Lack of Ambition at UN Climate Talks – interview with Meena Raman


Civil Society Puts Pressure on World Leaders to Avoid New Failure at Climate Talks

As scientists are increasingly warning about  the catastrophic effects of a six-degree C temperature rise unless  immediate action is taken to stop climate change, the world leaders who  met in Doha, Qatar at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 18) are showing very little ambition to tackle the climate crisis.

Real World Radio interviewed Meena Raman, of  SAM – Friends of the Earth Malaysia, who is currently in Doha, to learn  about the main expectations of civil society groups and their assessment of the negotiations.

Meena said the talks are in a critical and dangerous stage because of the lack of concrete action. Civil society groups are experiencing a  lot of frustration because developed countries are not achieving  progress in areas like the Kyoto Protocol track and the Green Climate  Fund.

The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding agreement signed in 1997 at  the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in that city in  Japan. Under the Protocol industrialized countries agreed to reduce  their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the  1990 levels. This COP will decide whether the countries will commit to a second commitment period, due to start in early 2013 and to be in force until 2017, or if they will let the Protocol die.

About the green climate fund, Meena said that despite their promises, so far developed countries have put no money in the fund, which is  important to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate  change, such as drought, floods and extreme climate events. It is also  important to mitigate climate change in developing countries, i.e. to  reduce their own levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Friends of the Earth activist said developed countries are also  locking the international mechanism on loss and damage, a promise made  two years ago at the COP 16 in Cancun. This mechanism would help small  islands or very poor African countries that find it really hard to  recover from extreme climate events.

Finally, Meena said the civil society is putting pressure on the  ministers of developing countries in Doha to avoid a weak outcome from  the talks. She urged the civil society to do the same in their capital  cities: to put pressure on the presidents and ministers so they see that civil society is active and so that leaders don’t cave in to the  pressure of developed countries.

Haastattelu on julkaistu alunperin Radio Mundo Real:n sivuilla 6.12.2012.


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