14 December 2014 - Nations at the UN climate summit in Lima have failed to respond to the call of the public, scientists and investors, said Christian Aid - but there is still time to change the course of history.
Countries will now move on to the summit in Paris next year, where a global deal will be agreed, but leaders failed to give the process a boost, instead stumbling out of the gate.
Christian Aid's Senior Climate Change Advisor, Mohamed Adow, said: "The countdown clock to Paris is now ticking. Countries had the chance to give themselves a head start on the road to Paris but instead have missed the gun and now need to play catch up.
"Despite not getting off on the right foot, the good news is the transition to a low carbon world is already happening. This is a fight between those profiting from the dirty energy of the past and those with the prophetic vision of a clean and prosperous future. And it's a fight we will win.
"On one side are the fossil fuel companies and the governments that protect them, on the other are the world's poor, civil society, switched-on investors, innovative businesses, concerned global citizens and leaders who actually lead.
"We've seen this year hundreds of thousands marching on the streets of New York and other cities, we've seen investors like the Rockefeller oil dynasty ditching fossil fuels and scientists showing the science is clear. We're moving towards a world free of fossil fuels and those countries which refuse to embrace that will ultimately be left behind.
"Political leaders at the UN talks need to be reminded that they can't negotiate with the climate. Human actions are changing it rapidly and governments need to come to their senses. Otherwise we're in danger of sleepwalking into a failed deal in Paris."
Highlighting the lack of progress made in Lima, Mr Adow pointed out there were some positive elements left out of the Draft Paris Agreement which must make up a part of next year’s deal.
He said: “The Paris deal needs to be more than just about carbon cuts. Both climate finance and support for poor countries to adapt must form part of the agreement. These need to be included in the Paris deal because those suffering cannot wait. The people of the Philippines, recovering from a third super typhoon in three years, can't afford for us to drag our feet."
Responding to the role of the UK at the summit, Mr Adow praised the efforts of the Government's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey.
He said: "As the first country to have benefited economically from industrialisation, the UK has a responsibility to take a leading role in tackling this problem. The UK deserves credit for trying to move the EU bloc in the right direction. As a whole we need more ambition to be shown from developed countries, after all the convention itself states clearly that richer countries are required to lead.
“Whoever heads up the next UK government needs to seize the opportunity that 2015 presents and continue leading from the front, because a lowest common denominator approach will not protect the UK from serious climate impacts on society and the economy.”
Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor Mohamed Adow will be in Lima for the duration of the summit. He can be contacted for interviews on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact Joe Ware at email@example.com. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 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’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 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