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Press Releases & Updates

07 DEC 2012

Leading NGOs make emergency appeal as Doha talks are on the brink of disaster

Joint press release

Today, as the UN climate talks entered their final hours, six of the largest development and environmental organisations in the world issued an emergency call to all governments about the conclusions of the Doha climate talks.

Oxfam, ActionAid, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF issued a statement saying the Doha talks were on the brink of disaster and that rich governments had 24 hours to urgently make a deal that reflects the scale of planetary emergency facing humanity. This deal must include scaled up public climate finance from 2013, deep emission cuts and a mechanism to address loss and damage. 

The NGOs were joined by Yeb Sano, Commissioner for Climate Change of the Philippines; Emmanuel Dlamnini, Chair of the African Group of Negotiatiors; and Pa Ousman, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group.  

The statement was released following an open letter to negotiators and ministers that was issued by social movements from across the developing world, and which the organisations supported and distributed at the press conference. 

"The Doha talks are in crisis over climate finance. Developing countries still do not know how they will be supported to adapt to climate change. Rich countries now have 24 hours to make a collective commitment to increase public climate finance from next year to at least US$60 billion by 2015," said Celine Charveriat, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Oxfam International.

"Failure is locking in inaction for the next decade. The millions of people already facing floods and famines cannot accept failure. The people of Africa can't accept failure and neither can the people of Europe. We call on all governments to reject an 'agreement' for agreement’s sake, if it does nothing to stop the planetary emergency,” said Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International.

"It is saddening to see rich country negotiators actively blocking progress in order to maintain the profits of their coal, oil and forestry industries. Politicians have a simple task in Doha, and today civil society spelled out exactly what is required of them. If they fail, it would be a historic act of irresponsibility, for which we would ensure they face accountability," said Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International.

"Developed countries are pretending that loss and damage isn't a real problem, and that we don't need an international mechanism to address it. Tell that to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Pablo, and to the people who had no role in creating the climate crisis but are suffering the most from its effects.  It's those people who have the most to lose from a bad outcome here in Doha," said Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reducation and Climate Adaptation, ActionAid International.

"The reality is that this year, people in rich and poor countries experienced the full force of climate change. Extreme heat waves, drought and storms hit people’s livelihoods, lives and the environment on which they depend. The gap between this reality and the political commitment to address climate change is just too large. This is being reflected in the shamefully weak deal being negotiated in Doha. Countries are going to walk out of here claiming this was a success. As things stand, it clearly won’t be," said Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF.

“Until leaders respond to the clear alarm bells that are ringing with greater volume and urgency than ever, we will not have a planet safe for us or for future generations. We have spent years working to ensure we have effective climate laws shaped by what science requires, not just what politicians are willing to offer. Rich countries need to do the heavy lifting making the needed cuts in carbon emissions and provide finance to those affected by climate change,” said Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Change Adviser, Christian Aid.

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About Oxfam

Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 94 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.

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