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WWF: people are ready; “world leaders” are not

WWF: people are ready; “world leaders” are not

 Doha, Qatar – In a year in which the impacts of climate change pounded people in rich and poor countries alike, negotiators in Doha have failed to deliver even the minimum expectations for the UN climate negotiations.

But a broad spectrum of civil society organizations has vowed to continue the fight for a global climate agreement in 2015, starting with their return home from Doha.

“Some developed countries have made a mockery of the negotiations by backing away from their past commitments and refusing to take on new ones. And to make matters worse, it was only a handful of countries – such as Poland, Russia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and Japan – who held the negotiations to ransom,” says Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

“What science tells us, and what millions of people experienced this year, is that fighting climate change is now extremely urgent. Every year counts, and every year governments do not act increases the risk to us all.

“The acid test for these negotiations was real emissions cuts; real and concrete financial commitments for climate change; and the basis for a new global deal by 2015 that is both ambitious and equitable. But instead we got a shamefully weak deal, one that is so far away from the science that it should raise ethical issues for those responsible.”

Commenting on New Zealand’s performance in the talks, Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Campaigner for WWF-New Zealand said, “By joining with a small group of countries arguing for special deals and carbon accounting fixes rather than real emissions reductions, the New Zealand government has caused problems in these talks rather than helping find solutions. This is a massive let down both for the planet and the people of New Zealand.

He continued, “The government’s refusal to be part of phase two of the Kyoto Protocol may have backfired as it looks like countries that don’t make a legally binding commitment will be excluded from international carbon markets from 2013.”

Tasneem Essop, head of the WWF delegation to COP 18, said “But hope is far from gone. Communities and people affected by climate change are standing up for safety, food and water security, and clean energy, confronting dirty projects all over the world, such as coal, and demanding real change. We will return home and work together to ensure that governments act with the speed and scale that the climate crisis requires. That includes a fair, ambitious and binding agreement in 2015.”

ENDS

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