WWF: Developing Countries Take Lead in Poznan

As the United Nation's climate negotiations ended, WWF officials said that developing nations were providing leadership by offering constructive proposals and specific commitments, while industrialized nations had stymied progress.

"For many developing countries, which bear little or no responsibility for the current crisis but face both deep poverty and the greatest risks from climate change, taking immediate action is of the highest priority," said Richard Moss, Ph.D., vice president for WWF's climate change program. "Developing countries are clearly demonstrating their concern and commitment."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and many others highlighted the leadership of such countries as China, Mexico, and Brazil in remarks made during the Poznan talks.

By comparison, hopes for EU leadership were dashed as European leaders watered down the EU's climate package during a parallel meeting in Brussels. Other industrialized countries openly undermined progress, said WWF officials, while the United States was largely sidelined amid the transitioning presidential administration.

"In order to satisfy our historical responsibility for the climate crisis, developed countries must help developing countries transition to low carbon economies as well as provide adaptation support for ecosystems and human communities facing the greatest threats," Moss said. "In the U.S., the alleged inaction by China and India is often cited as a reason that we cannot act. We need to recognize that these countries are not an impediment to progress, while at the moment, we are. We need to step up to the plate with our own commitment to emissions reductions at home and support for technology cooperation, adaptation, forest protection, and mitigation actions in developing countries."

WWF said the relative lack of progress in Poznan means that governments will have to work doubly hard to reach a new global climate deal in Copenhagen in 2009.