NGOs such as Oxfam International and Friends of the Earth International have welcomed the findings of the just released Synthesis Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the culmination of its 2007 assessment of climate change causes, impacts and solutions. This year – for the first time in its 19-year history – the IPCC reported "observed impacts" of climate change, stating that warming of the climate system is "unequivocal." The report makes clear that unless there is rapid action to curb emissions global temperature increases will exceed 2ºC within this century – the threshold beyond which climate change is likely to lead to catastrophic and irreversible impacts for millions of the poorest, most vulnerable people.
Responding to the report Antonio Hill, Policy Advisor at Oxfam, said: "The science is clear and immutable. Climate change is happening and poor people, the majority of them women, are bearing the brunt. Severe weather events and changing climate patterns are destroying homes, crops and livelihoods forcing people in poor countries, who are least responsible for climate change and least equipped to deal with its impacts, to adapt so that they can make a living and feed their families. Rapid action to curb emissions by 2015 is paramount but so too is providing money, technology and information right now to help the poorest, most vulnerable people who are already taking steps to adapt to their new reality. The IPCC throws down the gauntlet to governments to take urgent action both internationally under the UN and domestically to reduce the impact of climate change – the litmus test will be the UN climate conference in Bali next month when governments meet to negotiate a new agreement to tackle climate change.”
At the Bali Conference, Oxfam calls on governments to agree to:
1. A clear path towards an adequate and fair, global post-2012 climate change agreement, and
2. Concrete and speedy progress on increasing money available to poor communities for climate adaptation now.