Sociologist from Malta

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Copenhagen failure: lack of EU leadership evident

Press Release - Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party 20/12/09

The Copenhagen Accord concluded during the weekend beteween the US, China, Brazil, South Africa and India is vague and meaningless which if not disowed and discarded can be considered as a suicide note.

AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio said:"The world's leaders have failed the planet and failed the people. It is a sad day for global climate action. The Copenhagen Accord is not worth the paper it is written on and falls short of even the modest ambitions that remained for this summit. Clearly, the talks foundered as a result of an irresolvable staring contest between the US and China. However, the EU must share some of the responsibility. The EU failure to play its trump card throughout the negotiations, by refusing to raise its emissions pledge to 30%, rendered it irrelevant as a player in the process. Copenhagen cannot be the final say for global climate action. We cannot condemn hundreds of millions of people and entire nations to catastrophic climate change. Now, more than ever, we need a fair and legally binding global agreement to limit global warming to below 2C preferably in the 1.5C range."

Referring to the Maltese situation AD spokesperson on sustainable development and local government, Carmel Cacopardo said: "Whilst Malta is committed to mitigation measures entailing a reduction of carbon emissions by 20 per cent on the basis of 1990 emission levels and the sourcing of 10 per cent of energy needs from sustainable alternatives by 2020 it still lacks a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy."

"Malta's vulnerability is substantial and comparable to that faced other island states. If mitigation measures implemented by the international community are not substantial a temperature rise closer to 6C will mean drastic impacts on the Maltese islands : a sea level rise, reduced rainfall, as well as more intense storms."

"The resulting sea level rise could be substantial: around two metres by the end of this century. This will affect coastal facilities, low lying residential areas as well as the water table. The water table will be affected by a rise in sea level through an increase in its salinity. Climate change will lead to a situation where ground water in Malta will not be usable if not subject to substantial, costly and energy intensive treatment. This will hasten the collapse of agriculture which is dependent on the direct use of water extracted from the water table."

AD calls on government to align itself with the position of other island states and request the UN to draw up a Climate Adaptation Strategy urgently.

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