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Quotes from developing country NGOs on state of COP20

Hundreds of organisations from developing countries warned that UN climate talks were ignoring the key issues in Lima, and risked producing an inconclusive and ineffective outcome.

Such an outcome would ignore the rights and needs of climate-impacted people and could setup Paris to fundamentally miss the small window to confront climate change based on justice.

“One of the fundamental flaws of the negotiations is the lack of a clear global goal for limiting global warming based on science,” said

Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia Pacific from the Philippines.

“Without agreeing to a clear limit on climate pollution that the science calls for we know the Lima talks are setting us up to risk crashing that physical limit even if they don’t actually write it down here. Breaking that limit, and seeing the impacts we’ve already experienced, is why we are demanding a deal that addresses the issue of finance, adaptation and technology transfer in a legally binding way. If countries are not required to make legal contributions on finance and technology there will be no justice – and if there’s no justice there cannot be a deal.” Nacpil said.

Earlier this week groups from across the developing world released a declaration outlining their expectations for the talks, and have not seen progress on the issue important to people.

“In the last few years we have seen the talks rapidly deteriorating to voluntary contributions, without any agreed reference points as to how ensure that the sum of the contributions will be enough to save people and the planet from climate catastrophe. We have been railroaded into this situation by governments, led by the United States, who refuse to meet their obligations not only to their citizens but to all peoples of the world.”

Nacpil added.

“The banners in the streets of Lima were calling for the right to water, the rights of indigenous peoples, of forest communities, of those displaced by the fossil fuel economy or the climate change it causes. The Lima outcome does not look like it will come close to taking on those concerns because the governments of the rich industrialised world who have allowed the climate crisis to prosper refuse to hold their polluting corporations to account. ”

said Benjamin Coreas of the Mesoamerican Campaign for Climate Justice, an activist from El Salvador.

The statement was issued by close to 200 movements and organizations from developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, calling on all countries to contribute to the global effort but emphasizing that efforts should all add up to what is necessary to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees, and that efforts be share equitably and fairly based on science, historical responsibility and capacity.

“We are already suffering massive devastation, loss of lives, and displacement of communities, with just 0.8 degrees of warming. Science is saying it still possible to limit warming to below 1.5 degrees which is the absolute limit we can accept. Even that will mean far worse consequences for our people than what they are already experiencing. But governments are no longer talking about a global goal. This is unacceptable.” Gerry Arances of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, said.

Many climate campaigners in Lima are reacting strongly to efforts to dilute the distinction between developed and developing countries and the proposal for “self-differentiation” put forward by the US government.

“We are calling for all countries to contribute their fair share to the global effort to confront the climate crisis. But we outraged by persistent efforts of many developed country governments to erase the crucial differences in responsibilities and obligations among countries, especially between developed and developing countries, north and south,” Azeb Girmai of LDC Watch, one of the organizations who signed the statement.

“Developed countries are largely responsible for the crisis and therefore have much bigger obligations to fulfil. They should stop trying cover up their own weak targets by constantly pressing developing countries for mitigation actions. The Climate Convention is a comprehensive and effective approach to climate change, it should not be re-written at the whims of rich industrialised countries and their corporate backers.” Girmai said.

“This is hypocrisy and duplicity on the part of developed country governments.” Said Sam Ogallah of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

another organization that signed the statement.

“Governments of developed countries are pressuring developing countries when they do not even own up to the inadequacy of their targets and constantly refuse to include climate finance as part of binding agreements. Climate finance for mitigation actions in the South is part of the obligations and fair share of the efforts of developed countries.” Ogallah said.

The scope of the 2015 agreement is one of the hotly debated issues at the COP20 in Lima. United States and even the European Union have been strongly and consistently opposing the inclusion of Finance and Technology as binding elements in the 2015 Agreement.

The statement notes that “accumulated excessive GHG emissions of developed countries are so huge that even extremely ambitious domestic actions will not be enough to fulfil their fair share of the effort”, and that developed countries “must deliver the climate finance and technology that will make it possible for the remainder of their mitigation obligations to be undertaken in the South. “

The signatories to the statement put forward their perspective on the “fair share” of developing countries to the global effort. “While developing countries bear far less and for many like the Least Developed Countries hardly any historical responsibility for the climate crisis, the business-as-usual projections of governments of developing countries show that all will reach a point of exceeding their fair share of the global emissions budget.”

“All Southern or “developing” countries should shift as quickly as possible to more equitable, just and sustainable pathways. Even as they should double the intensity of their demands for deep and drastic cuts from the North, they should also take on the GHG emissions reductions necessary to avoid exceeding their fair share of the global emissions budget – this constitutes their fair share of the global effort.” The statement said.

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