12 December 2015 - Christian Aid has hailed the final Paris climate agreement as a new era which has the potential to transform the global economy to address climate change.
Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's Senior Climate Advisor said: "For the first time in history the whole world has made a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the impacts of climate change. Although different countries will move at different speeds, the transition to a low carbon world is now inevitable. Governments, investors and businesses must ride this wave or be swept away by it.
"Negotiations were long and hard fought but the result is an agreement which will usher in a new dawn of climate aware politics. The era of politicians burying their heads in the sand is over.
"This is a historic agreement and the culmination of a path the world set out on four years ago. The baby conceived in Durban has now been born. Like any infant it needs to be nurtured so that it grows stronger over time. It will be up to national governments to ensure this happens.
"This deal must echo through boardrooms and stock-exchanges around the world - the era of dirty investments is over. The profitable, forward-looking business opportunities of the future lie in clean investment.
"Crucially the Paris Accord has not left poor countries behind. Richer countries have committed to deliver the finance they promised to help developing countries adapt and grow in a clean and sustainable way. For the first time in an international treaty clear consideration has also been given to loss and damage - support for countries facing climate change so severe it can't be adapted to.
"This deal, in itself, will not deliver a safe world below 2 degrees. But it gives us a fighting chance to close the gap between the emissions the world is on course to produce and those that will put us on course to the agreed path. Leaders must increase their commitments before 2020 and every five years thereafter to ensure the deal evolves to meet the needs of a changing world.
"We're already seeing the impacts of just 0.85 degrees of warming; floods, droughts, sea level rise and extreme weather. If the deal is to achieve its aspiration of limiting temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees then it will require countries to show they mean business.
"Rather than just aspiring to this 1.5 degree limit countries actually put in place a practical long term goal of zero emissions by the second half of the century."
"The Paris agreement is testament to the hard work and commitment of successive British governments to the climate talks for over 20 years. David Cameron and Amber Rudd have inherited that legacy and must now bring the deal back home and put words into action.
"As the world's fifth largest economy, Britain is a major player at such global summits. Their early promise of climate finance and the landmark decision to phase out coal power showed the kind of national actions needed to secure a deal. This represents a success for Britain's long term national and international climate policy.
"There is now no excuse not to introduce ambitious policies to deliver the Climate Change Act and accelerate the low carbon economy. For a country that is serious about the economics of the future and takes responsibility for its place in an interconnected world, these actions are no longer optional, they are necessary. The Government must take a close look at its domestic energy policies which are currently confused and holding back Britain's low carbon energy potential."
For more information contact Joe Ware at firstname.lastname@example.org or +447870944485.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 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