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Moderate progress at climate talks on loss and damage but countries playing dirty, says Christian Aid

23 November 2013 - At the close of this year’s UN climate summit, hosted by Poland in its National Stadium, Christian Aid acknowledged some moderate progress had been made on ‘loss and damage’ to help poor countries suffering from the effects of climate change, but warned that greater ambition is needed to tackle negotiations in 2014.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's Senior Climate Change Adviser, said: 'This climate summit was like a frustrating game of football, which is fitting because it was held in Warsaw's National Stadium. Some people may want to blame the UNFCCC process for the lack of progress, but that would be like blaming the pitch because the game is going badly.

'There is nothing wrong with the pitch - it is the players who are at fault. Some were playing dirty, like Australia and Japan. As for the hosts, Poland ended up scoring own goals with its shameful coal summit and blocking tactics within the EU group.

'Some moderate progress was made, in that countries agreed to create a way to begin to deal with ‘loss and damage’ inflicted on communities already experiencing unavoidable climate change. Although not fully satisfactory, this will go some way to help those countries that are the least responsible for climate change but suffering the most.

'This was a missed opportunity to set the world on a path to a global climate deal in 2015, with progress painfully slow. We need a clear plan to fairly divide the global effort of responding to climate change and a timeline of when that will happen.

'We need someone to step up and provide real leadership to ensure we have a clean and safe planet for future generations.

'This was supposed to have been the "climate finance COP" but there was a disappointing lack of new money for the US$100 billion Green Climate Fund, which industrialised countries promised in 2009. We need to see countries honouring their commitments ahead of the Peru summit next year, otherwise it could derail the 2015 deal on emissions.

'Over the last few weeks we've seen overwhelming public support for the climate captives of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. We now need our politicians to match that with action to help prevent such extreme weather events in future.

'The publication of the IPCC report has shown the science is clear, while Typhoon Haiyan has provided a glimpse of the human and economic cost of extreme climate events. Next year needs to be the year of ambition if we are to stay on track for a deal in 2015 that assures a safe future for millions.

'Another ray of light was the announcement by UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey that the British government would scrap overseas investment in coal. While Poland embarrassed itself by abusing its role as host to push its own dirty energy agenda, it was encouraging to see the UK condemning public coal funding.

'Christian Aid shares the anger of the NGOs that walked out of the talks and agrees with the spirit of what they did. However, we are committed to this process, which is not at fault, and stayed to hold rich countries to account and fight for what was achieved in the last few hours of the climate talks in Poland.'

If you would like further information, please contact Joe Ware on +44 7870944485. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 2429500 


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 (http://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