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Stay in Copenhagen until you make a fab deal, world leaders urged

Nelson Muffuh, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advocacy Adviser, today urged heads of state and government meeting in Copenhagen to show leadership now while there is still time - and come up with a fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal on climate change.

‘Give the world the best Christmas present it has ever had: stay in Copenhagen until you have produced the deal that the world and its people urgently need,’ he says. ‘No amount of shiny green wrapping paper will disguise your failure, if you come up with a plan that will neither solve the climate crisis nor allow poor countries to survive it and pursue clean development.

‘No amount of greenwash will blind us to where the blame really lies, if you try to point fingers at the developing world, which bears least responsibility for climate change and which is suffering most as a result of it.

‘Nor should you think that poor countries can be bribed into agreeing a deal that is neither fair to them nor effective against climate change. They came here for climate justice and, so far, you have offered them small handouts which are not remotely commensurate with the crisis their people are facing.’

Mr Muffuh also criticises the underhand tactics used by a number of rich countries to delay progress towards a fair, ambitious and binding deal and shift the burden of responsibility for action on to poor countries.

He continues: ‘Voters will not forgive you, the poor people of the world will not forgive you and future generations will not forgive you, if you waste the precious opportunity you have to turn the world away from its path towards climate crisis.

‘Now is the time for you, heads of state and government, to show the world what leadership looks like. To offer emissions cuts which are deep enough to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees. And to come up with a plan for long-term, additional climate finance amounting to at least $150 billion of public funds by 2020.

‘Gordon Brown, we were encouraged by your speech today to fellow heads of state and government, in which you recognised that climate finance must be additional to aid. We ask you and your officials to now use your influence to win significant movement from other developed countries, starting with the EU and the US.’

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For more information contact Andrew Hogg on (00 45) 40975304 or (00 44) 07872 350 534 / ahogg@christian-aid.org
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


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