COP-15 – the conference is over, and so is a lot of good will. Here are some of the reactions:

Australian Conservation Foundation, executive director Don Henry:

“Strong national laws to cut greenhouse pollution and grow clean energy jobs are more important than ever after the Copenhagen climate talks ended in a weak result, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“Even with a weak outcome in Copenhagen it is clear many major economies represented here are moving to dramatically cut emissions and shift to a low carbon future.

“A comprehensive climate treaty that requires Australia to reduce emissions is a matter of when, not if.  The smart thing to do is to prepare Australia’s economy now.

“Australia needs a comprehensive set of national climate laws, otherwise there is a very real risk we will be left behind.

“The former government’s Shergold Report found it was better for the economy to put a price on carbon ahead of global action.  This recommendation was supported by the former Government, the former Opposition leader and the current Government. We expect them to honour this commitment.”

The Greens Senator, Christine Milne:

“The superficial last-minute statement agreed by leaders at the Copenhagen conference, with no substantive progress made on any of the critical issues, highlights the weak promises of action from the developed world – targets which cannot deliver the 2C goal.

“Civil society must now mobilise to drive leaders towards meaningful emissions targets and financing commitments if a substantive deal is to be reached in the next 12 months.

“The near collapse of these talks is thanks to the complete failure of developed world leaders, including Mr Rudd, to understand the depth of global commitment to real action on the climate crisis

“The rich world demanded compromises from the developing world but offered none itself.
“Kevin Rudd, Barack Obama and other leaders completely misread the commitment of the developing world to the Kyoto Protocol structures and to the serious emissions reduction targets needed to deliver a safe climate.

“The developing world was never going to be willing to be taken for a ride at Copenhagen.

“The genesis of this near collapse has been clear for at least 12 months. The Greens made the point last December that the woeful 5-15 per cent cuts offered by the Rudd Government would undermine global action and that is exactly what has come to pass.
“Kevin Rudd should be held personally responsible, as he said he would be, not only for refusing to do what everyone knows is necessary, but also for trying to bully those who wanted real deal into accepting his greenwash.

“The only way to rescue this process is for countries like Australia to recognise that their targets do not even match the 2C goal, let alone a stronger one, and lift their sights to what is necessary before next year’s conferences in Bonn and Mexico City.”

“It’s been a tough ending to an amazing week. In all-night negotiations, leaders have reached a weak agreement in Copenhagen that fails to set the emissions targets needed to prevent catastrophic global warming. The agreement was stronger on funding, but it was not binding, and set no urgent deadline to sign a real climate treaty. Big polluters like China and the US wanted a weak deal, and potential champions like Europe, Brazil and South Africa didn’t fight hard enough to stop them.

“But while leaders failed to make history, people around the world did. In thousands of vigils, rallies and protests, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and millions of petition signatures, an unprecedented movement rose to this moment. After hearing the result of the talks, one member from Africa wrote “It takes a lot to get an elephant moving, but when you do it is hard to stop…the elephant is moving…”

“Despite the outcome, Copenhagen has built the movement that can win the fight to save our planet. Click below to say “thank-you” to all the other amazing people who participated, see pictures, video and reports on what we’ve done in the last week, and join a global, instant translation multilingual live chat where we can all exchange words of wisdom for the road ahead:

‘In just the last week, we’ve organised thousands of vigils and events in 140 countries, an enormous multi-million person petition, and dozens of national phone calling campaigns that made thousands of phone calls. We’ve generated thousands of news articles, organized peaceful petition-reading sit-ins at key government buildings, and ran several high level stunts and events at the summit itself.

‘On Wednesday UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown requested an emergency conference call with Avaaz members, telling 3000 of us: “You have driven forward the idealism of the world…do not underestimate the impact on the leaders here”. Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu personally appealed to us to take up the torch of causes past and never give up.

‘“This weekend we saw that the fight to save our planet cannot be won at a single summit. But we also learned what we’re capable of, when we all come together. If we stay together, nothing can stop us.

“There were some opening champagne in Copenhagen today. The polluting industry lobbyists and corporations — those who have captured our democracies and divided our leaders — celebrated their victory. They operated quietly in the shadows, but their voices were loud in some politicians’ ears.

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