UN climate talks in Cancun must be saved from the brink

"Brinkmanship, delay and rumour
will only lead to millions of poor
people already affected by climate
change being the biggest losers."

Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International Executive Director
National self-interest and brinkmanship must not be allowed to sabotage the Cancun climate talks and risk reversing the progress made over the past two weeks, warned Oxfam on the penultimate day of the increasingly volatile summit.

The warning comes as key countries like the US and Japan refuse to move on important decisions that are hampering hopes for an ambitious deal on climate finance and mitigation. Japan’s position on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol risks derailing the chance to increase the level of woefully inadequate emissions pledges made in Copenhagen.

The US, meanwhile, is refusing to move on establishing the Climate Fund, which is crucial in delivering urgently needed money to protect the most vulnerable people, until they get their way on the details of measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions cuts in China and developing countries. China and other developing countries have made it clear they are prepared to negotiate and demonstrate transparency. This one issue should not threaten the rest of the finance agenda.

Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs said, “Cancun can still be the turning point away from the disappointment of Copenhagen. But brinkmanship, delay and rumour amounts to a game of Russian Roulette, which will only lead to millions of poor people already affected by climate change being the biggest losers.

“The rules of the game were agreed three years ago in Bali and ministers must play by them. They must place the global common good at the heart of their negotiations so that a legally binding agreement here can put the UN talks back on track and move us all towards a safer future.”

It is essential that a new fair Climate Fund be established at Cancun, with at least 50 per cent of climate funds allocated for adaptation needs. Women must be at the heart of the Fund so that the money is delivered to them and other groups affected most by the impacts of climate change.
Article type: 
Press release