Oxfam – Reaction to Climate Ambition Summit

Responding to the UK-hosted Climate Ambition Summit proceedings, Tim Gore, Head of Climate Policy at Oxfam said:

“The Climate Ambition Summit lacked real ambition. World leaders must step up in the next 12 critical months to pull the world back from the brink of catastrophic climate change.”

“Commitments to near-term emissions cuts are still insufficient to limit warming to the 1.5C Paris goal, and the summit was all but silent on the question of new funds to lower income countries to help them adapt to climate change and decarbonise their economies.”

“We must not stumble from COVID-19 disaster into climate calamity.  During 2020, and with around 1C of global heating, climate change has fuelled deadly cyclones and storms in Asia and Central America, damaging floods in the UK and across Europe, huge locust swarms that have devastated crops across Africa and unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires across Australia and the US.

“We are all affected but it is low income and marginalized people who are hardest hit, despite contributing the least to global emissions. We need a fair and green post-COVID recovery to slash emissions while delivering millions of decent jobs, building more sustainable and resilient economies that work for everyone.

“The US, now set to rejoin the Paris Agreement after a needless absence, has a real chance to prove its commitment to fighting climate change, protecting the vulnerable, and finally tackling this global crisis with the seriousness that it deserves. The US can and should work to earn back the world’s trust as a leader on climate.”

Oxfam New Zealand’s Campaigns Lead Alex Johnston said: “As the impacts of climate change intensify across the world, it is disappointing that New Zealand, having just declared a climate emergency, could not bring a significant policy announcement to the table to be able to speak at this summit.

“As is becoming clear to many, New Zealand’s has failed so far to bring its emissions down, and we are not contributing our fair share of climate finance to those on the frontlines of climate breakdown.

“We hope the New Zealand Government can follow through with inclusive and just policy changes that reflect the seriousness of the issue and their obligations under the Paris Agreement to lift the momentum of ambition and action.”

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