"The United Nations climate talks in Bali reached an agreement today, but Friends of the Earth Europe has expressed disappointment at the weak content, following many attempts to derail the talks by the United States, Japan and Canada. But the European Union and key developing countries stood their ground on the need to include an agreement that emissions cuts should be in the range of 25-40 percent, as demanded by climate scientists. This provides some indication of ambition but still leaves a lot of work to be done.
The United States and Japanese governments, supported by Canada, shot down strong proposals from developing countries on adaptation, technology transfer, and reduced deforestation. The rest of the industrialised countries failed to reign in their obstructive behaviour.
Friends of the Earth Europe climate campaigner Sonja Meister said: 'The EU woke up too late in these negotiations - they confronted the Bush administration and stayed firm in keeping up the range of emission targets, but they should have done so much sooner and stronger. To bring back the trust and build up much needed momentum, the EU should clearly isolate the Bush administration, take real action at home and accept its fair share of the responsibility for financing the adaptation and mitigation costs of climate change in developing countries.'
Friends of the Earth Europe has called for the EU to step up its commitment and publicly agree to unconditionally reduce its emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020, through domestic action alone. On top of this, huge additional obligations will be needed from the EU and other industrialised countries. The Bali deal does include an agreement on the Adaptation Fund which will begin to deliver funds for developing countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and an agreement to review how industrialised countries will meet emissions reduction targets in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The limitations of the deal include:
* Developing countries are obliged to provide verifiable reporting, but will not be given sufficient financial and capacity support to enable them to do so
*Plantations could still be included the deforestation scheme, which would water down its impacts
Friends of the Earth International Chair Meena Raman said: 'Around the world millions of people are already suffering the effects of climate change. People outside the talks have sent a strong message demanding climate justice. This message must no longer fall on deaf ears. We only have two years to build on this weak outcome and develop a just deal which ensures tough action from industrialised countries and assistance for people in the developing world.'"
In a first statement Elliot Diringer, the director of International Strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change said:
"Governments today took a critical step toward an effective global response to climate change. The Bali roadmap leaves open a host of key issues. It doesn’t explicitly nail down the scale of effort needed or the nature of the actions to be negotiated. It puts no one on the hook right now for emission reductions. What’s important, though, is that it lets no one off the hook either. It challenges all governments to confront the tough issues ahead and opens the way for the first time to a comprehensive negotiation of post-2012 commitments.
Two years ago in Montreal, many governments were barely prepared to open an informal “dialogue” on future climate action. Here in Bali, all governments agreed to move past dialogue to negotiations with the very ambitious goal of a new global agreement in 2009. They also implicitly recognized that, in addition to emission targets for developed countries, this agreement will have to allow for other types of commitments for developing countries in order to achieve the broadest possible participation.
With their decisions on adaptation, deforestation, and technology, governments addressed key developing country concerns and laid important groundwork for a post-2012 agreement. Ultimately, these and other elements need to be integrated in a comprehensive package spelling out specific binding commitments for all the major economies. Governments can waste no time if they’re to achieve that between now and 2009.
The critical first step is an unequivocal signal by the United States that it is prepared to negotiate a binding international commitment. Having joined other governments in launching this new U.N. process, the Bush administration must not use its upcoming meeting of major economies to stall or steer countries away from binding commitments. With Congress now well on its way to enacting an economy-wide cap-and-trade system, it’s time for the administration to support mandatory emission limits at home as a foundation for a fair, inclusive, and effective global agreement."