As UN climate talks close in Bangkok, NGOs demand action, ambition and accountability

 

[Bangkok – Thailand] At a press conference on the last day of UN climate talks in Bangkok, Thailand, international experts from NGOs organized in the Climate Action Network (CAN) assessed the Bangkok outcome, discussed the role of different countries in the talks, and gave an outlook for COP18 in Doha at the end of the year.

An archived video footage from the press conference can be found at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25196443

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:

"The world has warmed less than 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, yet we are already starting to experience the devastating impacts of human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, the collective low level of ambition on emissions reductions will soon foreclose our ability to stay below the 2 degrees increase in global temperatures that world leaders have committed to avoid. The time for finger-pointing, blame-casting, and hiding behind the inaction of others is over. What we demand from all countries in Doha is three things: action, ambition, and accountability."

Tove Ryding, Climate Policy Coordinator, Greenpeace International, said:

“While people around the world are fighting life or death struggles against extreme storms and droughts, the EU, US and the emerging economies have not made any progress to resolving political barriers to tackling the climate crisis. So far, the governments have managed to resolve some technical issues and admitted that we have a very serious problem but completely failed to take the necessary action.”

Tasneem Essop, Head of the WWF Delegation, said:

“Some parties need to get a reality check and get out of the negotiation “bubble” - they need to look the vulnerable in the eye - so we suggest that they use the time between now and Doha to do a field trip to witness first hand the impacts of climate change already being felt in many places such as the drought-ridden Horn of Africa and central US, Tuvalu with sea-level rise, Philippines, India and Thailand with frequent flooding, Brazil with land-slides due to heavy rainfalls and the Arctic where in this week we are bearing witness to the highest recorded levels of sea-ice melting! Maybe this is what we need to give those who lack a sense of urgency a wake up call.”

Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN International, said:

“We welcome the openness towards civil society input that Qatar is showing, but they need to step up their leadership role if they want to achieve a successful outcome at COP18 in Doha. In the very short time remaining before the start of the conference, Qatar must reach out to a wider group of countries to understand their priorities for COP18, especially small island states and least developed countries, who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Qatar should also submit an emission limitation pledge to the international community. Although it is a relatively easy step, given the capabilities Qatar has, such a pledge will send a strong political signal that Qatar is serious about climate change.”

Contacts

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

For more information, please go to www.climatenetwork.org and contact CAN International Director Wael Hmaidan, email: whmaidan@climatenetwork.org, local mobile: +66 08 9210 4796

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