Copenhagen: the show begins

Feature Story - 2009-12-07
We've been working all year towards Copenhagen. Now it's finally started. Here is Greenpeace's statement at the state of play on the first day.

Stopping climate change is more than just changing your light bulb. We need a strong and fair deal at Copenhagen.

The key question now is whether world leaders turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for current and future generations.

The Copenhagen Climate summit offers a defining moment in our history as a global human family.

Will our leaders act to pull the planet back from the brink of climate chaos - or will they talk us over the edge?

Copenhagen is where these world leaders can honour their promise to avert catastrophic climate change.

"Big change looks impossible when you start and inevitable when you finish:" Bob Hunter, Greenpeace Founder, 1978

Hundreds of millions of people across the world, from Bangladesh to Belguim, from the United States to Uganda, from the Pacific to the Carribean, are calling for them to sign a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement.

The pieces of the jigsaw

All the pieces of the jigsaw are there: a gathering of more than 100 Heads of State; the key elements of the legal text; more than 20,000 delegates - and a world calling for action.

At this point, political will is the only thing that's missing. The climate change negotiations have never seen such a momentum, and it must not be wasted.

Now is the time to stop talking and start acting.

In recent weeks, we have seen emerging economies put new commitments on the table.

We now look to the EU leaders meeting later this week to step up and agree new targets, targets of 40% by 2020.

Now is the time for us to transcend the barriers of north and south, rich and poor countries and developed and developing and recognise that if we get this challenge right, we can deliver a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous life for our children and grandchildren or we all sink together.

The key to the conference

Greenpeace calls on the Copenhagen Climate Summit to agree a legally binding deal which includes:

Emissions cuts of 40% by 2020 by industrialised countries (from 1990 levels)

$140 billion a year from the industrialised world for developing countries to deal with climate impacts, act on climate change and stop deforestation.

The end of tropical deforestation by 2020.

Developing countries must reduce their projected emissions growth by 15-30% by 2020, with support from industrialised countries.

Read Greenpeace's key briefing on the possibilities for a strong Copenhagen deal here.