Climate debt news
Durban climate talks a ‘spectacular failure’
The World Development Movement has slammed the outcome of the UN climate talks in Durban as a ‘spectacular failure’ that will condemn the world’s poorest people to hunger, poverty and ultimately, death.
Murray Worthy, World Development Movement policy officer, said: “Developed countries have behaved shamefully, blocking meaningful progress on tackling climate change. They have refused to acknowledge their historical responsibility for the crisis, either by agreeing to reduce their emissions or by providing finance to help developing countries deal with climate change.
“These talks have been held hostage by the EU. It seems EU countries came to Durban to impose a deal, not negotiate one. The spectacular failure to achieve an outcome on the most urgent issues puts the world on course for devastating climate change, condemning those least responsible to greater hunger, poverty and ultimately, death.
“The Kyoto Protocol is now only a shadow of what it was and the second commitment period will be its last. There is nothing more than hope in a new deal to replace it, a deal that could well be based on the weak ineffective voluntary approach first put forward at Copenhagen, and that would come into force too late to have any chance of avoiding the most devastating impacts of climate change.”
Murray Worthy continued: “The world is now on course for devastating temperature rises as a result of the failure of developed countries to act. Instead of coming to Durban to take action, developed countries have stonewalled on the real issues and kicked decisions down the road. Ignoring their own historical responsibility, the EU and the US have tried to blame developing countries, claiming they are refusing to play ball. But the per person emissions of countries like India are a fraction of countries like the UK, and poor countries have already pledged cuts 30-50 per cent higher than those of rich countries. Developed countries have failed to commit to action to curb their emissions, leaving the world to run headfirst towards catastrophic climate change.”
Murray Worthy commented: “The UK and the EU have failed to put their money where their mouths are, and have not committed the money needed to help developing countries cope with climate change. Only agreeing to produce yet another report on financing with no guarantees that anything will come of it, after years of reports, promises and negotiations, is an insult to the people already being hit hardest by climate change. Rich industrialised countries have grown rich off the back of high carbon emissions, but it is the world’s poorest people, those least responsible, who will pay the highest price.”
EU ‘roadmap’ and ‘Durban platform’
Murray Worthy said: “The EU’s so called ‘roadmap’ has completely undermined any progress on the most urgent issues. After nearly twenty years of climate negotiations, going back to the drawing board does not represent progress. This roadmap is set to undermine the principles of the UN climate talks - that developed countries bear responsibility for causing climate change and must act first. Treating rich industrialised countries and poor developing countries as if they were the same is not a just solution to climate change.
“Rich industrialised countries have achieved The Great Escape. Doing virtually nothing during the next decade, when action is most urgently needed, killing off Kyoto and setting the stage for a weak ineffective deal that will come into force too late to have any chance of controlling climate change. This is a road to nowhere and a death sentence for the most world’s most vulnerable countries.”
Murray Worthy said, “The EU has agreed to Kyoto, but in nothing more than name. This is not the second commitment period many countries were calling for. Staggeringly, rich countries have put off the most important decisions on the biggest loopholes and even their own emission reductions until next year. With huge holes in Kyoto still possible, it is feasible that developed countries in the Kyoto Protocol could actually increase their emissions between now and 2020, and still meet their pledged emission reduction targets.
“There is now no question that after this last gasp, Kyoto is dead. The only rules based system for reducing emissions will end in a few years time, with nothing more than hope in a new deal to follow it.”
Green Climate Fund
Murray Worthy said: “The Green Climate Fund was supposed to be designed to transfer money from developed countries to help poor countries cope with climate change. But instead of being compensated for the damage rich countries have caused them, developing countries have been presented with a Greedy Corporate Fund. Thanks to the UK and the US, the Green Climate Fund can now directly subsidise multinational corporations. Essentially, a prize has been given to the very institutions responsible for causing the climate crisis, whilst the world’s poorest people will be left to suffer its worst effects. It is shameful that public money will be used to subsidise already profitable projects run by multinationals.”
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