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EU urged to unlock climate talks by recommitting to Kyoto

December 08 2011 - The European Union can give the deadlocked Durban climate talks a dramatic boost by recommitting to the Kyoto Protocol, Christian Aid says today.

’The EU can force other countries’ hands by signing up to a second round of Kyoto commitments’, said Christian Aid’s climate talks expert Mohamed Adow.

‘Once it has agreed to stay with Kyoto, the EU could then say to the other major players here: “Look, we’re doing the right thing to help protect us all from a terrifying future of climate disasters. Now it’s your turn – what are you going to do?”     

‘That would put huge political and moral pressure on others such as Japan, the US, Russia and Australia – it would make it much harder for them to keep dodging legal commitments to protect our shared climate.

‘It would also provide a huge injection of trust into the negotiations about how to close the emissions gap and inspire developing countries to play their part too.'

Mr Adow spoke as campaigners held a ‘re-commitment ceremony’ for the EU and Kyoto outside the International Conference Centre where the climate talks are being held in Durban, South Africa.

Kyoto – dressed as a bride – and the EU – dressed as a groom – reaffirmed their vows of loyalty and love with the help of a ‘vicar’ and two guests.

During the ceremony, passing conference delegates were given ‘Love Heart’ sweets carrying the message: ‘I ♥ Kyoto’.

The celebration was organised by campaigners from APRODEV, a group of European faith-based development agencies which includes Christian Aid (UK), Church of Sweden and Norwegian Church Aid.

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Pictures of the ceremony are available on request. 

To talk to Mohamed Adow and for more pictures and information, please contact Rachel Baird:  +00 27 (0)7914 56324 and +00 44 (0)7545 501 749.

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