At COP15 2010, on December 17th and 18th, presentations were made, by the heads of states, to the assembly. The majority of heads of states were calling for the global community to maintain the rise in temperature to well below 1.5 degrees. Sadly, it was clear at COP15 that the demands of the majority of states were disregarded. On December 7th, Papua New Guinea proposed that, rather than descend to the lowest common denominator, the parties should strive for consensus with a fall back of 75%. Unfortunately, this proposal was summarily dismissed by the chair.

If one counts the G77 representing 130 developing states along with some low lying states or small island states which were not members of the G77 and, with some of the member states of the European Union, then possibly over 75% of the signatories of the UNFCCC would have been prepared to sign and ratify a strong, legally binding agreement. It could be argued, on the one hand, that such an agreement would be irrelevant because the major greenhouse gas producers would not have signed on. On the other hand, citizens in the major greenhouse gas producing states could use the agreement to pressure their governments to commit to stronger emission reductions. COP16, in Mexico, must respect the demands of the majority.

We affirm that

The UNFCCC is ratified by 192 countries representing near universal membership. It commands near universal support and its legitimacy is unquestioned. Therefore all signatories of the UNFCCC are legally bound to discharge the obligation in Article 2 which states: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. The emerging science, including the scientific reports from COP15, indicates that the global crisis is much more urgent than what was anticipated in the 2007 IPCC report that was based on data up to the year 2005. This crucial emerging science was not recognized in the Copenhagen Accord. In addition the IPCC must be called upon to include the contribution, through militarism, to greenhouse gas emissions.

The issue of climate change and its impact on our environment is the most urgent issue of our time. Because of the global urgency, there is the legal obligation to contain the rise in temperature to less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and the parts per million to 300 ppm.This level is now acknowledged to be the point if which we exceed – global systems on land, water and air will be so affected as to create irreversible vicious feedback cycles and destabilize many ecosystems and human societies.

Strict time frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions will begin to be reversed as of 2010. There must be a global target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2015, 50% below by 2020, 75% by 2030, 85% by 2040 and well above 100% by 2050, while adhering to the precautionary principle, intergenerational equity principle and differentiated responsibility principle.

Developed country parties must acknowledge their emissions debt to developing countries. To address the emission debt developed states must; (i) cancel the existing debt owe by developing countries, (ii) implement the long-standing commitment of .7% of GDP for overseas development, and (iii) ensure new funding for climate change compensation, and for socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound development. In addition, developed country parties will renounce war and reallocate military expenses.


Canadians for Action on Climate Change

Global Compliance Research Project

To sign onto this declaration please send an email to canadiansforactiononjclimatechange.

~ by Cory Morningstar on February 4, 2010.

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