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ACT Alliance Press Release: Keep COP 18 true to science and the poor

ACT Alliance - Switzerland - Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:55 GMT
Author: Elisabeth Gouel
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Keep COP 18 true to science and the poor

Geneva, 26 November 2012

United Nations climate change talks that get underway in Doha, Qatar, today must finally take the concrete steps needed to move towards a comprehensive agreement to tackle climate change, says ACT Alliance.

“Global citizens expect long-term vision and leadership from their governments to address the existential threats created by climate change,” says John Nduna, general secretary of ACT Alliance, a network of more than 130 churches and related organisations working on emergency relief and long-term poverty reduction.

“Doha presents one more critical chance for governments to stem the tide of emissions, step up support for countries bearing the brunt of climate change, and provide the financial assistance that these vulnerable states need to adapt and build resilience to a warming planet.”

The agenda of the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) is drawn from commitments made at previous COPs.

Delegates are seeking a climate agreement positioned to begin in 2015, a second Kyoto Protocol period beginning immediately, and funds to support poor countries’ adaptation to life in a warming climate.

These negotiations come at a time when climate science is clear and established on global warming’s impending threat to the planet. The world’s leading international climate change assessment body, the International Panel on Climate Change, strongly warns that the threat of climate change is real, and its impacts will become unmanageable if greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically reduced.

Despite scientific evidence, previous COPs have been characterised by mistrust of scientific evidence and by a general lack of urgency, discouraging a number of governments from taking action, Nduna explained.

“A new spirit is needed at these talks – a spirit of trust, dialogue, urgency and collective effort to address climate change, which is one of the defining issues of our time,” says Nduna.

For the negotiations to succeed, the Qatari presidency of the COP 18 must show leadership. Developed countries must raise their ambition to cut emissions, provide climate finance to both the least developed and developing countries, and to build resilience and capacity to adapt to climate change. Developing countries must be active and strong negotiators on behalf of their poorest and most vulnerable communities, Nduna said.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has just three years left to agree a fair, ambitious and binding agreement.


ACT Alliance is a global network of over 130 churches and church-related organisations working in development, humanitarian response and advocacy in more than 140 countries. ACT has a delegation in Doha, Qatar, throughout the two week negotiation period, consisting of its members from the six continents.

For further information and interviews contact:

Climate Change Advocacy Officer Isaiah Toroitich - tel. +41 79 825 7899

Acting Senior Communications Officer Sandra Cox - tel. +41 79 681 1868

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