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New climate agreement must protect poorest countries

Source: ACT Alliance - Switzerland - Fri, 7 Mar 2014 17:43 GMT
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Governments meeting next week to start fleshing out a new climate change agreement must come up with a strong document that firmly halts runaway globally warming, ACT Alliance says.

Negotiators in Bonn will sit down to set the framework of an agreement that ACT hopes will legally oblige every country to drastically cut carbon emissions. If adopted next year, the agreement will come into effect in 2020.

ACT general secretary John Nduna says that as well as limits on carbon emissions, ACT wants to see every developed country obliged to fund programmes that help poor countries adapt to the consequences of a warming planet on their agriculture sectors and to put measures in place to lessen the effect of weather-related disasters.

“ACT members are working on the ground. They stand on the soil which is being burnt by recurring droughts, and washed away by devastating floods. We know the effects of climate change, and we know there is need for urgent action,” Nduna said. However, before an agreement can take form, there has to be consensus about which issues to address. “That would be a minimum to expect from this week's talks.”

Head of the ACT Alliance delegation to Bonn, Mattias Söderberg, said, “Governments have been going around in circles far too long. It is now time to really get down to business and make progress towards designing a legally-binding agreement.”

The World Bank say that despite governments’ intentions to keep global warming beneath 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, current pledges to cut emissions would result in 3.5 to 4°C warming1. “Governments should pay attention to these reports, knowing their decisions have life and death implications on people already constrained by climate change,” Söderberg says.

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