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Paris summit provides final chance for countries to play their climate cards

27 November 2015 - With representatives from nearly 200 nations meeting in Paris next week to strike a long awaited climate change deal, Christian Aid warns that the agreement itself will not prevent dangerous global warming. 

Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, Mohamed Adow, said that most people were unaware that the Paris summit will not keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

He said: “We will get a deal in Paris, but it will not be the silver bullet that solves our problems. The current pledges on the table only get us to a 2.7 degree world. How we get from there to below 2 degrees is the biggest question we have to face.

“The answer is to have a mechanism for reviewing the current pledges every five years and then making them stronger and more ambitious as energy technology improves and we see the impacts of climate change unfold. This ‘ambition accelerator’ is the only thing that will move the world’s climate from a place of danger to a place of safety.”

Many poor, low emission, countries, are already suffering the effects of climate change and therefore need to be helped to adapt to a changing climate, especially as they have done nothing to cause the problem in the first place.

Mr Adow, who comes from just such a country; Kenya, said: “We will get some kind of Paris deal, the question will be whether it will be a strong one or a weak one. The key to getting a strong one will be by crafting an enduring and dynamic regime that further strengthens the national climate plans.”

Mr. Adow applauded the world leaders who are still attending COP21 on Monday. He said: “It is great to see world leaders taking climate change seriously, even after the horrific events in Paris two weeks ago. But more visionary leadership is needed to build the trust and momentum that will be required to get us towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

“The national plans submitted by more than 170 countries marks the greatest collective effort the world has ever seen to tackle climate change. However, these plans alone will not be sufficient to get on track to a 2 degree, let alone 1.5 degree world.

Mr Adow said that developed countries had the key to unlock a win win deal in Paris: “If richer countries provide the finance, technology and support to help poorer countries adapt to their changing climate they will be able to develop in a clean and sustainable way. That in turn will result in fewer emissions and a better outcome for everyone. But that support needs to be put on the table in Paris.

“Since these negotiations began in Durban four years ago countries have been holding back their best cards until now.  This is their last chance to play them.”


Joe and Mohamed will be in Paris for the duration of the summit. For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Joe by emailing jware@christian-aid.org or texting +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


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