An agreement at the eleventh hour has moved the world closer to the global deal on climate change that eluded last year’s summit in Copenhagen, said international aid agency Oxfam Australia as the United Nations negotiations in Cancun, Mexico drew to a close.
Late in negotiations a global climate fund was established to help developing countries adapt to climate change, the Kyoto Protocol was given a lifeline and a path was laid out for countries to move towards cuts in emissions.
Oxfam Australia Climate Change Adviser Kelly Dent, who has followed the negotiations in Cancun, said the climate fund will be an important source of finance that vulnerable communities affected by climate change urgently need.
“This is a significant decision which will see a global fund under the United Nations operational by this time next year to help developing countries adapt and mitigate to the impacts of climate change and Australia is likely to have a seat on the fund’s designing committee,” Ms Dent said.
“This committee will also give strong representation to developing nations – a move that we welcome as people from those countries are suffering disproportionate impacts of climate change and are best placed to know what will work in their environments.
“However we are leaving Cancun without any questions answered around where long-term climate finance money will come from.
“Negotiators have missed an opportunity to implement a global emissions reductions scheme or levies on international aviation and shipping that could generate the long-term finance needs of developing countries,” Ms Dent said.
Ms Dent said there were notable developments in emissions reductions and the Kyoto protocol during the negotiations.
“While the agreed emissions reductions targets will fall far short of taking the world to below two degrees warming, there is now an acknowledgement that current pledges are inadequate and a process in place which leaves the door open to reassessing them.
“The talks also kept alive the possibility of a second commitment to the Kyoto protocol from 2013 which is extremely important to developing countries as they are least responsible for emissions yet most impacted by them,” Ms Dent said.
Ms Dent said this deal shows the UN negotiations can deliver and there is hope for a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal on climate change in the future.
“Negotiators have resuscitated the UN talks and put them on a road to recovery but with lives on the line, we must continue to drive efforts to build on this progress,” Ms Dent said.
For more information or to interview Kelly Dent please contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.