Guest blog from COP 19 – Jo O’Neill
Guest blog by Jo O’Neill (from SCIAF) written at COP 19 in Warsaw (Sunday 24th November 2013)
In the dying hours of the climate talks last night activists took to the seats of Warsaw’s football stadium to make some serious noise. Their message was that climate change is no game. Yet as the negotiations drew to a close, it’s clear that some are not taking this problem seriously; with those living in poverty losing out.
In the past week SCIAF and our catholic network of development agencies, CIDSE, have been speaking to delegates about the need for climate justice for the world’s most vulnerable people. Father D’Souza, SCIAF partner and Director of Caritas India said: “Climate change is happening now. For communities already living in poverty, farming and fishing is becoming much harder. Young people are struggling to find alternative livelihoods”.
Like others, one of our key demands was progress on climate finance. Earlier this week, in a rare moment of progress European countries pledged money to the Adaptation Fund to support developing nations adapt to the effects of climate change. But this money is a mere drop in the ocean when you consider the costs of adaptation and as we leave Warsaw developing countries still lack clarity on the promised $100bn per year by 2020.
Ambition has proved to be another major sticking point. At this COP, some countries in fact went backwards on their pledges and the roadmap to the 2015 global deal lacks the solid foundation it needs. Rather than making early pledges of post 2020 climate targets, countries have instead opted to set out their action at a later date.
Countries did, however, agree to establish a mechanism to address the loss and damage caused by climate change. This is an important step forward but – as ever – the devil is in the detail and NGOs are calling for that detail to be strengthened if the mechanism is to work for the most vulnerable.
For SCIAF, our priority now is the coming talks in Lima next year and in Paris in 2015. With others, we will be working to strengthen the social movements in Europe and beyond that are demanding action on climate change.
On Twitter today Yeb Sano, the Filipino representative to the talks, pledged to maintain his fasting action and CIDSE members will be following suit ahead of the COP in Lima. It is this spirit of solidarity that was lacking in Warsaw and one which the world desperately needs in the run-up to 2015.