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Christian Aid admonishes EU and US for not doing enough on climate change

December 5th, 2011

From Green Right Now Reports

Climate talks must deal with the increasing disparity between the rich, most-polluting nations, and poorer developing nations that face the brunt of climate change consequences, the leader of Christian Aid said as the international climate talks in Durban, South Africa, moved into their second week.

Mohammed Adow, Christian Aid

The European Union must “stop making excuses” for not reducing emissions if it cares about the fate of those struggling for survival in impoverished nations, and the U.S., the world’s largest polluter, should simply leave the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, if it can’t participate in a meaningful way, said Mohamed Adow, the development agency’s expert on the climate talks.

‘The EU is not fooling anyone with its dishonest claim that there is no point keeping (the) Kyoto (climate agreement) alive unless other countries also commit to action,” said Adow.
‘That is disingenuous of the EU. Clearly, any emissions cuts are better than none and by committing itself to Kyoto, Europe will make a significant contribution to the reductions that we so desperately need.

The Kyoto agreement, signed in 1997, expires next year.  It sets binding targets for carbon emissions reductions by the leading polluting nations. Many countries have argued in Durban to extend it with a new working agreement that can guide progress on climate mitigation until nations can reach a legally binding agreement. Others want to let Kyoto expire and operate under a completely new agreement.

Adow argues in a statement released by Christian Aid on Monday that a Kyoto replacement/extension ‘will also help to build the precious trust that is
needed among other Governments.  That trust will, in turn, help create the new climate treaty covering a much wider range of countries.”

Drought in Africa

‘Trust is currently low because developed countries, which agreed to take the lead in combating climate change under the UN Convention on
Climate Change, have not made a good faith effort to do so.

‘So EU ministers should stop spinning and start acting today, here in Durban.  It is up to them to keep Kyoto alive by signing up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

‘Anything else would be allowing the best – a treaty covering all countries, which is currently impossible because of the lack of trust -
to be the enemy of the good. The good is the Kyoto Protocol we already have.’

Mr Adow added that rather than “berating large developing countries such as India and China,” the EU should focus its disapproval on the major
polluters which bear historical responsibility for climate change such as the US, Canada, Russia and Japan.

He also added his voice to that of others who’ve called for the United States to leave the Durban talks, unless it is prepared to start being “constructive”.

‘It appears the US has no mandate to be constructive so it should leave – it doesn’t care what happens,’ Adow said.

Christian Aid, a member of the ACT Alliance of 100 churches and church-affiliated organizations, works in 50 countries to relieve poverty.


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