The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lucy Brinicombe +1865 472192 / +7786 110054 / or
Jonaid Jilani, +1865 472193 / +44 7810 181514 /

UN Climate Negotiations Need Overhaul If We Are to Avoid 4 Degrees Warming

Stronger world leadership, a strict new timetable and relocation needed to secure a climate deal next year.


The UN climate talks must be rescued from the
shambles of Copenhagen by revolutionising the way the negotiations are
carried out so that a deal can be delivered in 2010 and the chaos
witnessed in Copenhagen is never repeated.

In its new report: Climate shame: get back to the table launching
today, the international aid agency reviews the outcomes of the recent
climate conference, the shortcomings and the missed opportunities which
will send repercussions among the world's poorest people already
suffering the effects of climate change.

Too much was left to be resolved in Copenhagen but, at the moment,
only two intercessional meetings are planned before reconvening at the
next UN climate talks in Mexico in December. By then, an estimated
150,000 people will have died and a further 1 million displaced as a
result of climate change.

Oxfam's climate change adviser Antonio Hill said: "The Copenhagen
Accord is hugely disappointing but it also reveals how the traditional
approach to international negotiations, based on brinkmanship and
national self-interest, is both unfit for pursuing our common destiny
and downright dangerous.

"There is too much at stake for this politics-as-usual approach. We
must act quickly to address the shortfalls of these negotiations so
that we can make up for lost time and tackle climate change with the
decisiveness and urgency needed. This cannot happen again."

The report
calls for world leaders to be more involved to cut through the deadlock
and reignite delegates' negotiations. It wants more ministerial
meetings to be held between now and the Mexico summit in December,
along with an outline of what must be agreed at each one - with
ministers prepared to stay on until an agreement is brokered. The
climate science should be updated so that the deal meets what is
required to tackle climate change and the talks should have a "home" -
like the trade talks in Geneva - to avoid disrupting progress. The least developed countries, meanwhile, should be given more support to ensure that the negotiations will bring a deal that is acceptable to all.

Oxfam said that existing loopholes, coupled with the lack of substance in the Accord risk rich-country emissions being higher in 2020 than in 1990,
putting the world on track for a catastrophic temperature rise of
almost 4 degrees C as opposed to the 2 degrees C required. It fails to
include emissions cut targets to keep temperature increases below 2
degrees C.

A further concern is that there have been no assurances that
the proposed $100billion from rich countries for poor countries to
adapt to climate change will not come from existing aid commitments
Moreover, Oxfam argues that this amount is just half of what is
required and could be an easily broken promise unless it comes from
public sources where there would be a guarantee that the money is
delivered reaches the right people in the right places at the right
time. This would not be the case if the money came from private
sources. A commitment that continuing talks will lead to a legally
binding agreement is also absent.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oxfam's Global Ambassador who attended the
talks and met with many of the key decision makers in Copenhagen said:

"The failure of the political process in Copenhagen to achieve a
fair, adequate and binding deal on climate change is profoundly
distressing. A higher purpose was at stake but our political leaders
have proven themselves unable to rise to the challenge. We must look to
the future. Our leaders must regroup, learn and make good their failure
for the sake of humanity's failure."

Read more

Oxfam's report : Climate shame: get back to the table: Initial analysis of the Copenhagen climate talks

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.