Umbrella Group

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

The Umbrella group is referred to by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as "a loose coalition of non-European Union developed countries formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there is no formal membership list, the group usually includes Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the United States."[1]

The Umbrella Group at the Accra 2008 Talks

However, Bill Hare, Greenpeace International's Climate Policy Adviser and one of the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report which was released in 2007, expressed his dismay at the behavior of the Umbrella Group members at the Accra Climate Change Talks 2008. Hare singled out lobbying efforts by Canada, Russia, Japan and Australia in particular as being "deeply disheartening".[2]

Hare explained that:

  • "Canada and Russia last night insisted on deleting from some very important text on forestry under the Kyoto Protocol, reference to the fact that these activities should contribute to emissions reductions, as well they should. It is unbelievable that after 15 years of this business that these countries can still be removing fundamental provisions like that";
  • "We have to look with disbelief at Japan -- one of the richest countries on the planet -- which still pushes its narrow "sectoral approaches", which would be at the expense of an effective way of reducing global emissions";
  • "we wonder what is going on with Australia. Australia, under the Umbrella Group, klast week spent two days blocking the discussion of the formation of a very important contact group. Two wasted days. It managed to find ways of blocking or be unconstructive on many other things here";

The Umbrella Group, Hare concluded, "haven't brought forward anything new to the negotiations. They are sitting there fat and happy and lazy that the Bush administration is disengaged. They are not contributing to the solution to the problem at present. So we think that they have to go back and come forward with really constructive proposals to help solve the problem".[2]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Glossary of climate change acronyms", accessed September 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bill Hare, "Climate Action Network International Press Briefing", Accra Climate Change Talks 2008, August 27, 2008.

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