Copenhagen praise for PM but EU still showing “an overwhelming lack of ambition”

Gordon Brown praised by delegates at the Copenhagen summit, but European Union still has more to do.

Gordon Brown received praise from delegates to the Copenhagen climate talks this morning as he announced his support for a reduction target of 30 per cent for EU emissions.

At the last UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Poland last year, the EU reduced the initial 30% target to a range from 20-30% dependent on commitments from other nations. Left Foot Forward spoke to Marcelo Quintanilla, an NGO leader from Mexico working on the Anglo-Norwegian finance proposal with the Mexican delegation, who explained that Brown’s move was:

“Politically smart; but still in his comfort zone. The EU has to go much further before they can be seen as leaders, we need at least a 40% target to ensure a Deal is in line with the science.”

However, progress is expected to be slow before the high-level sessions when world leaders arrive at the end of next week.

Civil society groups are hosting various actions to pressure governments to show more ambition – particularly in the run up to the European Heads of State meeting starting on Thursday. The Fossil of the Day award, given to those countries seen to be blocking the negotiations by the 450 NGOs who form the Climate Action Network, named all rich countries – including the UK – as their number one delayer “for an overwhelming lack of ambition”.

Youth activists are also gaining media attention for their activities. Two of them, Anna Keenan from Australia and Sara Svenson from Sweden have been on hunger strike since the Barcelona climate talks 32 days ago. Both are visibly weak and have started to use wheelchairs in the conference center, adding that they intend to break their ‘climate justice fast’ only when a legally binding treaty is agreed.

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