Words must match deeds on emission reductions

Rich countries’ words must match deeds on emission reductions
Catholic development agencies call for integrity on final day of Copenhagen climate talks

CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, the largest development alliance in the world, say that the leak late yesterday of a UN report that proved that there is a significant gap between developed country rhetoric and their emission reduction commitments to date. They fall far short of what is required to prevent climate catastrophe in the future setting an unparalleled challenge to rich countries on the last day of the climate talks.

The internal UN report, dated Tuesday 15th December, was never meant to be circulated. However, it merely confirms what many voices, civil society and developing countries most prominently, have been stating for months; rich countries fail to walk the talk on emission reductions, as their concrete commitments do not match with their expressed political will to tackle climate change.

The report asserts that current developed country pledges would result in a further warming of the earth’s average temperature of 3 degrees C, whilst developed countries continue to claim to be committed to limiting this rise to 2 degrees.

“1 degree may not sound like very much to someone on the street, but the difference between 2 degrees and 3 degrees for developing countries is counted in hundreds and thousands of lost lives. In fact the most vulnerable countries are calling for 1.5 degrees to be the limit,” said Anika Schroeder of German CIDSE member MISEREOR. “Developed countries claim to be committed to avoiding dangerous climate change in the future; this report reaffirms that they can no longer deny the science, and must now match these claims with adequate binding commitments.”

The development agencies say an overall target for developed countries of more than 40% by 2020 below 1990 levels, and the removal of possible disingenuous accounting tricks which could undermine their integrity, is needed.

“If developed countries are to live up to their moral responsibilities, as well as their own commitments, leaders must demonstrate the capacity today to truly lead, by increasing their commitments significantly,” CIDSE Secretary General Bernd Nilles said. “New and additional secure financing for adaptation and sustainable development in developing countries is crucial to achieving agreement here in Copenhagen, but no amount of financing can replace the need for deep emissions cuts by those who have contributed most to the current climate crisis.”

Contact the CIDSE-Caritas delegation in Copenhagen:
Roeland Scholtalbers, scholtalbers@cidse.org, +4530287853

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Filed under Advocacy, Climate Change, Denmark, Europe, Food

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