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Cameron fails to put climate ambition on the EU agenda

21 March 2014 - Prime Minister David Cameron has failed to back up his words on climate change with actions says Christian Aid after the EU opted to put off a decision on its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets until October.

Despite Cameron’s strong rhetoric about climate change being ‘one of the most serious threats to the UK and the world’ after the devastating UK floods, the weak response from the EU today shows a lack of leadership from the UK and other EU nations.

Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Adviser, Alison Doig, said: ‘We can see climate change happening both here in the UK and around the world, yet the EU is kicking the can down the road and shirking its responsibility to make firm commitments right now.

‘David Cameron was quick to rightly describe climate change as one of the most serious threats to the UK during the recent floods but he has failed to push this up the EU agenda.

‘With the crucial Ban-Ki Moon climate summit in September the EU must have a strong position in order to put pressure on other countries to up their commitments, and adopt targets to keep global temperature rise well below 2oC.

‘Allowing the low-ambition countries such as the US, Canada, Japan and Australia to set the pace for the climate negotiations will lead to minimal cuts in greenhouse gas pollution and potential disaster for the world’s poorest people already suffering from climate change.

‘It is now vital David Cameron steps forward and takes a leadership role to salvage this process by the next European Council meeting in June, the last chance for a decision ahead of the Ban-Ki Moon summit.

‘The Liberal Democrats, who claim to take this issue seriously, need to ensure it is a top priority for this Government.’

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Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://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 http://www.christianaid.org.uk