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.
Tianjin, China – As the 6-day international climate negotiations in Tianjin, China, closed today, international development agency Oxfam said the outline of an agreement on a set of decisions at the Cancun summit in December are beginning to appear, but governments will need to work with real urgency and the utmost determination to achieve real progress this year.
“Real progress can be made in Cancun. But all the talk of ‘balanced outcomes’ this week will mean absolutely nothing if governments don’t make key decisions to keep the flame of a fair, safe and binding global agreement alight,” said Kelly Dent, Senior Climate Change Advisor for Oxfam. “Poor people around the world cannot afford for that light to be extinguished. It is a matter of survival."
Oxfam said that the establishment of a new Global Climate Fund that would assist developing countries to adapt to climate change impacts is a vital and achievable outcome for Cancun. Other key elements of a “balanced outcome” to ensure the talks move forward, include a pathway to a binding agreement that will ensure more ambitious action on emissions reductions and the provision of long-term finance by rich countries.
“This week has shown us that substantive building blocks, like the climate fund, can be achieved in Cancun. It is crucial that rich countries don’t hold the climate fund hostage to progress in other areas of the negotiations. Treating the new fund as a bargaining chip will only result in deadlock and more suffering for vulnerable people in poor countries,” she added.
Oxfam is calling for a new Global Climate Fund that is equitable, accountable, transparent and efficient. The fund must be accessible for poor countries, with at least half of the funding going to help vulnerable people adapt to a changing climate, especially women farmers who are responsible for producing over half the food in some poor countries.
Much of the attention in Tianjin focused on the United States and China – while others countries slipped off the radar.
“The debate about tackling climate change shouldn’t be about just two countries – no matter how powerful – when the most savage impacts are felt by those least responsible for causing climate change. If effective solutions to the climate crisis are to be found, their views must be heard in the negotiations,” Dent stressed.
Meanwhile Dent said she is encouraged by the role played by Chinese civil society around the Tianjin talks.
“The active participation of Chinese civil society, which has created important dialogue in the public domain, has been particularly impressive in Tianjin. It is yet another reflection of the growing global movement to tackle climate change,” she added.
Negotiations will continue at the upcoming COP 16 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, next month, where governments must deliver a set of decisions – stepping stones that will clearly mark the path to a fair ambitious and binding deal.
Sow the Seed: Keep the pressure on world leaders to protect food supplies and save lives.
Notes to editors
Download Oxfam's latest Climate Change report: Righting Two Wrongs: Making a New Global Climate Fund Work for Poor People
For interview arrangement:
Thomas Lau, Media Lead, email@example.com,
Mobile in China +86 (0) 137 5210 5124 (in Tianjin from 2-11 Oct) or Hong Kong office 852 – 3120-5275
Or contact Oxfam’s policy team in Tianjin:
Kelly Dent, Senior Climate Change Advisor for Oxfam, on +86 (0) 152 2240 2464
Tim Gore, EU Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam, +86 (0) 18702205254
Stanley So, manager of Oxfam Hong Kong's Economic Justice Campaign, +86 (0) 13552607916