Heads of state must get climate talks back on track say agencies

By staff writers
December 16, 2009

Aid agencies have urged the heads of state arriving at the climate conference today to get the talks back on track and agree an ambitious and binding deal that is fair for the world’s poorest.

CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, the world's largest development alliance, said that the replacement of Danish Summit Chief, Connie Hedegaard with the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, marks the upping of the political stakes as heads of state prepare to thrash out core issues.

They are also highlighting the lack of progress made so far. Talks went on late into the night on Tuesday with little result, leaving much work to be done by heads of state in the final two days of the talks.

“We must be clear what is causing the current deadlock; developed country commitments on emission reductions and support to developing countries fall far short of what science and justice requires. Developed countries hold the historical responsibility for climate change, which is impacting profoundly already on developing countries. They simply cannot shirk their responsibilities,” said CIDSE Secretary General, Bernd Nilles.

“Heads of state must feel the weight of the public and moral outpouring over the last months and during this last week in Copenhagen and around the world. The people are ready, we need our leaders to move,” he added.

Stephen Mutiso from Kenya, working for CIDSE member Trocaire/Caritas Ireland, commented on the stalled negotiations: “Attempts to portray this as a North South issue, or that developing countries are blocking, are misconstrued and deeply misguided. This is a question of the safeguarding of the future of the human family, we are all one, and we have a moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable amongst us,” he said.

Paul Cook from Tearfund said: "Low targets and short-term rehashed cash are not an option. The impacts of climate change are already being experienced in the developing world and with devastating consequences. Therefore it’s vital that the international process to effectively respond reflects the enormity of the task at hand.

"With only three days of the summit left, poor countries need to see ambition and political will. They don’t need rhetoric. Heads of Government must move the talks on from rolling discussions to tough decisions.

"We need to see tough targets on emissions cuts from developed countries and adequate genuine new money for poor countries to adapt to climate change and develop low carbon economies."

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.