Opinions on Copenhagen Accord diverge

There is no com­mon eval­u­a­tion on the Copen­hagen Accord, while some Lithuan­ian politi­cians pos­i­tive­ly eval­u­ate the agree­ment, oth­ers stay crit­i­cal. Lithuan­ian Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ged­im­i­nas Kazlauskas said that, although the Copen­hagen Accord was not a per­fect doc­u­ment and not as ambi­tious as the EU had desired, it was still a big step for­ward. Accord­ing to him, this Accord is bet­ter than no accord. He said that he was an opti­mist and that he expect­ed that this doc­u­ment would be just anoth­er step towards a glob­al agree­ment, which could be adopt­ed in the future.11Min­istry of Envi­ron­ment: Lithua­nia has out­stood in the Copen­hagen cli­mate change con­fer­ence (Lietu­va pasižymėjo Kopen­ha­gos kli­ma­to kaitos kon­fer­en­ci­jo­je), press release, 22 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.am.lt/VI/article.php3?article_id=9511 (last access: 9 June 2010). Lithuan­ian MEP Radvile Morku­naite, a mem­ber of the envi­ron­ment, pub­lic health and food safe­ty com­mit­tee, was not as opti­mistic when speak­ing about the same sub­ject. She claimed that the process of the con­fer­ence had demon­strat­ed that EU lead­ers were capa­ble of for­mu­lat­ing a gen­er­al posi­tion and keep­ing to it. How­ev­er, the results of the con­fer­ence were not as sat­is­fy­ing as the process of the con­fer­ence. Despite the uni­ty of the EU posi­tion, the voic­es of the biggest pol­luters in the world were tak­en more into con­sid­er­a­tion than the voice of the EU. The posi­tions of the USA, Chi­na and oth­er devel­op­ing coun­tries deter­mined that the Copen­hagen Accord is declar­a­tive and not legal­ly bind­ing to take any actions.22Radvile Morku­naite: Copen­hagen con­fer­ence has proved that the lead­ers of EU states can for­mu­late a com­mon posi­tion (Radvilė MORKŪNAITĖ: Kopen­ha­gos kon­fer­en­ci­ja par­o­dė, kad ES val­sty­bių lyde­ri­ai sug­e­ba sufor­mu­lu­oti ben­drą pozi­ci­ją), 22 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.nato.lt/radvile-morkunaite-kopenhagos-konferencija-parode-kad-es-valstybiu-lyderiai-sugeba-suformuluoti-bendra-pozicija/ (last access: 9 June 2010). She called the claims of var­i­ous lead­ers, that the most cru­cial thing is that an agree­ment had been reached and that the first steps towards the green­er future had been made, attempts to “save face” after the con­fer­ence, which raised so many expec­ta­tions but deliv­ered none of the expect­ed results. The only pos­i­tive out­come of the con­fer­ence, Radvile Morku­naite said, was that “the states had recog­nised that cli­mate change was one of the biggest chal­lenges fac­ing human­i­ty and the deci­sion to pro­vide finan­cial aid for the devel­op­ing coun­tries to fight cli­mate change was made.”33Radvile Morku­naite: Sav­ing the face in Copen­hagen („Vei­do saugo­ji­mas“ Kopen­hago­je), Euro­pean colours, No. 3, Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.europosspalvos.lt/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/es_gruodis_siuntimui.pdf (last access: 9 June 2010).

Lithuania supported the EU goals at the Copenhagen conference

Lithua­nia sup­port­ed the EU posi­tion to cut green­house gas emis­sions by 20 per­cent by 2020 and to make a pos­si­ble cut of green­house gas emis­sions of 30 per­cent if oth­er devel­oped states would also sig­nif­i­cant­ly cut their green­house gas emis­sions. This sup­port has been declared by var­i­ous Lithuan­ian offi­cials at var­i­ous lev­els, for exam­ple, for­mer Lithuan­ian Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs Vygau­das Usackas, while speak­ing at the meet­ing of the EU Gen­er­al Affairs Coun­cil, said that Lithua­nia con­grat­u­lat­ed EU efforts to cut CO2 emis­sions by 30 per­cent by 2020. How­ev­er, he stressed, “oth­er coun­tries have to make equal­ly ambi­tious oblig­a­tions.”44For­eign Affairs Min­istry: The prepa­ra­tion of the forth­com­ing Euro­pean Coun­cil has been delib­er­at­ed in Brus­sels (Briuse­ly­je aptar­tas pasirengi­mas artė­janči­ai Euro­pos vadovų tary­bai), press release, 8 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.alfa.lt/straipsnis/10303389 (last access: 9 June 2010).

Alter­na­tives to the Unit­ed Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC) are not wide­ly dis­cussed in Lithuania.

Lithuania welcomes an agreement to finance the developing countries’ fight against climate change

Lithuan­ian MEP Radvile Morku­naite, while gen­er­al­ly crit­i­cal of the Copen­hagen Accord, not­ed that one of the few pos­i­tive ele­ments of the Accord is an agree­ment to pro­vide 30 bil­lion US-Dol­lars in the forth­com­ing 3 years to sup­port the devel­op­ing coun­tries’ fight against cli­mate change and to increase this finan­cial aid to 100 bil­lion US-Dol­lars by 2020.55Ibid.

Lithuan­ian Pres­i­dent Dalia Gry­bauskaite talked about the prac­ti­cal details of the imple­men­ta­tion of this agree­ment: she stat­ed that she was hap­py that Lithuan­ian require­ments, that each EU mem­ber state would pay accord­ing to its pos­si­bil­i­ties while imple­ment­ing the EU oblig­a­tion to con­tribute finan­cial­ly to the com­pen­sa­tions for the reduc­tion of emis­sions in third coun­tries, have been tak­en into con­sid­er­a­tion. She said that it is a just agree­ment since Lithua­nia will only have to pay 1 mil­lion of the 2.5 bil­lion Euros which the EU is oblig­ed to pro­vide.66Pres­i­dent of Lithua­nia: EU Mem­ber States will not for­get a prin­ci­ple of jus­tice while fight­ing with cli­mate change (Kovo­jant su kli­ma­to kai­ta, ES šalys nepamirš ir teisingu­mo prin­cipo), press release, 11 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.president.lt/lt/spaudos_centras_392/pranesimai_spaudai/kovojant_su_klimato_kaita_es_salys_nepamirs_ir_teisingumo_principo.html (last access: 9 June 2010).

    Footnotes

  • 1Min­istry of Envi­ron­ment: Lithua­nia has out­stood in the Copen­hagen cli­mate change con­fer­ence (Lietu­va pasižymėjo Kopen­ha­gos kli­ma­to kaitos kon­fer­en­ci­jo­je), press release, 22 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.am.lt/VI/article.php3?article_id=9511 (last access: 9 June 2010).
  • 2Radvile Morku­naite: Copen­hagen con­fer­ence has proved that the lead­ers of EU states can for­mu­late a com­mon posi­tion (Radvilė MORKŪNAITĖ: Kopen­ha­gos kon­fer­en­ci­ja par­o­dė, kad ES val­sty­bių lyde­ri­ai sug­e­ba sufor­mu­lu­oti ben­drą pozi­ci­ją), 22 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.nato.lt/radvile-morkunaite-kopenhagos-konferencija-parode-kad-es-valstybiu-lyderiai-sugeba-suformuluoti-bendra-pozicija/ (last access: 9 June 2010).
  • 3Radvile Morku­naite: Sav­ing the face in Copen­hagen („Vei­do saugo­ji­mas“ Kopen­hago­je), Euro­pean colours, No. 3, Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.europosspalvos.lt/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/es_gruodis_siuntimui.pdf (last access: 9 June 2010).
  • 4For­eign Affairs Min­istry: The prepa­ra­tion of the forth­com­ing Euro­pean Coun­cil has been delib­er­at­ed in Brus­sels (Briuse­ly­je aptar­tas pasirengi­mas artė­janči­ai Euro­pos vadovų tary­bai), press release, 8 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.alfa.lt/straipsnis/10303389 (last access: 9 June 2010).
  • 5Ibid.
  • 6Pres­i­dent of Lithua­nia: EU Mem­ber States will not for­get a prin­ci­ple of jus­tice while fight­ing with cli­mate change (Kovo­jant su kli­ma­to kai­ta, ES šalys nepamirš ir teisingu­mo prin­cipo), press release, 11 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.president.lt/lt/spaudos_centras_392/pranesimai_spaudai/kovojant_su_klimato_kaita_es_salys_nepamirs_ir_teisingumo_principo.html (last access: 9 June 2010).

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained therein.