One of the world’s largest humanitarian and development networks is demanding heads of state lay the groundwork for a legally binding climate agreement in Cancun next week for the sake of the world’s poor and powerless.
The demand was issued by ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna in the countdown to the Cop16 climate negotiations beginning in Mexico on November 29. “The poor bear the least responsibility for climate change yet suffer its consequences the most,” Nduna said. CWS is a member of ACT Alliance.
Negotiators had a moral obligation to find a legal framework that could be set in stone at the make-or-break summit set to be held in South Africa in December 2011, he said. “This is a matter of urgency for all humankind. Achieving significant steps towards an agreement now is a prerequisite for a successful outcome in South Africa next year.”
“World leaders must not allow Cancun to become another Copenhagen,” said Nduna, referring to last year’s disappointing round of discussions which failed to strike a deal and at which no developed country made the first move on adequate emissions cuts.
ACT Alliance argues the negotiations must make progress in five areas that negotiators failed to resolve at the COP15 talks in Copenhagen last year.
Cancun must clarify the legal form for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiation outcome hoped for in South Africa. Negotiations have been on two tracks: a post-Kyoto protocol and another covering other climate change issues and involving countries not in Kyoto. The Copenhagen Accord contributed to the lack of clarity about the kind of result the process was seeking.
ACT Alliance also argues it is crucial the negotiation has more ambitious offers on emission cuts and finance from the main industrialised countries. It must take concrete steps towards a mechanism for enforcing nations’ promises on climate. It must agree on a fund to finance climate change mitigation and adaption measures in developing countries, with costs being borne mainly by developed nations, which are the worst climate offenders.
ACT Alliance also believes negotiators must ensure global warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees celsius – half a degree less than the target that has formed the basis of negotiations to date.