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Doha talks fail to avert climate Qatar-strophe says Christian Aid

8 December 2012 - The world remains on track for climate chaos after countries at the UN summit in Doha failed to agree anything more than a deal allowing talks to continue towards a global treaty by 2015. 

Christian Aid's senior climate change adviser, Mohamed Adow, from Kenya, said:  'Rather than the world's most vulnerable people receiving a much-needed early Christmas present, they were left with just a lump of coal at the bottom of their stocking.

'The failure to agree urgent action in Doha will mean that carbon emission cuts in the immediate future will be too small and too late to stop the relentless path of climate change.

'The world has suffered another year of extreme weather and scientists tell us it will only get worse. The effects of the 0.8C (33F) warming above pre-industrial levels are bad enough. Just imagine what it will be like if we remain on course for a rise of more than 2C (36F).

'This agreement did nothing to shift the world away from its trajectory towards environmental chaos.’
One of the few green shoots in the desert of Doha was a pledge by the UK to increase funding to developing nations suffering from the worst effects of climate change.

It announced £1.8 billion over two years to help poorer countries develop along a low carbon pathway and tackle the effects of climate change.

'The UK did not abandon the poor, who are the ones suffering the first and the worst,’ said Mohamed Adow, 'but despite its intervention, which encouraged a number of other countries to make funding commitments, the Green Climate Fund, established at last year's Durban climate summit, remains almost empty.

‘More rich nations urgently need to come forward with ambitious finance pledges. Developing countries which did the least to cause the worsening crisis desperately need money to help them adapt to the impact of climate change.

'But instead the summit became a clash of polluters versus the people. The world's most vulnerable countries were desperate for a deal but delegations from Russia, Poland and the United States in particular constantly undermined those efforts.

‘Developed countries that are most to blame for carbon emissions need to do take responsibility and act. Vulnerable people, such as those in the Philippines, continue to suffer while politicians drag their feet.’

Lidy Nacpil, from Christian Aid partner Jubilee South, said: 'This week in the Philippines we again felt the terrible reality of climate change with Typhoon Bopha.

'We have always had storms here but in the last few years the frequency of Super Typhoons has been unprecedented.

'We cannot wait. We need climate finance to help us survive and cuts in emissions from big polluters to prevent the storms from getting worse.'

‘Despite pressure from developing countries and civil society groups to deliver effective action to curb climate change, decision-makers agreed to a weak deal which did little but keep hopes alive for a future pact.’

For further information, please contact Joe Ware in Doha on +974 (0) 30052926 or CA Press Office in the UK on +44 (0) 7850 242 950.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around some 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. Our strategy for building the power of us all to end poverty is embodied in a new report ‘Partnership for Change’: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/2012_strategy.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 125 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk