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Merkel, Obama Stalling on Climate Finance November 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in copenhagen, International Adaptation, tcktcktck.
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Press Release for Tuesday, Nov 3rd.

WASHINGTON DC — This morning climate activists greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s motorcade at the White House as she arrived to meet with President Obama. The giant heads of each leader had a speech bubble reading “No, you go first” in both English and German in front of a banner reading “Climate Finance”.

The activists, part of the Action Factory, say President Obama and Angela Merkel are the two leaders with the most power to lead the world to a global climate treaty.  A major hurdle to a climate treaty in Copenhagen is the inability of rich nations to fund climate adaptation that would help vulnerable countries deal with increased climate threats.

“Obama and Merkel need to lead together.  They keep complaining about a lack of leadership, but when they meet face-to-face, they had better get past that and commit to business,” says Morgan Goodwin, 25, an activist with the Action Factory.

Last friday the EU stated the world needed to commit EURO 22-50 billion (US $32-$78 billion) of public money to climate finance, but refused to commit any money itself.  Not only is that amount short of what’s needed, the agreement is meaningless unless other countries put forward money for the deal. according to the New York Times.

The Obama administration says that its hands are tied until the Senate to passes a bill climate bill.  But advocates point out the actions like committing to attend the landmark Copenhagen summit that Obama can take notwithstanding legislation.

The COP 15 Copenhagen conference begins in 33 days and the final intercessional negotiation in Barcelona is currently underway.  UK PM Gordon Brown echoed calls for more significant funding from the EU, citing the need for €30 to €40 billion a year by 2020, according to the AP.  Brown remains upbeat on the prospects for successful Copenhagen negotiations, an outcome that is partially dependent upon progress at the EU/US summit this week.

The Action Factory is a group of activists working for a strong climate treaty in Copenhagen.  The group has earned earlier attention for calling for a 1.5 degree C warming target at Merkel’s visit with Obama in June.  The group presented President Obama with a plane ticket to Copenhagen on his birthday and recently staged an olympic trials event outside the White House during his trip to Copenhagen to stump for the olympics.

“We need a global climate treaty,” says Julie Erickson, spokesperson for the Action Factory.  “All the activism we do is geared towards getting the US and other major players on board.  Most of these leaders won’t be around in 2050, but our generation will, and we’re scared of what will be left without ambitious action now.”

For further information, please contact Julie Erickson, 413.687.1987, julie@actionfactories.org
Visit our website at http://dc.actionfactories.org

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