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Christian Aid Ireland has criticised the Polish hosts of this week’s UN climate summit in Katowice for unpresidential behaviour by allowing coal companies to sponsor the crucial meeting that will seek to tackle a climate crisis fuelled by the burning of fossil fuels.

The summit hopes to deliver a rulebook for assessing the national pledges that make up the Paris Agreement while also pushing countries to examine how they can improve these pledges to keep global temperature rise to under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Jennifer Higgins, Policy and Advocacy Officer at Christian Aid Ireland, said:

“The global meeting to tackle climate change should not be sponsored by coal companies.  It is like an arms dealer sponsoring peace talks.  This is irresponsible presidency from Poland.  As a three-time host of this auspicious meeting they should know better. For representatives of countries coming to this summit that have suffered devastating climate impacts this year, it is a slap in the face. 

The meeting in Katowice comes at an important time, just weeks after the special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which showed that countries needed to urgently step up their actions if we were to limit warming to the 1.5 degree target enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

Ms Higgins said: “This gathering will hopefully be an historic one. Countries have all the evidence they need and must urgently accelerate their response to the climate crisis. Coming out of Katowice we need a rulebook that will help us measure the global effort and drive the implementation of what has been agreed. And we need to see countries ratcheting up their pledges through the Talanoa Dialogue which will bring the Paris Agreement to life and make it stronger over time.”

Notes to Editors

Jennifer Higgins will be in Katowice throughout the UN Climate Summit and is available for interview. Call 0044 28 90648133 to arrange.