The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement at Copenhagen today that the US will agree to $100bn per year for the poorest nations will help break the deadlock at the climate talks.
Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD) Head of Climate Finance,Liz Gallagher representing Caritas and its sister network CIDSE in Copenhagen.
She said: “Finally the big freeze in Copenhagen is beginning to thaw. We had high expectations of what America could bring to the process, but fears that the reality would fall way short. This money on the table shows strong political will and opens the door to a good deal.
“But it is still not enough to ensure the poorest are guaranteed protection from the worst impacts of climate change. We need clarity on what is public finance and whether this finance will be in addition to existing aid targets. Hillary Clinton also needs to explain how, and through which institutions, the money will be delivered. But with fewer than 48 hours until the end of these talks, this injection of much-needed commitment brings the negotiations back on track.”
The $100bn figure is conditional to the UN reaching an ambitious deal in which major economies agree to meaningful, transparent mitigation actions. This finance announcement was in line with Gordon Brown’s speech this morning at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen. But the UK prime minister went further on the details in his proposal including a pledge of additionality which is vital to the future of the world’s poorest nations.
Following these positive developments at the summit, tonight’s meeting of EU heads of state will face high expectations. The European bloc must raise its ambition and commit to a unilateral offer of emissions targets above 30% and ensure this figure is watertight.
Gallagher added: “It’s time for the developed nations to step up to the plate. America and the UK have revealed their hand, now others must follow their lead.”
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Rev. Tofiga Falani and Fr Erny Gillen at the Caritas-WCC event
Tensions are mounting at UN talks on climate change in Copenhagen as world leaders head to the Danish capital.
Talks went late into the night with little sign of compromise. Much work now faces the Heads of State as they arrive for the final days of the conference which wraps up on Friday.
Civil society organizations were livid after organizers reduced the size of ngo delegations and made gaining entry into the Bella Centre a trial of eight hour queues in freezing conditions to only be told registration was closed.
It went down as well as a snow ball in the face, but a lot more icy. If you’d come from South Africa on the understanding you’d be allowed entry, you’d understandably be irked.
Caritas Europa President Fr Erny Gillen was one of the many left out in the cold on Monday, even though he was an official speaker at a Caritas-World Council of Churches event to present the view from the churches. Luckily, police relented just in time and let Fr Gillen through with minutes to spare to give his presentation.
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Church bells in Copenhagen and across Denmark rang Sunday as part of a Caritas supported-campaign for climate justice.
The bells tolled 350 times to mark the number that refers to what scientists say is a safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Caritas Scotland's Lexi Barnett at the handover
Archbishop Desmond Tutu led a rally in front of Copenhagen’s city hall to call for climate justice at the UN negotiations taking place here for two weeks.
Thousands came to hear him speak and to witness a handover of over half a million signatures to the UN climate chief Yvo de Boer.
Caritas and its sister Catholic network CIDSE contributed over 150,000 signatures to the final total through their joint Grow Climate Justice Campaign. Continue reading
Developments continue to come thick and fast as the first week of COP fifteen edges to a close. EU Heads of State were meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday with the Copenhagen conference high on the agenda. On the table was the proposal for the EU to move unilaterally from their 20% reduction commitment to 30% emission reductions without waiting any longer, and, a proposal for a short-term financing offer for climate action in developing countries, as something the EU considered could bring negotiations in Copenhagen forward.
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley Anne Knight was one of the marchers in Copenhagen
At least 100,000 people took to the streets of Copenhagen to march for climate justice on Saturday.
They marched from Parliament Square to the Bellla Centre, where government negotiators are discussing a new deal to tackle climate change.
Caritas and CIDSE staff, supporters and volunteers from the UK, Ireland, Denmark, German, Zambia, El Salvador, and many other countries joined the protest with placards and a huge balloon.