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Lima failing to tackle pre-2020 climate challenge

As the Lima climate conference reaches its mid-point, deep divides remain, overshadowed by news that the Philippines is to face its third category 5 typhoon in three years.

At a press conference taking stock of the conference so far, observers noted that today’s official UN “Assessment” of current climate pollution targets shows how far governments in rich industrialised countries are from effectively tackling the climate crisis.

This lack of pre-2020 action hurt trust in the rest of the talks, with developing and developed countries split on how comprehensive the new post-2020 agreement should be.

“It’s heart-breaking to receive this news when I am so far from home. My heart breaks further when I see those most responsible for this crisis denying it with their lack of action.” Voltaire Alferez, coordinator at Aksyon Klima, a national coalition of NGOs from the Philippines.
“The people of the Philippines demand justice and solidarity – that means increasing climate action now, not waiting until 2020, or 2030 – but now.” Alferez said.

“Today is the test-run of the UN’s new process for interrogating countries’ 2020 climate targets. The results of the official assessment are more than disappointing. Our analysis of targets under review today show they are miles from what’s needed to keep climate change within limits safe for humanity.” Jagoda Munic, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, said.

“The lack of climate action in Europe is further blackened by the fact that these countries continue to use offset credits, which are huge loopholes that avoid actual emission reductions. Not one of these countries has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol further eroding trust here in Lima. It is time for real leadership not baby steps.” Munic said.

“There’s a fight on in Lima for the heart of the climate convention. Is it about all the elements of climate change – including adapting to climate impacts and securing transfers of finance and technology to see these agreements implemented – or is it just a talk-shop about non-binding, weak pollution targets?” Meena Raman, negotiations expert at Third World Network, said.

“Rich industrialised countries last night gutted the draft decision text and tried to remove references to finance, to technology, and to adaptation, from what countries will ‘contribute’ to the future agreement.” Raman said.

“And then, led by Australia, they gutted the text on pre-2020 action.” Raman said.

“Developed countries here deny the urgency of climate change with weak targets, they deny the need to respond to impacts now by removing adaptation issues, and they deny the moral and legal obligation to transfer finance and technology. Lima shows that rich industrialised countries are climate deniers in action.” Raman said.

“If there is no change in direction then Lima is heading to a very weak outcome, which is a disaster for poor and vulnerable people – sadly we see that starkly today in the Philippines.” Raman said.

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