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Govts' "Shocking Lack Of Urgency" At Climate Talks

For Immediate Release: 14 November 2006

Governments' "Shocking Lack Of Urgency" At Climate Talks

World governments must overcome a ‘shocking lack of urgency’ shown during the first week of negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference, if significant progress is to be made on cutting global emissions in the future and helping poor countries to adapt to global warming, says New Zealand relief and development agency, TEAR Fund.

With four days of negotiations left in Nairobi, where more than 100 nations have gathered, there is as yet no agreement on when they will start serious negotiations about how the world will make much deeper CO2 emissions cuts when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol agreement runs out in 2012, and no agreement on how crucial global funds will be managed in order to help poor countries adapt to the heat waves, droughts and storms they currently face as a result of climate change.

“There is a shocking lack of urgency about these talks,” says Stephen Tollestrup, Executive Director of TEAR Fund. “There is widespread agreement around the world that climate change is one of the most serious threats facing humanity, but you would not know that reading reports of the debates in Nairobi.”

TEAR Fund is calling for strong leadership from New Zealand and other leading countries, similar to the political will that last year saw the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, to deliver some breakthrough decisions to benefit poor people in developing countries.

“We need a major investment of political will this week. We are calling on New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister David Parker and fellow ministers from around the world to ensure that this climate change summit does not go down as one that failed millions of poor people around the world whose lives and livelihoods are threatened."

Critical decisions to be made this week include:

- A timetable for negotiations on a post-2012 framework for cutting global emissions, which TEAR Fund and other agencies believe should be completed by 2008.

- An increase in finances to help poor countries adapt to climate change, including crucial decisions about which international organisation will manage the crucial Adaptation Fund and how that is carried out.


ENDS

TEAR Fund is one of New Zealand’s leading relief and development agencies, working in partnership with indigenous partner agencies throughout the developing world to tackle the causes and effects of poverty.

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