on 6th December 2012

UN climate talks fail to tackle planetary emergency

Dire outcome for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, says CARE International

The UN climate conference has concluded without delivering sufficient action to secure a safe future for the planet and its poorest people.

Kit Vaughan, Director of Climate Change at CARE International said:

“The world’s poorest people, who have least historical responsibility for causing climate change, have been given a slap in the face after nations failed to make any substantial progress in Doha.”

“Lives in many developing countries are already being lost as a result of extreme weather events, whilst climate change is increasingly exacerbating poverty and curtailing the opportunities of current and future generations to lead a dignified and fulfilled life. Without urgent action, climate change is now becoming the biggest social injustice of our time.”

The lack of sufficient political ambition in Doha has firmly set us on a pathway to 4-6 degree of warming by the end of the century, which is incompatible with a safe world. The failure to drastically reduce emissions and substantially upscale financial resources to help developing countries adapt has also pushed us into a new and dramatic ‘third era’ of climate change where significant losses and unavoidable damage will only increase.

There were, however, a few more positive outcomes, says Vaughan: “The small step forward to establish an ‘international mechanism’ to address climate change loss and damage recognizes that there will now be significant climate impacts that cannot be adapted to and that developed countries must take responsibility for their historical inaction.”

The decision to prioritize gender in the negotiations was also welcome but, says Vaughan: “We need more than just words that ensure a gender balance in the UN climate negotiations, we need significant actions that address gender equity to ensure that the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable people are central to all activities to tackle climate change.”

Kit Vaughan added: “Developed countries came to Doha with nothing to offer and by doing so have put another nail in the coffin of any potential global climate deal. However, people must recognize that the UN is not to blame. It is the failure of developed countries to come prepared with tangible options on ambition, finance and mitigation that has led to this outcome.”

“The yawning gap between the necessary required action and the dire political ambition is now wider than ever. It’s clear we can’t keep on the same path without a potentially catastrophic future for our planet and devastating impacts for the world’s poorest people.”

Developed countries must now step up their game to kick-start the urgent transition to a low carbon and climate resilient world. Current delay is resulting in damage which is having devastating consequences and stripping the development rights of current and future generations

“There is even more work to do before states meet at COP19 in Warsaw next year. Ministers and their governments must ramp up their ambition to tackle the climate crisis and deliver the necessary conditions to put concrete new and ambitious proposals on the table for a safer planet for all.”

 

For further information or to arrange an interview with CARE experts in Doha, please contact:

Jo Barrett, Climate change press and communications officer CARE International, Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network In Doha: +974 55 05 6325

jbarrett@careclimatechange.org  // www.careclimatechange.org

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