UN climate talks: Close, but yet so far

23rd October 2015

While the number of hours left for climate negotiations are rapidly shrinking, the actual draft agreement is making little progress. The UN climate talks are expected to deliver a global climate agreement at the climate summit, COP21, in Paris in December, and the negotiations in Bonn this week were meant to advance the draft agreement.

ACT Alliance is a global network of churches and faith-based NGOs, working with development and relief, in 140 countries around the world. The General Secretary of the ACT Alliance, John Nduna, says:

“The people we meet on the ground are facing daily challenges due to the effects of climate change. We try to support them in their struggle to develop and build resilient livelihoods, but the increasing effects of droughts, floods and other climate related weather events hinder their efforts. Lack of meaningful progress towards the agreement is a big disappointment for the poor and vulnerable people who are disproportionately affected by climate change.”

The UN negotiations in Bonn end today, but after a week of negotiations, there is still a lot yet to be done. The head of the ACT Alliance delegation to the talks, Mattias Söderberg comments:

“Everybody knows that these negotiations are serious; they are not only about our own future, but also about the lives of poor and vulnerable people who are affected by climate change already today. I am deeply concerned about the slow progress and I urge negotiators to make a final effort to change their approach. All parties need to leave their comfort zones and start to look for agreeable solutions, which can foster a fair and ambitious agreement in Paris.”

Söderberg continues:

“There is no agreement about climate finance, the major questions of who should provide the finance, how much, and to who remain unanswered. The poor and vulnerable community remain confident that these questions will be answered in their favour, considering the fact that they are already affected by the impacts of climate change.”

“We know lack of action to reduce emissions will lead to a greater need for adaptation. However, with lack of finance for adaptation we will face even greater loss and damage. The logic is clear, but still developed countries refuse to give loss and damage proper attention.”

“Considering the lack of ambition in climate pledges made by countries during the past months, it is worrying to see the difficulties to reach agreement about mechanism to increase the ambition in the coming years. With no strong review possibilities and no agreed formats or accounting systems, low ambition may be locked in for decades”, adds Söderberg.

Earlier in the week, a statement signed by more than 150 faith leaders from different religions and countries was handed over to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. In the statement, the leaders encouraged governments to seriously consider the moral imperative of protecting the poor and most vulnerable in the climate change negotiations. ACT Alliance, General Secretary, John Nduna, concludes:

“We have faith and believe that world leaders can show leadership and take the necessary bold decisions. The climate summit in Paris is getting closer, and it is now time for ambitious action.”

COP21_Statement_englisch

For further comments, please contact the head of the ACT Alliance delegation, Mattias Söderberg, tel.: +45-29700609, email: msd@dca.dk