuts in emissions and putting new, public money on the table to help solve the climate crisis, rich countries have bullied developing nations to accept far less. The finance they agreed is only 30 billion upto 2012.

It was very clear that United Nations failed to give climate justice in Copenhagen. They failed due to the wrong and non transparent process adopted by the Danish Government. They also failed due to the text, accords prepared behind the closed doors. It was also failed due to the selection of chairs from friendly nations and by dividing nations further.

The Civil society was most united and successful in preventing world goes into a bad deal. The only real leadership at the conference has come from the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who’ve come together to demand strong action to prevent climate catastrophe. Their voices are loud and growing. Many people felt that growing climate justice movement is the beginning of change. (Unfortunately Obama failed to bring the CHANGE to climate talks)

Finally, the developed countries did not commit to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% in comparison with 1990 levels by 2020 as expected by us. They also did not acknowledge the climate debt that they owe to developing countries as a result of decades of pollution and overuse of the environmental space. They did not drop false solutions such as Cap and Trade, CDM etc. Thus COP 15 failed to deliver any meaningful solution to the climate catastrophe.

Further, COP 15 was one of the most Carbon intensive conferences. It was reported that estimated 40,500 tons of carbon dioxide was pumped into the atmosphere during the 12-day conference - 90 percent of it from flights. It was reported that Obama joined the event with several hundred staff who were brought in big planes. Nicolas Sarkozy in his special Airbus and Brazilian President Lula de Silva on a presidential jet.

Very few leaders such as environment ministers of the Netherlands and Switzerland took the train.

I believe the carbon footprint of the KlimaForum is also very high although it may be thousand times less compared to the official COP 15.

ooOOoo

18th December 2009

     
 
 
 
                   
Home   Campaings   Recent Articles
About Us   Programmes   Newsletters
News   Publications    
Contact Us   Resources    
    Env. Issues    
    Gallery    
    Toxics