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Weak climate deal leaves hard choices for next year

domingo 20 de dezembro de 2009, por ,

Copenhagen (December 18, 2009) - A watered down political agreement reached today in Copenhagen lacks the firm commitments needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global climate change, said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Progress on agriculture within the climate talks sets the stage for important negotiations in 2010.

“It’s fortunate that a total breakdown was avoided, but this weak agreement needs to go much further in 2010,” said IATP President Jim Harkness. “The meeting lacked both transparency and democratic participation, both inside and outside the negotiating convention. The UN needs to do a comprehensive review of what went wrong in Copenhagen so that we can avoid having tens of thousands of accredited NGOs, including IATP, as well as country delegates locked out of the negotiations.”

“It’s shameful that developed countries still haven’t taken responsibility on climate nor made firm, legally binding commitments,” said Harkness. “Instead, they often attempted to cast developing countries as an obstacle to reaching a deal, even when leaked UNFCCC documents indicated that the total pledges of developing countries were larger than developed countries.”

On agriculture, negotiators reached an agreement on a work plan for 2010, to be completed by a Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) under the UNFCCC. The work plan cites the need to safeguard food security and livelihoods in climate adaptation and mitigation, also making specific reference to the interests of small farmers, the rights of indigenous peoples and importance of traditional knowledge.

“The inclusion of this language in the agriculture document is important and opens the door for a more comprehensive look at agriculture,” said Harkness. “The breakdown of the global food system that has led to over 1 billion hungry requires systemic change that involves much more than a new climate treaty. Next year will be a critical one for agriculture, food security and climate change as we head toward the next big climate meeting Mexico.”

Countries will be asked to submit proposals to the SBSTA for climate mitigation and adaptation in agriculture through March and SBSTA’s set of recommendations are due in June. Then the working group on agriculture will take them up in preparation for COP 16 in December 2010 in Mexico City.

“Past work plans of this type have invited submissions from accredited UN observer organizations, so we are disappointed that negotiators rejected proposals from civil society groups and developing countries to include similar language,” Harkness said. “But we are committed to working with the Parties to make sure that just and sustainable climate solutions for agriculture are not left out of the process.”

In contrast to the timid approach of the official negotiations, civil society groups engaged in a series of vigorous discussions throughout the rest of Copenhagen. On December 16, IATP participated in the founding meeting of the Round Table of Organic Agriculture and Climate Change, which established a new international consortium of the world’s leading organic research institutions to provide strong scientific evidence to the SBSTA process and coordinate research efforts on organic agriculture’s solutions to climate change.

For more on agriculture and climate issues, go to IATP’s web page: www.iatp.org/climate.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. www.iatp.org

Ver online : IATP/Climate