In reaction to today’s announcement of a joint US - China statement on new domestic policy commitments and a vision for a global climate change deal, Heather Coleman, Oxfam America’s climate change policy manager, made the following statement:
“Oxfam welcomes today’s announcement as it underscores the importance the world’s two largest emitters place on solving the climate crisis.
“China’s commitment of $3.1 billion in climate finance to support poor countries is a game-changer. Such funds are critical to help developing countries build their low-carbon, climate resilient economies.
“On the heels of Pope Francis’ moral call to the US Congress yesterday, it is a particularly critical moment for Congress to demonstrate global leadership and follow-through on the President’s pledge to the Green Climate Fund to support poor and vulnerable communities in their ongoing efforts to combat climate change.
“Collectively, rich countries are far behind the existing commitment to mobilize the finance needed to support climate resilience in poor countries. All countries need to work together up-scale the financial assistance and to provide at least 50% of public finance to support adaptation needs.
“It is also notable that China – one of the largest supplier of public finance for overseas coal projects – has announced its intention to dramatically limit public investment in high-carbon projects. Oxfam urges all public financing to be shifted away from harmful fossil fuels and towards sustainable investments that meet the needs of the poor.
“While the commitment of the US and China is encouraging, existing announcements of country contributions to cut emissions will not limit global warming to the level science demands to avoid catastrophic climate change. It is therefore critical that all countries have a seat at the table to agree on a process for increasing ambition over time. A collective solution to the climate crisis requires multilateral negotiations and global cooperation.”