I would like to cite some interesting comments published in The New York Times about the deal that followed two weeks of climate talks in Copenhagen among approximately 200 nations.
Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“The Copenhagen Accord is clearly a work in progress, with key details such as the emissions reduction targets for industrialized countries and emissions mitigation actions of developing countries to be filled in later. It is also a voluntary framework, with negotiations to continue in 2010 toward a legally binding instrument that would either accompany or supersede the Kyoto Protocol.”
David Doniger, a policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, wrote on the blog “Switchboard”:
The Copenhagen climate deal “broke through years of negotiating gridlock to achieve three critical goals. First, it provides for real cuts in heat-trapping carbon pollution by all of the world’s big emitters. Second, it establishes a transparent framework for evaluating countries’ performance against their commitments. And third, it will start an unprecedented flow of resources to help poor and vulnerable nations cope with climate impacts, protect their forests and adopt clean energy technologies.”
Elliot Diringer, vice president for international strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, said last month:
“These pledges are not binding. They are statements of intent, not obligation. But that is not what disappoints me. I never expected Copenhagen to produce more than a political accord.
“What troubles me is that governments did not resolve to move next to a legally binding treaty. That goal was part of the tentative agreement announced by President Obama. But then he left, and in final deal-making, it somehow vanished. The negotiations will of course continue. Governments agreed they’d meet next year in Mexico, the year after in South Africa. But with what type of agreement in mind?”
Ed Miliband, the British secretary of state for energy and climate change, wrote in The Guardian:
“We did not get an agreement on 50 percent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries.”
Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, was quoted by Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, as saying:
“These are hard-won results made through joint efforts of all parties, which are widely recognized and should be cherished.”