Political nerve necessary to reach Copenhagen deal - WWF

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pretoria - A lack of political nerve can divert the world from reaching a climate deal in Copenhagen, said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

WWF Climate Change Programme Manager, Richard Worthington said economies and industry must be directed by political processes and that leaders of developing countries should respond by committing to go to Copenhagen.

"Climate won't wait on ministers' political and diplomatic maneuvers. Leaders must not avoid difficult decisions now because the fact is that these decisions are only going to get harder," he said.

WWF leader of the global climate initiative, Kim Carstensen said a legally binding deal is the only format that will give the world a chance to avoid increasing predictions of climate catastrophe.

"Africa needs a legally binding agreement and so does the world economy."

The WWF said that many developing countries are signaling that they can move further but that they need legal certainty and confidence that developed countries will meet their commitments.

"Substantial sectors of business and labour also are gearing up to move, but they are calling for the sort of certainty that comes from a legally binding global agreement. Investors and markets need confidence in order to really kick start the low carbon economy," said Carstensen.

She said governments have had two years of negotiating times and space, they have all the science they need, all the text options and words they need and all the arguments they need to be convinced that now is the time and place to do the deal.

"The only missing ingredient is political will," said WWF.

According to WWF the deal should include among other things ambitious emission reduction targets from industrialised countries, recognition and support for developing country actions, commitment to scaled up climate finance especially for adaptation, and a new institutional and governance arrangement under the guidance of the UN.

Earlier this month, African Union (AU) countries decided to adopt a common position and to speak in one voice during the summit.

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.