Press release Bonn 12 June 2009

For immediate release

Bonn, 12 June 2009.

Blame Game Begins

Rich countries are launching a blame game to avoid their obligations and undermine the UN climate negotiations, according to members of the Climate Justice Now! coalition of civil society organisations. Their assessment comes at the end of the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

“It looks like the US has a deliberate strategy to leave the UN talks stalled in arguments over brackets and commas, while it seeks to isolate China from the rest of the global South” said Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth International. “The Major Economies Forum is another example of how the industrialised countries are shifting the discussion in order to sidestep the more ambitious demands made by developing countries.”

The US has so far offered no reduction in its emissions compared to 1990 levels, while Japan announced a target that is just 8 per cent below 1990 levels. Such targets fall a long way short of the action needed to tackle dangerous climate change, and are further undermined by the use of carbon offsets which allow industrialised countries to avoid reducing their domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

“The industrialised countries portray the developing world as potential deal breakers, but the real roadblock remains their failure to address their historical or current responsibility for climate change on anything like the scale needed” says Chee Yoke Ling of Third World Network. “In fact, the Annex 1 countries are systematically trying to dismantle the Convention and wind back their Kyoto commitments.¨

“We find that the illiterates of our century are not those who cannot read or write but those who do not want to learn, un-learn and re-learn. And the champion of them all is Prime Minister Aso of Japan who cannot even read the science,¨ says Habtemariam Abate of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. “ Colonising the remaining atmospheric space is no basis for a just deal.”

In stark contrast developing countries tabled a number of positive proposals. The Alliance of Small Island States called on developed countries to commit to higher greenhouse gas reduction targets so that global temperature rise stays below 1.5ºC. Bolivia demanded repayment of the developed world’s climate debt. El Salvador and Paraguay were strong advocates for the protection of Indigenous Peoples´ rights.

Climate Justice Now! is an international alliance of over 200 organisations and movements.

Further information

Chee Yoke Ling, Third World Network, +49 1520 6326564