The increasingly unpredictable climate and successive poor rains have left the animals of the Maasai pastoralists of northern Tanzania, too weak to provide milk, blood and meat. Credit: Ami Vitale/Oxfam
This meeting articulated the scale of the problem but not the specifics of the solution.

Oxfam reaction to "timid" World Business Summit

“It’s a mystery how such influential and passionate voices – from Ban Ki-Moon, to Al Gore, to progressive businesses – could be ignored in the final statement.”
Jeremy Hobbs
Executive Director, Oxfam International
Published: 26 May 2009

Oxfam attended the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, a gathering of 500+ leading industry CEOs, to get them to push governments for more ambition and specific targets to tackle climate change. The Summit reported back on May 26 with a disappointing result.

“The Summit’s communiqué is unchanged from the draft that was written at the start of the meeting. It’s a mystery how such influential and passionate voices could demand more urgency and specific commitments from the global business community – from Ban Ki-Moon, to Al Gore, to progressive businesses – only to be ignored in the final statement,” said Oxfam International executive director Jeremy Hobbs. "It is ironic that Prime Minister Rassmussen's remarks at the end were clearer on targets for CO2 emissions cuts than the Summit was able to make to him."

“In speeches and in the corridors, we heard many businesses talking loudly and persuasively for urgency and a safe and fair global deal just 200 days out from final negotiations – but the Summit’s statement let them down,” Hobbs said. "This meeting articulated the scale of the problem but not the specifics of the solution."

“The Summit's statement is only a tiny step in pushing for the right political recipe when it could have been a giant stride. It asked for 50% global cuts by 2050 when we need at least 80%. It mentioned mid-term cuts by 2020 – but gave no number, we need at least 40% in developed counties. It mentioned the importance of adaptation finance to poor countries – but again no number, we need at least $50bn a year,” Hobbs said. "These are all deal-breaking issues that this Summit should have tackled but did not."