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Stop dodging difficult questions on climate, warns Christian Aid

15 April 2013 - World leaders should stop dodging difficult questions on climate change because doing so will only exacerbate the crisis, Christian Aid warns today at the opening of a conference linking climate, hunger and nutrition in Dublin, Ireland.

‘Dodging difficult questions such as those around climate finance will not make them go away. It will just intensify the climate emergency and the suffering of people in poverty, who need help now to cope with its devastating effects on their crops, homes and lives,’ said Dr Alison Doig, Senior Adviser on Climate Change at Christian Aid.

‘For both moral and self-interested reasons, the UK, Ireland and other developed countries should commit themselves to delivering new and continued climate finance to help farmers in the developing world to adapt to our fast-changing climate.’

Dr Doig, who is attending the conference at Dublin Castle today and tomorrow (15th & 16th April), added: ‘It is hugely encouraging that this Irish conference recognises that we can only end hunger if we also combat climate change and its destructive effects.’

Christian Aid is part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF… campaign, which is calling on UK Climate and Energy Minister Ed Davey to back the introduction of a new levy on international shipping and aviation, whose contributions to climate change are largely untaxed.

Dr Doig added: ‘Such a levy would have massive dual benefits – it  would discourage climate pollution by international plane and ship journeys and could at the same time raise billions of pounds which should be earmarked to help some of the poorest people on the planet cope with climate change.

‘We are calling on Ed Davy to be a global champion on this vital issue and work to develop a plan to raise more cash with other leaders at the UN meetings in June.

‘Another really welcome feature of this conference is that it links the need for innovative thinking about climate change with the ongoing discussions about what should follow the Millennium Development Goals when they end in 2015.

‘What’s clear is that because climate change is affecting so many different aspects of our lives, from wealth to health and even survival itself, we must put it at the very heart of the next global plan to tackle poverty and protect the environment. It cannot be an after-thought or an add-on,’ she said.

Among the hosts of the Dublin climate conference are the Irish Government, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.

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Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. Our strategy for building the power of us all to end poverty is embodied in a new report ‘Partnership for Change’: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/2012_strategy.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk