Blank Napkin Served In Copenhagen

19 December 2009

"They might as well have initialled a blank napkin from the Conference centre cafe."

SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has today lamented the failure of the Copenhagen climate negotiations to reach a binding, ambitious and transparent agreement which matches Scotland's ambition on climate change.

Smith, who has been present in Copenhagen and last weekend took part in the Wave rally in Glasgow, claimed also that the talks outcome was in many ways a step backwards, and the growing rancour from many of the nations involved will make maintaining any momentum much more difficult.

Smith said:

"So, after all the sound and fury, no clear total emissions reduction targets for 2020. No robust inspection regime. No detail as to the source of the financing for developing countries. No detail at all really. And not even a pledge to meet the 2 degree target. This is not good enough. And we in Scotland will not settle for it and it makes it all the more achingly frustrating that Scotland was reduced to a sideshow by the UK government when we could have been front and centre, and who knows, we could not have done worse than this. The document "noted" by the UN has no more credibility than if they had all initialled a napkin from the Conference centre cafe.

"But, this cannot be allowed to rest here. This problem will not go away. A signed napkin to wave in front of the world's media will not stop climate change. While this particular clash of the egos has not achieved the results I would have desired, there is still room for individual countries to set their own targets, to make their own declarations and agreements on this issue. Scotland has shown the lead, and in the days and weeks that come I think there will be a real need to continue the momentum this conference has dissipated. There is nothing stopping us in Scotland from entering into a series of bilateral agreements with like minded progressive countries, and invite others to join us in time. If the consensus was simply not there, then that is not an excuse for those of us who are up for a bit of heavy lifting taking this forward."