Friday, 18 December 2009

Leaked UN report: What Copenhagen pledges mean for future temperatures

Catholic CIDSE network and Caritas Internationalis say that the leak late yesterday of a UN report that proved that there is a significant gap between developed country rhetoric and their emission reduction commitments to date. They fall far short of what is required to prevent climate catastrophe in the future setting an unparalleled challenge to rich countries on the last day of the climate talks.

The internal UN report, dated 15 December, was never meant to be circulated. However, it merely confirms what many voices, civil society and developing countries most prominently, have been stating for months; rich countries fail to walk the talk on emission reductions, as their concrete commitments do not match with their expressed political will to tackle climate change. The report asserts that current developed country pledges would result in a further warming of the earth’s average temperature of 3° C, whilst developed countries continue to claim to be committed to limiting this rise to 2°.

“1° may not sound like very much to someone on the street, but the difference between 2° and 3° for developing countries is counted in hundreds of thousands of lost lives. In fact the most vulnerable countries are calling for 1.5° to be the limit,” said Anika Schroeder of German CIDSE member Misereor. “Developed countries claim to be committed to avoiding dangerous climate change in the future; this report reaffirms that they can no longer deny the science, and must now match these claims with adequate binding commitments.”

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