World has been locked into path to runaway climate change by G20 says Tearfund

By staff writers
April 2, 2009

The G20 today made some significant progress on funding for stimulus packages, tackling tax havens and shadow banking. However, the reported 1.1 trillion dollar programme of investment pledged to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needs to be looked at closely, according to the development NGO Tearfund.

It says that much of this is not new money and that far more will be targeted at the world’s richest countries than at the poorest.

In a statement, Tearfund acknowledged that 'on the surface' there would be several billions of new money for developing countries.

"We welcome the new money in this huge fiscal package but the G20 today missed a major opportunity to ensure that all new investments constitute a genuinely Green New Deal," said Paul Cook, Tearfund’s Advocacy Director. "With no clear commitments to ensure that stimulus money is invested in low carbon technology, the world risks a recovery which is based on business as usual. It locks us into a path which will result in runaway climate change and devastating impacts for the world’s poorest community."

The G20 communiqué ended with what Tearfund called 'a weak reference' to the need for a deal at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December.

The agency says G20 leaders failed to show real leadership and inject new life into UN talks by a more ambitious statement setting out the kind of deal they want to see in Copenhagen – one that "truly drives down global carbon emissions and releases billions to help poor communities adapt to the impacts of climate change" added Cook.

Tearfund works with communities that are frequently in the frontline of the devastating affects of climate change caused by global temperature rises.

It suggests there must be a definitive consensus to keep global warming below two degrees and that billions of dollars must be released to help the poorest countries adapt to extreme environmental conditions.

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