Youth Statement: Doha failed to deliver

In light of a recent Guardian article by EU representative Connie Hedegaard and other media attention trying to dress up the catastrophic Doha outcome as a success, young people around the world issued the following statement to clear up the Doha Delusion:

Youth Statement

As COP18 came to a close last week, we were left with what can only be described as colossal betrayal and abandonment of the world’s most vulnerable people. The world needed progress, but Doha failed to deliver.

In Doha our governments failed us. They  provided no new targets to reduce carbon emissions, no finance commitments, and a weak compromise on loss and damage for the least developed countries that are already suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change.

As youth, and future guardians of this world, we are disgusted by the misinformation that is being spread. We want to set the record straight. No self-congratulatory Ministerial statements, or lofty opinion pieces are warranted here – on all possible counts, Doha failed to deliver.

The world needed ambition, but Doha failed to deliver.
In the run up to COP18 it was universally acknowledged that greater ambition was desperately needed – but  nothing changed in Doha. There is still nothing in the texts that equitably apportions responsibility for increasing ambition, nothing in the texts that demands ambitious leadership from developed nations, and nothing in the texts that will steer us away from catastrophic climate change. The world needed ambitious leadership based on the universally accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, based on respective capabilities, but Doha failed to deliver.  

The world needed finance, but Doha failed to deliver.
The world needed mobilisation of funds to tackle climate change. The Green Climate Fund that was set-up to fund mitigation and adaptation projects still remains empty, despite urgent pleas from developing nations. The world needed sustainable mechanisms to fill the fund, but Doha failed to deliver.

The world needed a stronger Kyoto Protocol, but Doha failed to deliver.
The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is being cited as one of the many successes of this conference. The Kyoto Protocol, although currently the only legally binding deal committing countries to reduce their carbon emissions, is far from perfect – and this agreement on a second commitment further weakens the deal. The world needed a Kyoto Protocol revitalised with the necessary commitment, ambition and urgency, but Doha failed to deliver.

The world needed justice, but Doha failed to deliver.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and in the midst of Typhoon Bopha, COP18 should have provided honest reparations for those most affected by climate change, and adequately addressed climate justice. Instead, “loss and damage” received tokenistic near-dismissal. There are no guarantees that the fundamental demands from developing countries to establish an international mechanism will be met. The world needed climate justice, but Doha failed to deliver.

Some have dismissed such claims of failure, calling the Doha conference a ‘transition COP’, where nothing major was ever going to be decided, except negotiating steps towards a global deal for 2020. This lack of political will is locking us into a decade of inaction – a decade we cannot spare. We needed real progress, but Doha failed to deliver. 

What the BBC is saying: EU to blame for stalling in talks

From BBC News:

Science & Environment

7 December 2012 Last updated at 15:58 GMT

'Hot-air' release at Doha climate talks dispels tension

Read more…

Loss and Damage: Missing from the text

by Graham Reeder and Katie O’Brien

This is what loss and damage looks like

As we came to Doha last week, we were fully expecting Loss and Damage to be a key outcome of this conference in Doha. Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC went to the African Meeting of the Ministers of the Environment to encourage them to push for more adaptation outcomes at this COP (mostly because she saw it as the only real deliverable here).

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Latest sign on letter to Ministers on Loss and Damage now includes 45 NGOs and networks from around the world: take a look

Cross posted from our Friends and CARE International

Dear Minister,

The world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and many fragile and precious ecosystems, are already being hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. As a coalition of NGOs and civil society groups representing millions of people who are extremely concerned about our changing climate, we are calling for urgent action to tackle loss and damage, starting with dramatically up-scaled commitments on mitigation and adaptation at COP 18 in Doha. 

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The kids are not alright: Frustration grows as the UNFCCC fails to actually address climate change

by Graham Reeder

In 1992, the world’s governments came together in Rio and agreed to a framework convention with the straightforward objective of achieving “the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” This was to be achieved “within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.” (Article 2 of the Convention: Objectives)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world’s governments have already failed to achieve this. Science tells us that the safe level of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 350 parts per million, the average concentration in 2011 was 391.57. In terms of timeframe and natural adaptation, given what countries are putting on the table, we are on track for 4 to 6°C of average temperature rise, if you take a look at the recent world bank report the impacts of a four degree warmer world are chilling, they include dramatic heat waves and drought, glacial retreat, and sea-level rise. All you have to do is ask a pastoralist farmer in the horn of Africa, which is on its fifth consecutive year of severe drought, to find out if food production is being threatened by climate change. Parties here in Doha are in a peculiar situation, in which they know that the multilateral system is the only forum in which countries can truly address climate change in a just and whole manner, but in which we are so clearly failing to do so.

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