World warms to new climate talks

Posted on 10 December 2005
WWF puts pressure on participants attending the climate change conference in Montreal, Canada.
Montreal, Cananda – Real progress was made at the climate talks as governments finalized the ground rules for the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol and set the stage for discussions to further cut carbon emissions after 2012.

“Common sense won the day when ministers agreed to start the talks about future reductions in carbon pollution,” said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme. “People know that the Kyoto Protocol is the only viable approach to combat climate change and the Montreal meeting has successfully moved that process forward.”

Ministers at the Montreal climate conference agreed early in the morning on Saturday to start talks that will deliver the deeper reductions of carbon emissions that WWF has been promoting. The deal also opened the door to broader participation from developing countries in the future.

The meeting displayed the groundswell of support for real climate action. This was especially visible through the participation of an unparalleled number of mayors, youth, business leaders, and elected representatives. The attempt by the US, and later Russia, to scupper the talks failed when a broad coalition, including major developing countries such as Japan, Canada and the EU, rebuffed it.

“The planet is the clear winner, despite tremendous pressure first from the US administration, then from Russia, to slow down progress in curbing global warming,” said Morgan. “Climate change is real, the solutions are here, and it is time for the world to take firm collective action.”

“More and more companies are committing to real climate action and the pressure is mounting on the laggards to get in line with the way the world is moving. The decision in Montreal to move forward strengthens the efforts of countries, companies and cities in the US that are acting to reduce carbon pollution now.”

Kyoto Parties must now redouble their efforts to meet their targets, as with 157 countries now signed up to the Protocol, carbon markets are a reality.

“Having successfully hosted the climate talks, Canada must now continue with its extraordinary effort as caretaker to the Kyoto process to ensure that the Montreal momentum translates into real results for the global climate,” said Julia Langer, Director of WWF-Canada’s Global Threats Programme.

For further information:
Martin Hiller, Climate Change Programme, t +1 514 582 1259,
Brian Thomson, WWF International, t +1 514 578 6074,
Wendy Douglas, WWF-Canada, (English), +1 514 578 6423,
Stephanie Jagou, WWF-Canada, (French, English, Spanish), +1 514 208 3911,