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US electioneering threatens global action against climate change

August 7 2012 - Commenting on suggestions by America’s chief climate negotiator Todd Stern, that governments should abandon their target for keeping the global average temperature increase below 2C, Christian Aid’s expert on the international climate talks, Mohamed Adow, said the US Government appeared to be electioneering.

‘President Obama committed to a 2C global goal in Copenhagen in 2009 and again recently in Durban. Now, immediately before an election, he is walking away from his own weak policies. This backflip with a twist would win a Gold medal at the hypocrisy Olympics. It’s breathtaking,’ he said.

‘The 2C target was driven by the US and G8 countries. The poor and vulnerable states of Africa, the Pacific, and Latin America have been calling for 1.5C to avoid catastrophic climate impacts - but now the US is walking away from its own weak global target and pretending this is leadership. I’m glad to see that the EU and AOSIS countries are fighting back,’ added Mr Adow.

‘Even with the existing 0.8C global temperature rise, the world is witnessing the disastrous effects of climate change and poor, vulnerable communities are unable to cope. If the 2C limit is abandoned, then the impacts will get dramatically worse and leave millions more people suffering from hunger, diseases, floods and other disasters.’

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For more information and to arrange interviews with Mohamed Adow, contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org


Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.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 www.christianaid.org.uk