Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Local opposition, activists slam Copenhagen accord

South Africa’s political opposition and environmentalists described the controversial Copehagen agreement on climate change reached by five powers, including South Africa, in Denmark at the weekend as ”not acceptable.”

Gareth Morgan, spokesperson on the environment for the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said the deal spearheaded by US President Barack Obama ”lacks ambition” and marginalised developing countries.

”The accord is not acceptable as it stands,” he said, while adding it was not a surprising outcome and not an outright failure.

”In terms of getting all the countries in the world’s buy in – this accord is not going to do it,” Morgan told the German Press Agency DPA.

But the agreement was short enough on specifics to allow wiggle room for the developing world, he said.

Earthlife Africa, a environmental lobby group based in
Johannesburg, also expressed disappointment.

”We have got something which is very disappointing, and nowhere near what we were hoping for,” Richard Worthington, Earthlife’s spokesperson on climate change said by telephone from Copenhagen.

The US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa struck an agreement that recognises global warming should be kept under 2 degrees centigrade and promises aid to developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change. But it does not commit to specific target on reducing the emissions that cause warming.

The agreement promises $30-billion in aid to the developing world over the next three years but is less committal on long-term aid, expressing $100-billion a year by 2020 as an aim, not a pledge.

Some developing countries, particularly Latin American states, expressed anger at being presented with a done deal that was nevertheless grudgingly endorsed as a basis for further negotiations by most of the 192 nations at the conference. – Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Phoenix activist takes on Durban’s politically connected in November polls

Independent candidates look set to play a greater role in the metro municipality after 1 November

Libyan town clings to memory of Gaddafi, 10 years on

Rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte on 20 October 2011, months into the Nato-backed rebellion that ended his four-decade rule

Fishing subsidies in the W. Cape: ‘Illegal fishing is our...

Fishers claim they are forced into illegal trawling because subsidies only benefit big vessels

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…