Five polar bears protest, to mark the last five days of negotiations at the UN Conference Conference in Copenhagen. Credit: Ainhoa Goma/Oxfam International
Poor countries want to see an outcome which guarantees sharp emissions reductions

Climate talks suspended

“This not about blocking the talks – it is about whether rich countries are ready to guarantee action on climate change and the survival or people in Africa and across the world.”
Jeremy Hobbs
Executive Director of Oxfam International
Published: 14 December 2009

African countries pulled the emergency cord in Copenhagen today as rich countries reluctance to discuss binding emissions reductions brought chaos to the negotiations.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International said: “ Africa has pulled the emergency cord to avoid a train crash at the end of the week.  Poor countries want to see an outcome which guarantees sharp emissions reductions yet rich countries are trying to delay discussions on the only mechanism we have to deliver this – the Kyoto Protocol.

“This not about blocking the talks – it is about whether rich countries are ready to guarantee action on climate change and the survival or people in Africa and across the world.

“Australia and Japan are crying foul while blocking movement on legally binding emissions reductions for rich countries. This tit for tat approach is no way to deal with the climate crisis.”

African countries have refused to continue negotiations unless talks on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol are prioritized ahead of broader discussions under a second LCA track. Australia, Japan and others have succeeded in stopping Kyoto Protocol discussions as a result.

Of the two tracks of negotiations underway in Copenhagen the Kyoto Protocol is the only one which includes a mechanism for legally binding emissions reductions by rich countries.

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Notes to Editors

Oxfam’s Climate Advisors from around the globe are available to provide expert analysis on policy and politics of the talks. Our team of experts is liaising closely with government delegations and party to inside information on the talks.