Rich countries must heed the United Nations’ call for an urgent political response to tackle climate change, says international agency Oxfam.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will meet heads of state and other officials from more than 150 countries in New York on Sept 24 to build momentum for talks toward a new international climate agreement beginning in Bali this December.
Oxfam is concerned that climate change is increasing poverty and vulnerability among poor people who are least responsible for the problem and least able to bear its effects. The changes needed to tackle the causes and effects of climate change must be both adequate and fair to the world’s poorest people, Oxfam says.
Rich countries must make sharp and binding carbon reductions in a post-2012 deal, Oxfam says. There is widespread scientific consensus that the ramifications of global warming reaching above 2°C will be catastrophic, particularly for poorer countries.
“The significance of this meeting is that all countries are at the table, including developing countries that are in the front-line of climate change,” said Greg Puley, head of Oxfam’s New York office. “Rich countries must lead the way for a global binding deal at the UN on emissions reductions. They can build trust by providing the kind of support that the world’s poorest people need to prepare for the damaging impacts of climate change at least $50 billion or more a year,” he said.
“Rich countries have come up extremely short in providing finance for adaptation, despite being most responsible for the problem. Current pledges are less than 1% of what’s needed. At this meeting, they could start to set that right and make adaptation a central part of a future deal,” said Puley.