10.12.2012 | permalink
As the United Nations Conference on Climate Change came to a close on Saturday, NGOs criticised the lack of commitment to address the disastrous impacts of climate change, especially with regard to food security. Michiel Schaeffer, a scientist at Climate Analytics, expressed surprise that very little emphasis had been placed on food security at the event: “There is no question climate change poses a major risk to our ability to produce food”, Schaeffer told IPS. He stressed that the current rise in the Earth's average temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius had already led to droughts, flooding and extreme weather events linked to climate change. Celine Charveriat, Director of Campaigns and Advocacy at Oxfam International shared his concerns: “This year droughts in the Sahel, the US and Russia saw food prices rise and hunger spread, but rather than rising to the challenges posed by climate change, we saw a drought of climate action from rich countries in Doha.” The two-week round of talks ended with a final marathon session in which states extended the Kyoto Protocol to 2020. However, this will only apply to 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions as countries such as the US, Canada and Russia opted out. A roadmap for a new global climate treaty was also agreed. Set to come into force in 2020, it will require both developed and developing countries to cut their emissions. Critics were further disappointed by the lack of funding pledges. Developed countries had promised $100 billion per year from 2020 to help poor countries adapt to climate change. However, no funding was granted for the seven-year interim period. Only a few European countries made individual pledges. “Poor countries came to Doha facing a climate ‘fiscal cliff’, and at the end of these talks they are now left hanging by their fingertips off the edge”, Oxfam said.