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New ‘Danish texts’ threaten to undermine climate talks

Nelson Muffuh, Senior Climate Advocacy Coordinator at Christian Aid, says: 'In his haste to push the talks along and have some sort of 'success' to declare on Friday, the newly appointed COP President, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, has introduced a new 'Danish draft.’

‘Nothing could more undermine the trust of developing countries than for the Danes to change the rules again - and continue to promote their ideas at the expense of encouraging compromise.

'President Rasmussen seems to have sacrificed the principle that any deal must be reached openly and transparently, through the existing negotiating groups here, rather than behind closed doors between an exclusive group of compliant countries. This flawed approach compromises his proposed texts.

‘Denmark’s role here is as a facilitator. This conference is being held in Copenhagen - but it is not Denmark's conference on climate change - it is the whole world’s.

‘The constant deadlocks afflicting the talks are a symptom of developed countries’ refusal to offer anything like a fair deal for developing countries. Instead, the rich are trying to bully the poor into taking on more of the burden of solving the climate crisis.’

'We realise that time is short for this historic meeting to achieve a deal which is worthy of the crisis facing the entire world. However, the ongoing negotiating process, which is open and inclusive, should be allowed to produce a text. The COP Presidency should encourage and not undermine this.’

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To interview Nelson Muffuh and for more information, contact Andrew Hogg on (00 45) 40975304 or (00 44) 07872 350 534 / ahogg@christian-aid.org
Or Rachel Baird on (00 45) 40973665 or (00 44) 7545 501 749 / rbaird@christian-aid.org


Notes to Editors:

1. Countdown to Copenhagen is a climate justice campaign instigated by APRODEV, an association of 17 major faith-based development and humanitarian aid organisations in Europe, which work closely with the World Council of Churches. The campaign is now active in 24 countries worldwide. APRODEV members and partner organisations along with members of CIDSE, an international network of 16 Catholic development agencies, have collected more than 250,000 pledges from individuals that they will help save the planet. Taking the pledge included a commitment to reduce personal carbon footprints through recycling, reusing and reducing consumption, as well as an undertaking to write to political leaders pressing for a climate change agreement that is fair to poor countries. The pledges will be handed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to to Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 13 December in a ceremony at  11.30am in Town Hall Square, Copenhagen.

2. Christian Aid, a member of APRODEV, 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 life they deserve.

3. Christian Aid wants rich countries at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen to commit to at least 40 per cent reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.  It also wants industrialised countries to commit to providing more than 110 billion Euros a year to developing countries, along with technology transfers, to enable them to develop in a low carbon way and adapt to climate change.

4. Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition which represents 11 million members across 100 UK organisations.  All are united in their demand for an end to dirty coal, and a fair and just international climate change deal that protects the worlds’ poorest communities.

5. Climate change is already depriving poor people in many developing countries of their livelihoods.  Christian Aid believes that it must urgently be tackled, in order to help achieve a world free of poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end global poverty.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk

6. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_

7. Pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/christian_aid_media