EU urged not to go cold on climate commitments

By agency reporter
December 9, 2008

As international climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland reached the end of their first week, development agency Tearfund has urged rich countries not to detour from their Bali commitments.

Delegates at the climate talks have less than one week left to show leadership, and make progress on a plan of action with tough emissions targets and binding finance and clean technology for developing countries to adapt and develop.

Speaking at the Climate talks in Poznan, Poland, Tearfund’s Director of Advocacy Paul Cook said: “Tearfund are concerned that developing countries do not have time for rich countries to prevaricate on decisions that could literally save the lives of millions of the poorest people around the world.”

And as negotiations reach mid-way point there are major concerns that laws on climate and energy being finalised this week at a European level may fail to deliver on what was promised in Bali and could seriously damage the talks.

In March 2007 European Member states showed strong leadership and committed to a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020 if other developed countries commit to comparable reductions under a new global agreement. There are major concerns that the EU are about to go cold on their commitment.

“Developing countries need more funds now” Cook continues. “There is a danger that the EU will fail to deliver both tough emissions targets and finance for the developing world - faltering on the two litmus tests for the Bali roadmap. These laws set Europe’s climate policy for the next ten years – we cannot afford a bad deal.

“Other developed countries, including Italy, Germany and Poland, are also trying to wriggle out of a commitment to cut their emissions by 25-40% on 1990 levels made at Bali.

“If Europe wavers over its commitment then developing countries could lose confidence in the Poznan talks. A global deal on climate must be agreed by the end of 2009, and it is essential that momentum is maintained to achieve this.”

A delegation of Tearfund partners from Malawi, Niger, Zambia, Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Honduras, working at the grass roots with communities struggling to cope with the impacts of global warming is attending COP 14. They are all experts on the subject of climate change and how it is impacting their individual countries.

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