UN climate talks avoid crunch issues, political direction needed

Published: 11th June 2015

On the final day of the latest round of UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn, Germany, in the week in which the G7 announced a goal of decarbonizing the global economy over the course of the century, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Adviser, Jan Kowalzig, said:

"Negotiators avoided a show-down over crunch issues like finance and increasing near term emissions cuts, but they are only delaying the inevitable. A clearer mandate from Heads of State and ministers is needed to ignite the talks and ensure key questions are answered. Upcoming events like the Financing for Development meeting in Addis, the UN General Assembly in New York or the G20 in Turkey offer the perfect opportunity for high level political signals to be sent. Political leaders need to give a clear steer on how to address the inadequacy of current emissions reductions pledges, but also on the urgent financial support needed for the most vulnerable countries and populations."

On phasing out fossil fuel emissions, Kowalzig commented:

"The G7 have set a powerful vision of a fossil fuel free future, but this is at odds with their limited ambition to reduce emissions in the short term. They also need to bring developing countries on board by being clear that developed countries will be first movers in the fossil fuel phase out, as well as by putting financing on the table to enable them to follow suit."

On finance, Kowalzig said:

"Oxfam estimates there is an annual funding gap of at least $80 billion regarding the $100 billion goal agreed in Copenhagen in 2009, with just $2.3-4.2 billion per year currently flowing to adaptation. To lay a foundation for success in Paris, rich countries must quickly follow Germany's lead in pledging real increases in public funding for adaptation for the next years. Developing countries cannot afford another delay tactic from rich economies."

Contact information

Jan Kowalzig is in Bonn and available for interviews on +49 178 453 8050

For other media enquiries, please contact Elena Cornellana on +34 646 955 915 elena.cornellana@oxfaminternational.org

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.