Doha Talks On The Brink; Political Leadership Yet To Arrive
The Qatari Presidency of the UN climate talks needs to show leadership now and help ministers finalise a deal in Doha that sees countries reduce their carbon emissions more quickly and provides adequate finance to help poorer countries deal with climate change in the next few years.
The climate talks – the first in the Middle East – are at a crucial juncture with key elements stalling despite the arrival on ministers yesterday, Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network-International said.
“Despite expectations from the new civil society movement around climate change in the region, Arab political leadership has so far failed to materialise,” Hmaidan said. “But there are two days left of the negotiations, so the Qatar presidency needs to, today, pledge to reduce carbon emissions put money for climate finance on the table in order to lift the political energy in the talks.”
“Further, the presidency needs to bring together countries on the unresolved issues in these talks in a way that raises the ambition of climate action globally.”
Liz Gallagher, senior policy advisor from E3G, said the shape of a deal was starting to emerge with consensus being sought around the crunch issues on the Kyoto Protocol, but the long term cooperative track (LCA) was a mess.
“The disorder in the LCA track jeopardizes the entire Doha deal as well as progress towards an inclusive treaty in 2015,” Gallagher said. “We run the risk of having a zombie outcome here in Doha.”
“This is an urgent plea to ministers to roll up their sleeves and start driving the UN talks forward,” she said.
Steve Herz, from the Sierra Club, said the main blockage in the LCA was climate finance – which was crucial to achieving a deal which was acceptable to the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The US is trying to prevent discussion on how the countries would get to the $100 billion a year target.
“The US risks snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if it keeps blocking action on finance in these talks because it risks bringing down the Durban Platform for a new deal which Washington fought so hard for last year,” Herz said.