NEGOTIATORS in Rio de Janeiro have claimed success after finalising a statement to be issued by more than 100 world leaders who arrive in the Brazilian city over the next few days.
But many observers said the ”success” at the United Nations conference was possible only after the agreement was watered down so far it became meaningless.
”Rio has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy,” the executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, said.
The World Wildlife Fund executive director, Jim Leape, said the document was a ”colossal failure of leadership and vision”.
And the Oxfam spokesman Stephen Hale said the world leaders should ”start again”.
But the Brazilian External Affairs Minister, Antonio Patriota, said the result was ”very satisfying … because it is a result. As of yesterday we were facing considerable difficulties to have a text at all”.
And the US chief negotiator, Todd Stern, said the agreement was a ”good strong step forward”.
Brazilian negotiators conceded that the European Union, often a leading force at such negotiations, had taken a far weaker role due to its unfolding financial crisis.
The European Commissioner for Climate Change, Connie Hedegaard, said after the deal was struck ”nobody in that room was happy, that’s how weak it was”.