Reflection on Beyond Copenhagen talk

With little over a week until one of the defining moments of our generation, the Copenhagen summit, a meeting of importance difficult to overplay, tensions are high and nerves fragile.

World leaders and the international community face a unique moment to rise to the challenge and set out a strong message on climate change. With political will at such a high, a failure at Copenhagen would deal a severe blow to multilateral attempts to tackle the problem.

Tonight Douglas Alexander, International Development Secretary, Phil Bloomer of Oxfam and Robin Oakley of Greenpace offered some stark notes of caution in the run up to the meeting. These concerns centre largely around the lack of an Indian proposal and the limited scope of what are hoped to only be ‘provisional’ Chinese and American positions, both of which fall well short of ambitions to cut emissions by 40% by 2020 and longer term by 80% by 2050.

However the Secretary of State assured listeners the basis of a deal was on the table and with over sixty world leaders chosing to follow Prime Minister Brown’s lead and attend in person, the political will for a deal is evident.

World leaders cannot miss this chance to lay down a marker of intent with a deal at Copenhagen that combines the requisite legally binding status, which deals equitably with emission cuts and lays the necessary finance on the table.

The tools and means to stay within the 2 degrees Celsius limit for the increase of the sea temperature exist, the necessity for a new industrial and economic revolution to reorder world markets and society all too evident; it is now up to world leaders to seize the moment and deliver a deal that can truly mark the beginning of the fight to tackle climate change.

Fingers crossed for Copenhagen and hope to see you all at The Wave on Saturday!

by Dan Sleat, Campaigns Intern for Andrew Judge, Labour PPC for Wimbledon.

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