Developing Countries Rebuff Denmark's Push for Delay in Copenhagen

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Isabel Sande Frandsen, Climate Advisor, Ibis / Oxfam: +45 60 95 96 69 or
Robert Bailey, Senior Policy Advisor for Oxfam on +44 7720 254444

Developing Countries Rebuff Denmark's Push for Delay in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN - Recent attempts by rich countries to postpone a
binding climate agreement hit the rocks at a meeting of Environment
Ministers in Copenhagen today, as vulnerable developing countries made
clear that delay was not an option.

The two day meeting in the city had intended to map out what the
global climate deal – due to be agreed in December – will look like.

Denmark’s ‘two-step’ proposal – a ‘politically binding’ deal agreed
at the Copenhagen climate Summit in December followed by a full legally
binding treaty sometime in 2010 - has gathered momentum over the last
few weeks. An increasing number of rich countries, including the US and
the EU, are backing away from political commitments made two years ago
in Bali to agree a new legally binding climate deal at Copenhagen.

Vulnerable developing countries, which are least responsible for
climate change but are being hit first and hardest by its effects, are
reluctant to accept another political declaration without a guarantee
of action from the world’s richest countries.

Oxfam is already seeing the impacts of climate change on the
livelihoods of poor men and women around the world and worse is yet to
come: the agency has forecast that the number of people affected by
climate related disasters each year may increase by over 50 percent by
2015. Without urgent action from rich countries to cut their emissions,
and deliver the financing needed to help poor countries adapt to a
changing climate and reduce their emissions, Oxfam has warned that
recent development gains will quickly stall and begin to roll back.

Oxfam is calling for a deal in Copenhagen that guarantees action in
two key areas: binding emissions reduction targets for rich countries
and a substantial ongoing financial package – which is additional to
existing overseas aid commitments - to help poor countries reduce their
emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

Isabel Sande Frandsen, Climate Advisor for Ibis and Oxfam International said:

“Vulnerable developing countries have called the bluff of Denmark
and every other rich country that would prefer delay over decision.
Instead of simply replacing old political commitments with new ones,
rich countries need to focus on delivering the urgent actions required
of them by Copenhagen – deep and binding emissions cuts and finance to
help poor countries curb their emissions and adapt to climate change.”

“Rich country politicians need to remember that delay costs lives.
The climate won’t wait. The poorest need an agreement in Copenhagen
which guarantees action – not more warm words and woolly rhetoric.”

 

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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

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