A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
As the latest round of UNFCCC talks on climate change draw to a close today, international agency Oxfam warns that there has been a clear lowering of expectations ahead of the next UN climate summit in Cancun which will stall the progress needed unless negotiations step up several gears.
"The urgency to act on climate change for the sake of the world's poorest people and ultimately the planet has not gone away and the public still expect action. Negotiators need to chart a course for success, restore momentum and meet expectations as we move towards Tianjin and onto Cancun," said Oxfam's Policy Advisor Kelly Dent.
"As developed nations continue to drag their feet on reaching a new fair and legally binding deal the cost is already being measured in human lives," she added.
A ray of hope at these talks shines from the progress within negotiations on managing finance needed to enable poor countries to adapt to climate changes and develop in a low carbon way. Today Oxfam understands a decision has been made to ask the UNFCCC to compile information on the delivery of immediate, additional finance that developed countries have committed to under the Copenhagen Accord. Importantly, this information is to be made publicly available providing a key transparent way forward.
Parties have also converged on the need for a new fund for longer term finance to be set-up under the UNFCCC and discussions are progressing on how it would be governed. But, Oxfam warns the fund risks marginalizing the interests of women unless rules are agreed to ensure they are adequately represented in deciding how the money should be spent.
"Women produce up to 80% of the food in poor countries. They are the key to food security for millions of poor people as climate change affects agriculture. The new global climate fund must ensure they get the resources they need," said Dent.
It is also essential to ensure that adequate new and additional funds are found to fill the new fund - at least the $100 billion per year by 2020 committed in the Copenhagen accord. Innovative sources of finances, which the High Level Advisory group on Finance will report on by the end of October, must be firmly embedded in the negotiations moving forward.
"Acting now is cheaper than acting later, the resources needed can be raised without breaking the bank, and these resources are an investment in a fairer, more secure, and more prosperous world," she added.
With only one week of negotiations left before Mexico, Governments must step up to the plate and deliver a set of legal agreements - including on climate finance - that serve as important stepping stones to a full legally binding deal and which help to boost the trust and confidence that rich nations can deliver.
Watch the video: Post-Copenhagen: What next for Oxfam's Climate Change Campaign
Notes to editors
Download Oxfam's latest Climate Change report: Climate Finance Post-Copenhagen: The $100 billion questions
Georgette Ginn, Media Lead (London) +44 (0)7796 993288 Georgette.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Dent, spokesperson (In Bonn) +49 175 948 3257 email@example.com