As delegates enter the final hours of negotiations here in Nairobi, the Climate Action Network (CAN) calls for bold leadership, in keeping with the scale and urgency of the challenge before the global community. Climate change is the greatest threat to human security the world has ever faced and negotiations here and action at home must demonstrate that Parties are commited to avoiding dangerous climate change.
The recent release of the Stern Report on the economics of climate change is the latest call to action. The day approaches when humanity no longer has the option of staying as far below 2 degrees global warming as possible. Business as usual will mean even greater warming and risk up to 20 per cent of the value of the global economy. The cost of taking action will be far less than the cost of impacts. The figure of 1 per cent of global gross domestic product is consistent with many assessments. For almost two decades science has been telling us that radical reductions are needed to avoid economically, socially and environmentally destructive climate change.
Further delay is simply irresponsible. The world is watching: the welfare of the world’s communities and economies is in delegates’ hands. Parties urgently need to agree here to conclude the second review of the Protocol by 2008 and the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on further commitments for developed countries by 2009. These timelines are essential if resolute negotiations are to be launched next year, to ensure no gap between commitment periods. Nairobi must set the stage for the launch of formal negotiations at COP/MOP3.
Courage, creativity and flexibility will be needed to finalise such a Nairobi package and there is reason to be hopeful.
CAN welcomes the positive gestures shown in recent days by a number of developed and developing countries offering concrete proposals for moving forward. Sadly, however, other delegates have been less respectful; less forthcoming about their intentions. It will take courage to confront the obstacles placed by these laggards.
Failure to meet current targets and to set deep targets for the second commitment period puts global security at risk. No country can be allowed to ignore its responsibility to contribute its fair share. Parties owe it to current and future generations. Please – mind the gap – for all our sakes.
Two weeks ago, ECO held high hopes for the African COP/MOP. This was to be the meeting where Parties recognised their responsibilities to vulnerable regions, like Africa, and to future generations. Since then, ECO has heard how climate change is destroying lives and livelihoods across Africa. Parts of Kenya are suffering a drought that started in 2003: in Northern Kenya, pastoralists have lost 10 million livestock; two thirds of the population in Turkana region have lost their livelihoods; Maasai pastoralists have lost five million cattle. In their speeches yesterday, Ministers spoke of improving the Kyoto Protocol. But are Parties really willing to do the work to make it happen? There is only a small window of opportunity to take strong action on climate change and meet the demands of the vulnerable people of the world. ECO urges Parties to show leadership – today – commensurate with the climate challenges that humanity faces. The developed and developing countries alike depend on your decisions.