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Time for climate justice, time for courage

By Rachel Baird | 8 December 2010

It's make-your-mind-up time at the UN climate talks. The scientists and other experts and officials have presented the politicians with their arguments.

Now some decisions have to be made as to what exactly Cancun will stand for.

Time for Climate Justice banner'Negotiators have taken the discussions on technical matters as far as they can, leaving clear political choices on emission cuts and monitoring for ministers,' our senior climate justice adviser, Sol Oyuela, told me.
'Now we need ministers to make up their minds, on the basis of the texts on which everyone has worked so hard.

‘And we need them to be courageous if these talks are to achieve anything for poor people struggling with the changing climate.
'Indecision will cost lives. Failure to choose on the big issues of mitigation and transparency will prevent progress on even the so-called low-hanging fruit - finance, adaptation and reducing emissions from things like deforestation - that will make the biggest immediate difference to the lives of the world's poorest people.'   
Yesterday, Christian Aid joined forces with partners from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and the Philippines, as well as our Aprodev colleagues, to march through Cancun and raise the call for climate justice. You can view pictures on the Aprodev climate justice site.

Together, our focus in Cancun has been on urging the European Union to take a global lead in showing that compromise on the big issues is possible. Without this, the talks will deliver nothing of substance.
'It's time to abandon the mantra of "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed",' Sol said.

'Today, several developed countries are saying they won't move on anything until they see the big emerging economies taking action to curb their own emissions.
'But the last few days have made it clear that India and China are prepared to be open with the world about what they are doing to keep their emissions down. It is now time for developed countries to prove that they, too, want a deal.' 
Sol added: 'What the talks need now is leadership. We are looking to the EU to provide that, especially on securing a commitment to extend the Kyoto Protocol and on the creation of a climate fund within the United Nations system.'

What you can do

Sign up to our International Photo Petition is a visual message to the world's most powerful decision-makers, calling for a fair and meaningful approach to tackling climate chaos.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, it's not too late to call on the government to deliver on David Cameron's pledge to make this government the 'greenest yet'. Email environment secretary Caroline Spelman.

Get the latest from Christian Aid and our global campaign partners in Cancun via the Time for Climate Justice website. 

 About the author

Rachel Baird

Rachel Baird is the policy and campaigns journalist in Christian Aid's media team