(Durban, 28/11/2011) As the international community gathers in Durban, South Africa (28/11/11 – 09/12/11) to revive the stalling climate talks, the international alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE calls on negotiating governments to put the world back on track towards climate justice.
CIDSE says that at the first UN climate summit in Africa, governments should take their responsibility towards humanity, and especially towards the poorest and most impacted communities, seriously and make sure that solidarity prevails over national interests and economic considerations.
CIDSE President Chris Bain said: “The symbolic significance of this climate summit in Africa, a land of such beauty, potential abundance and climate fragility cannot be underestimated. It is time for developed countries to step up, to show that by incremental agreements they can bring the change the world needs to prevent catastrophe.”
CIDSE is calling for developed countries to show leadership by supporting the Kyoto Protocol to continue to 2015, as the only legally binding framework that can deliver the emissions cuts that we need to protect our planet, and agreeing to cut their own emissions by at least 40% by 2020. All the big emitter countries should work towards a single global deal by 2015, with developed countries shouldering the major burden as the historical polluters. Developed countries must also get on with raising the finance promised to support developing countries tackling climate change, which includes setting up the new Green Climate Fund.
“The Green Climate Fund should enshrine respect for environmental protection and human rights and prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable countries, with communities on the ground fully involved in decision making.
“We understand that right now and right here in Europe people are facing economic hardships that are making life difficult, but governments must start investing in solutions to the long-term problem of climate change. Focusing solely on battling the current economic headwinds will leave us dangerously exposed to the even bigger storm ahead,” Bain said.
In its recommendations for the Durban summit, CIDSE’s focuses on three main issues:
First, the Kyoto protocol, the only binding international agreement on emission reductions, expires next year and must be renewed. An extension of the Protocol is needed to ensure the future of the international climate regime and is vital for a fair and binding outcome of the negotiations.
Second, all parties must urgently agree on more ambitious science-based emission cuts in order to halt advancing climate change. Currently targets are being set according to countries’ individual and voluntary pledges, rather than according to what science indicates is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In Durban, countries need to pledge emission cuts which are consistent with the commitment made last year in Cancun to stay below a 2°C rise in global temperatures.
Third, developed countries must deliver on their Cancun promise to dedicate $100 billion by 2020 in the form of new and additional money for climate action in developing countries, to follow up agreed Fast Start Finance of $30 billion for 2010-12. This scaled-up climate finance must be used through the UN Green Climate Fund, which needs to be operational by 2013 at the latest to ensure there will be no finance gap after 2012. Innovative sources, like a tax on financial transactions which is gaining growing consensus among world leaders, could contribute to reaching this goal.
For more information and interviews with CIDSE representatives in Durban, please contact CIDSE Media & Communication Officer Roeland Scholtalbers at scholtalbers(at)cidse.org or +32(0)477068384.
Notes to the editors:
- CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Its members share a common strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty and establish global justice. www.cidse.org
- CIDSE’s COP17 delegation includes representatives of the Brussels based international CIDSE Secretariat, CAFOD (England and Wales), FOCSIV (Italy), Manos Unidas (Spain), Misereor (Germany), SCIAF (Scotland), Trócaire (Ireland) and several partners from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
- The FTT for people and the planet – financing climate justice, CIDSE recommendations, June 2011 EN - FR - IT - PT - ES
- Follow CIDSE at COP17 on Twitter via @CIDSE