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Durban climate agreement offers small steps forward but fails to protect the poorest – CIDSE
Press release

Durban climate agreement offers small steps forward but fails to protect the poorest

CIDSE reaction to the outcomes of the COP17 climate summit in Durban.

(Durban, 11/12/2011) The international alliance of Catholic development agenciesCIDSE says the Durban agreement does not deliver enough to prevent dangerous climate change and its impacts on developing countries.
 
At the Conference of Parties 17 in Durban, South Africa exhausted government representatives finally agreed a document more than 24 hours into extra time. The incremental gains of the new package do move the negotiations forward but are not sufficient to safeguard the most vulnerable countries already feeling some of the negative effects of climate change, or ensure global average temperatures stay below the crucial consensus safety limit of 2degrees Celsius.
 
CIDSE sees the final Durban agreement as a step to build the global climate regime. It also acknowledges the implementation of the Green Climate Fund as a governing instrument for climate finance. Despite these important elements, the lack of political ambition on mitigation and finance put climate justice and vulnerable communities further at risk, when they are the least responsible of current unsustainable levels of green house gas (GHG) emissions.
 
CIDSE’s Secretary General Bernd Nilles said: “This African COP raised a lot of expectations from developing countries all over the world. Developed countries had the responsibility to answer this call for climate justice. These agreements are an important step, which is nevertheless too small to meet the needs of the poorest. Much more needs to be done.”
 
The Kyoto Protocol was not destroyed in Durban, and future potential for a deal on legally binding emissions reduction is still possible, but there is still no clarity on the length or on the ambition of the emissions reductions of this second commitment period. We need to rapidly bridge the gap between what is being done and what scientific consensus says is necessary to prevent damaging climate impacts.
 
The decision of the COP on a global agreement on emissions reductions for all countries is an important step, but some concerns still remain unaddressed. A global agreement on emissions reduction will only contribute to solve the climate crisis if it is really legally binding and it will only be fair if the emissions reductions targets are set on the basis of each country’s historical contribution to current GHG levels.

The implementation of the Green Climate Fund is an important step towards an efficient tool for climate adaptation and climate mitigation for developing countries, but the Fund will be of no help if there is no reliable and predictable money housed within it. Developed countries still have to identify a set of sources of long-term finance, including innovative finance, to fill the fund and this has not yet been finalised, and it will not be agreed until COP 18 in Qatar next year. It is the responsibility of developed countries to give guarantees on the sources that are going to fill the Green Climate Fund.