Doha Climate Talks Bury International Climate Action in the Desert



Posted on 13 December 2012  | 
Big 6 NGO press conference, COP18, Doha, Qatar
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DOHA, QATAR – Today - On Thursday, six of the largest and most respected environmental and development organizations in the world issued an emergency call to governments, that any deal in Doha must meet the acid test – does it reduce emissions, provide public climate finance and ensure a future agreement is ambitious and equitable. They echoed calls by social movements in developing countries, and are now joined by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Today, as the talks close, the organisations condemned politicians in particular from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and Poland for blocking any progress, and the EU and Australia for failing to live up to their responsibilities on emissions cuts and finance.

Governments are out of touch with the reality of climate change, which is affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world through storms, floods, droughts, erratic weather, sea level rise and melting glaciers. Food and water supplies are under threat, and many homes and communities have been hit hard by such climate impacts.

In Doha today all governments failed the key acid test:

Q: Do we have any hope that the Doha deal will increase developed country ambition to deliver at least 40% emissions reductions below 1990 levels by 2020?

A: NO

Q: Will Doha deliver the public climate finance needed for those affected by climate change and to help the transformation required in developing countries ?

A: NO

Q: Will Doha ensure that the future 2015 global climate agreement is ambitious and equitable ?
A: NO

The organisations are sending a clear message that the climate crisis will only be tackled when a powerful people’s movement is able to force our governments to put the interest of their people and planet ahead of short term economic interests. We must work to help transform our food and energy systems at a national and global level and rebuild a broken economic system to create a sustainable and low carbon economy with decent jobs and livelihoods for all. Any chance of success in 2015 now rests with mobilising millions of people across the world in calling for climate justice.

"The failure of rich countries like the US to keep emissions going down and life-saving scaled up, new and additional, adaptation finance going up risks condemning the world to more hunger. For poor communities facing more extreme and erratic weather that hits crop harvests hard, tackling climate change is a matter of putting food on the table. The outcome in Doha will only make that harder in the years ahead.” Celine Charveriat, of Oxfam International, said.

“A weak and dangerously ineffectual agreement is nothing but a polluters charter - it legitimises a do nothing approach whilst creating a mirage that governments are acting in the interests of the planet and its people. Doha was a disaster zone where poor developing countries were forced to capitulate to the interests of wealthy countries, effectively condemning their own citizens to the climate crisis. The blame for the disaster in Doha can be laid squarely at the foot of countries like the USA who have blocked and bullied those who are serious about tackling climate change. Our only hope lies in people being inspired to take action.” Asad Rehman, Head of Climate and Energy, Friends of the Earth (EWNI), said.

"In Doha, rich countries committed hardly any money towards the climate change tab, and refused to offer any clarity on how they plan to meet their commitment to raise $100 billion annually by 2020. Climate finance is not aid or charity – it is industrialised countries paying for the damage they’ve caused by bringing on the climate crisis. They can't continue to leave poor countries unjustly holding the bill, as they have done in Doha." Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator- Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation at ActionAid, said.

“There will be no jobs in a dead planet, nor a Just Transition with this outcome. The more we wait for having ambitious emission reduction objectives, the more the transition will be unfair.  We need time to build a Just Transition, to put in place the industrial and social policies to help working people fully participate in a sustainable economy. Delays will make our task difficult, almost impossible. In order to be Just, the transition must start now. ” Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), said.

"What science tells us and what millions of people experienced this year is that fighting climate change is now extremely urgent. Every year counts, and every year in which governments do not act increases the risk to us all. But instead this year we got a shamefully weak deal, one that is so far from the science that it should raise ethical issues for those responsible.” Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative of WWF, said.

“Just three days after Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) hit the Philippines and showed the human cost of extreme weather in vulnerable countries, the decision by politicians not to speed up efforts to cut carbon pollution is unforgiveable. The international process limps on, while the crisis accelerates. Today we ask the negotiators in Doha: Which planet are you on? Clearly not the planet where people are dying from storms, floods and droughts. Nor the planet where renewable energy is growing rapidly and increasing constraints are being placed on the use of dirty fuels such as coal. The politicians and negotiators have lost touch with climate reality; sadly their failure will be paid for in lives and livelihoods." Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said.

“Rather than giving the world's most vulnerable people a much needed early Christmas present, they were left with just a lump of coal at the bottom of their stocking.'The delay of urgent action in Doha will mean that carbon cuts in the next eight years are far too little and way too late to stop the relentless path of climate change.'The world has suffered another year of extreme weather and scientists tell us this is only going to get worse. What we see now is at just 0.8 degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels. Just imagine what it will be like if the world remains on course for more than two degrees of warming.”
Christian Aid's senior climate justice adviser, Mohamed Adow, said.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Oxfam International
Sunita Bose on +974 5504 6084, sunita.bose@oxfaminternational.org
Friends of the Earth
Alex Rafalowicz, +974  3376 3387,  alex.rafalowicz@gmail.com
Big 6 NGO press conference, COP18, Doha, Qatar
© WWF Enlarge

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