Climate change pledges must be properly funded, says Tearfund

By staff writers
December 12, 2010

After a final day of last-minute haggling, delegates have wrapped up UN climate talks by delivering "bite-sized progress", says the Christian aid agency Tearfund.

The NGO recognises that political leaders from across the world have moved forward on a variety of necessary measures - including the establishment of a climate fund to help developing countries tackle climate change.

"The wheels have been set in motion and key principles for a climate fund have been agreed. We now need to see money in the fund to ensure these wheels don’t fall off", said Tearfund’s Head of Policy, Laura Webster.

"Countries must get behind the innovative public sources of finance proposed by the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Group," said Ms Webster.

"These proposals demonstrate that it is possible to raise at least $100bn a year for climate action. Rather than inertia from world leaders, concrete measures are needed to take the recommendations forward," she added.

The positive language on adaptation in the final text is only worthwhile if it is linked to increased funding, with at least half going to adaptation, says Tearfund, noting that the agreement has recognised existing emission reduction pledges.

However, there is a huge gap between these and what the climate science demands, it says. Countries must now clarify how they intend to close this gap.

"In order to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, developed countries need to put their shoulders to the wheel and establish a process to increase these targets", said Ms Webster.

Tearfund says it recognises the EU’s progressive endorsement of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol - and it is now urging the UK government to use its role within the EU "to champion the most appropriate forms of long term climate finance and to lead from the front in the race to a low carbon world."

"Cancun has managed to resuscitate the climate talks," said Teafund's Laura Webster. "However, in order to get a fair and binding global deal on climate change, we will need to see a lot more urgency on both climate finance and emissions reductions from developed countries."

"It is not the process that is the problem," she said. "But the poorest and most vulnerable people will continue to suffer if the politics lags behind."

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