Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Durban Platform Leaves World Sleepwalking Toward Warming

Negotiators at the UN climate talks have narrowly avoided a collapse, agreeing to the bare minimum deal possible. The plan gets the Green Climate Fund up and running without any sources of funding, preserves a narrow pathway to avoid 4 degrees of warming and gets a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol without key members.

“Negotiators have sent a clear message to the world’s hungry: ‘Let them eat carbon,’” said Celine Charveriat, Director of Campaigns and Advocacy for Oxfam. “Governments must bank the pennies won here in Durban and immediately turn their attention to raising the ambition of their emissions cuts targets and filling the Green Climate Fund. Unless countries ratchet up their emissions cuts urgently, we could still be in store for a ten-year timeout on the action we need to stay under 2 degrees.”

An important page was turned on discussions of the legal form of a future agreement with the EU, US, Brazil, South Africa, India and China merging towards a common understanding. But after weeks of obstruction from the US, negotiators were unable to identify any concrete and reliable sources of money to fill the Green Climate Fund or ensure that new deeper targets for emissions cuts will be forthcoming.

Brazil, South Africa, India and China could have been bolder by joining a coalition of ambition with the EU and vulnerable countries to push for greater and faster emissions reductions. Negotiators may still need to leave the US behind in future talks to pursue the kind of deal that is sorely needed.

“The Durban Platform preserves the Kyoto Protocol and sets new target dates for an agreement. But compared to the scale of the climate challenge, the outcome is a serious disappointment,” said Oxfam New Zealand Executive Director Barry Coates. “The blame for this delay lies squarely on the shoulders of the US and other countries like Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand who dragged their feet from start to finish.”

The EU took an important step by signing onto a second period of the Kyoto Protocol, the bedrock of international efforts to fight climate change, and a key demand of African countries. But the new round of Kyoto falls short of what was expected and opens loopholes that weaken it.

The failure to seal an ambitious deal will have painful consequences for poor people around the world. A four degree temperature rise could be one of utter devastation for poor farmers who will face increasing hunger and poverty.

If action is not taken, farmers in parts of Africa could face a drop in crop yields of more than fifty percent within this generation or that of their children. Food prices could more than double within the next two decades, up to half of which caused by climate change. This makes delivering real concrete assistance to ensure the most vulnerable people can protect themselves from a changing climate even more vital.

“Our Pacific neighbours and others on the frontlines of climate change need support to protect themselves and adapt. But the New Zealand government has failed to honour its pledge to provide ‘new and additional’ funding and has instead diverted aid money from social priorities. The New Zealand government needs to join with other donors to identify significant and predictable sources of money for the Fund without delay, such as a tiny tax on financial transactions and a fee on emissions from international shipping,” said Coates.

Charveriat concluded: “People who care about the fate of the world’s poor and their own economic future should be angry that governments have failed to take adequate action here in Durban. But anger alone won’t solve climate change. There is still an opportunity to push forward in Rio to raise the level of ambition and cut the kind of deal we need. Those who are unable to negotiate for this kind of outcome should simply stay home.”

*****

Notes:

Find pictures from Oxfam’s closing photo opportunity here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/sets/72157628342865155/.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cancel Culture And The ‘hate Speech’ Laws

If there really is anyone out there who feels genuinely panicked about what ‘cancel culture' is doing to our precious freedoms, then maybe they should just take a deep breath, look hard at who has allegedly been ‘ cancelled’ and see if they can detect any trace of a lasting “cancellation“ effect. Chances are, the alleged cancellees will be doing just fine. By and large, they will be people who do not lack for a public platform – never have, never will – and the downstream effects of being “ cancelled” will almost invariably be trending towards zero... More>>

 

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels