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19 December 2009

Copenhagen A Tiptoe Forward When World Needed Giant Leap


First Minister Alex Salmond today described the result of the Copenhagen climate change summit as a missed opportunity in the ongoing battle to counter global climate change.

Mr Salmond said: "Copenhagen was a tiptoe forward when what the world required was a giant leap.

"Recognition of a non-binding accord is a long way from a legally binding agreement, and in that sense the summit has exposed a failure of leadership when faced with a great global challenge.

"The task is now to ensure that Copenhagen represents only a missed opportunity and not the last opportunity, and to inject the urgency that is needed will require people power and mobilisation of concern to bring the political leaders on board for a binding agreement in Mexico next year."

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson added:

"Scotland can hold its head up high, not just at having the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world, but at having the determination to implement our targets and, in our new agreement with the Maldives, demonstrating a commitment to reach out to the countries at the sharp end of climate chaos and in the interests of climate justice.

"There will be widespread disappointment at the lack of progress in Copenhagen, but instead people internationally should turn to focus on the COP 16 summit next year in Mexico, to turn an accord into a binding agreement. We now have to turn to people power after the faltering accord at Copenhagen.

"It is noticeable that those progressive politicians in Copenhagen were those representing nations, cities and territories who were all prepared to make the binding commitment that state leaders failed to agree. It seems that with climate change the closer politicians are to the people the more willing they are to act."

Stewart Stevenson
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