There’s a Copenhagen Climate Accord now if you haven’t heard. Here’s what Brother Barack had to say when it was all over:

“We have come a long way, but we have much further to go,”

If the countries had waited to reach a full, binding agreement, “then we wouldn’t make any progress,” Obama said. In that case, he said, “there might be such frustration and cynicism that rather than taking one step forward, we ended up taking two steps back.”

Climate NGOs, developing nations and those interested in a healthy planet have responded too with the call:

We’re Not Done Yet

Many of the world’s major environmental and humanitarian organizations including:

have changed their homepage to reflect both the disappointment in a deal that will not actually avert climate change and the determination many of us share to keep fighting.

The clip below is from the NAACP Climate Justice Initiative blog, providing a valuable African-American perspective on what just went down in Copenhagen. Director Jacqui Patterson says on the conference’s last day (yesterday):

This morning we delivered the aforementioned letter to the US Embassy for President Obama. First we held apress conference where several riveting speakers gave compelling testimony about why President Obama’s strong action on climate change is imperative.  With the event being MC’ed by Kalila Barnett of Alternatives for Community and Environment, we started with testimony from Michele Roberts of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, followed by Wahleah Johns and Kandi Mosset from the Indigenous Environmental Network and ending with Diana Lopez from Southwest Workers Union.  Each speaker shared impassioned heartfelt stories of the gravity of what we’re facing, from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, to the incessant violations on indigenous lands, and the urgent importance of swift and sure policy setting, that is legal and binding. Kalila’s introduction and the first speech, by Michele, can be found below:

Those of you on the east coast are experiencing even now some of the extreme weather that climate change promises. Climate change threatens animals, people and entire nations with rising seas, inadequate sealife (which is a major source of protein for at least 25% of the world’s population), famine, untillable land and…well, I could go on.

That’s the bad news.

The good news, I believe, is that this does represent a hopeful step forward rather than a step back, thanks in part to Obama.

It’s clear that Barack Obama’s personal diplomacy in Copenhagen and leading up to the summit made a major difference. We can look to him, I think, with a lot of pride. From HuffPo:

Obama’s day of frenetic diplomacy produced a three-page document promising $30 billion in emergency aid in the next three years and a goal of channeling $100 billion a year by 2020 to developing countries with no guarantees.

The five-nation agreement includes a method for verifying reductions of heat-trapping gases – a key demand by Washington, because China has resisted international efforts to monitor its actions.

The agreement, which also includes India, South Africa and Brazil, requires industrial countries to list their individual targets and developing countries to list the actions they will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts. Obama called that an “unprecedented breakthrough.”

For once, the United States was a hero rather than the spoiler in the room. This is critical since if we lead in being the problem — we are one of the 2 worst polluters — then we must lead in being part of the solution. My hope is that this is only the beginning for Barack Obama’s leadership on climate change. This is a step forward. Let’s keep stepping forward. Obama: you have 4 beautiful brown eyes to look into when you return home — Sasha and Malia. They, like all the world’s children, deserve a future free of pollution and destruction. We’re counting on you and your team — please keep working alongside us. As the clip above states, Dr. Martin Luther King said — The time is always right to do what is right.

If you’ll keep fighting on the inside — we’ll keep fighting from out here. It’s not too late to avert permanent climate change. The science is there — we can do this. If we try. We’re Not Done Yet. And I ain’t noways tired.

Disclosure: My company Fission Strategy (which provides social media-savvy online/mobile outreach consulting for nonprofits and foundations) was proud to help create and support the TckTckTck Fresh Air Center in Copenhagen and at the Bella Center where the negotiations took place. I’ll quote amazing team member Beka Economopolous who was on the scene and deserves much of the credit:

[The Fresh Air Center] worked beyond our wildest dreams – some of the most prominent bloggers in the world, and opinion leaders like Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, working alongside online campaigners from NGOs.

There were upwards of 100 people working there at any given time, and we had a couple of sound studios in the basement for film and radio crews.  Afternoon NGO briefings and evening programming.  From the feedback we got from every person polled, this was the place to be.  The Bella Center negotiations have been beyond underwhelming.  At the least, we’ve helped to create a space where advocates and media makers were able to bond, share info, analysis, content and yes, lots of beer.

I’m looking forward to heading home… Lots of long nights.  But well worth it.

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