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Time for ministers to make up their minds as climate talks enter final days - Indecision will cost lives

It's make-your-mind-up time for ministers at the Cancun climate talks, who should start choosing between the options laid out so clearly for them by officials, Christian Aid says today at the start of the 'high level' part of the negotiations.

'Negotiators have taken the discussions on technical matters as far as they can, leaving clear political choices on emission cuts and monitoring for ministers,' said Sol Oyuela, Senior Adviser on Climate Justice at Christian Aid.

'Now we need ministers to make up their minds, on the basis of the texts on which everyone has worked so hard. And we need them to be courageous, if these talks are to achieve anything for poor people struggling with the changing climate.

'Indecision will cost lives. Failure to choose on the big issues of mitigation and transparency will prevent progress on even the so-called low-hanging fruit - finance, adaptation and REDD - which will make the biggest immediate difference to the lives of the world's poorest people.'

Ms Oyuela also urged European Union ministers to take a global lead in showing that compromise on the big issues is possible. Without this, the talks will deliver nothing of substance.

'It's time to abandon the mantra of "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed",' she said. 'Today, several developed countries are saying they won't move on anything until they see the big emerging economies taking action to curb their own emissions.

'But the last few days have made it clear that India and China are prepared to be open with the world about what they are doing to keep their emissions down. It is now time for developed countries to prove that they, too, want a deal.'

Ms Oyuela added: 'What the talks need now is leadership and we are looking to the EU to provide that, especially on securing a commitment to extend the Kyoto Protocol and on the creation of a climate fund within the United Nations system.'

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To speak to Christian Aid’s policy experts in Cancun, please contact Rachel Baird in Cancun on 00 44 7545 501 749 (if calling from a UK mobile, dial 07545 501 749) or rbaird@christian-aid.org


The experts are:

Sol Ouyela, Senior Adviser, Climate Justice, Christian Aid
                              
Sol speaks excellent English and Spanish and specialises in climate finance, although she has a good all-round knowledge of what’s going on. Sol is originally from Argentina and works for Christian Aid in London.

Mohamed Adow, Senior Adviser, Global Advocacy and Alliances, Christian Aid

Mohamed speaks excellent English and Swahili. Before joining Christian Aid, he worked for Northern Aid, which works with pastoralists in northern Kenya. Mohamed has strong links with the global climate justice movement and also good all-round knowledge of the talks themselves. Mohamed is originally from Kenya and works for Christian Aid in London.


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 inhumanitarian 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