Progress on a global climate deal went into reverse during the Bangkok talks which closed today (9 October), jeopardising years of hard-won progress and threatening to tip the world into catastrophic global warming, Christian Aid has said.
The aid agency says that with less than two months to go before the critical Copenhagen conference opens in December, the US and other rich countries are seeking to destroy the Kyoto Protocol - the existing climate deal which governments took years to ratify and which commits them to cutting their greenhouse emissions.
Despite the extreme urgency, the US, EU and others are proposing a new climate agreement which would put new obligations on developing countries as well as developed ones – and take years to come into force.
"Instead of moving towards a Copenhagen deal which would make the existing climate agreement more effective, we are moving backwards and into grave danger," warned Nelson Muffuh, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advocacy Coordinator.
"This could be potentially catastrophic for the poor and the planet. With climate change out of control, poverty will worsen dramatically."
Christian Aid and its partner organisations at the Bangkok talks are calling on campaigners in the UK and other rich countries to redouble their efforts to persuade rich country leaders that a FAB (Fair, Ambitious and Binding) climate deal in Copenhagen is a matter of extreme urgency – not politics.
"We fear that the developed world is out to kill Kyoto," added Mr Muffuh. "But this is not the time for world leaders to act on short-sighted self-interest – they have a climate emergency on their hands and time is running out for them to create a solution."