Brazil to Obama: Do Something or Return Your Nobel

Obama in Copenhagen For Brazilian Environment minister Carlos Minc the outcome of the Copenhagen's Climate Conference was well below Brazil's expectations. He was particularly disappointed with American president Barack Obama's performance.

"The Nobel Prize is not up to the expectation that the planet's population places on him," Minc stated, alluding to the Nobel Peace Prize received this year by the US leader.

In a direct and personal appeal to the president, the Brazilian minister then said, "Obama, do something. Or you will have to bring the Nobel Prize back here."

Minc said the Brazilian delegation was equally disappointed with Obama's  speech: "We were very frustrated with President Obama's speech, it seemed like he had nothing to do with it," the minister complained.

The Brazilian representative said he didn't like either the way the meeting was run by the Denmark representatives. On Wednesday, December 16, the Danish Environment minister, Connie Hedegaard, resigned as chairman of the conference. Prime minister Loekke Lars Rasmussen took her place.

Leaving the Conference's plenary at daybreak on Saturday, December 19, after hours of intense negotiations, Minc, commented he was living one of the saddest days of his life. For him, the COP-15 was "a disappointment," although it showed "some limited progress."

At the end, after spending days of discussions with representatives from around the wordd, the Brazilian minister came to the conclusion that the US was the main culprit "for this bad climate," because Obama showed up in Copenhagen with very modest goals and without "a mandate to negotiate," since the American Senate hadn't approved his plan for cutting emission gases.

The COP-15 in Minc's mind was marked by selfish positions of countries, "each one looking at its own navel." He also noted that some countries like Venezuela and Cuba, nations that aren't known for the defense of the environment, rejected the final agreement only to counter the United States.

Not everything has been lost though, according to Minc. He saw some progress, which will allow further discussion in 2010 on matters like payment of shares to keep the forests untouched within the Redd mechanism, and the funding to help the poorest countries face global warming.

Minc observed that Brazil has done its part, presenting bold goals to lower CO2 emissions by 2020, between 36% and 39%, and making a big effort to get a binding high-level agreement, which according to him unfortunately did not happen.

He assured that Brazil is not going to stop despite the Copenhagen's failure. He vowed that Brazilians will roll up their sleeves to reach their targets for reducing greenhouse gases, "for the good of the planet."


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