No time for crisis in climate change confidence

16 November 2010 | IUCN statement

Two weeks ahead of the UN climate summit in Cancun, IUCN calls on policy-makers to restore confidence in the negotiation process, increase climate funding and ensure that natural solutions are part of a post-2012 regime. Adaptation, finance and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) are some of the key issues on the table of the 194-nation talks, starting at the end of November.  

Significant steps need to be taken now towards reaching a legally binding deal in the near future. “Many countries and communities around the world are already making progress on the ground on adapting to the impacts of climate change and reducing their emissions, “says IUCN’s Director of Environment and Development Stewart Maginnis. “However, only an equitable, comprehensive and legally binding agreement will bring the much needed international commitment to manage the climate crisis. What governments should focus on in Cancun is ensuring that confidence in the UNFCCC process is rebuilt, which will bring us a step closer to that planet-saving deal.”

Fast track and long-term funding plans will bring back lost confidence. “We need to move away from the post-Copenhagen paralysis,” says Claire Parker, Senior Climate Change Policy Consultant. “New money for adaptation to climate change impacts and reducing emissions must be made available. Developing countries need to see money that is additional to Official Development Assistance in order to be able to adapt now to the impacts they are already facing and to reduce their emissions.”

Governments need to reach an agreement on REDD plus in order to keep forests standing and healthy. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time conserving forest natural resources on which millions of vulnerable people depend, is a win-win solution for people and nature,” says Carole Saint-Laurent, IUCN’s Senior Forest Policy Adviser .“It has been one of the most promising developments in the negotiations so far, and now it is time for a further push by governments to make REDD plus an integral part of the future climate deal.”

An Adaptation Framework will move negotiations forward. “Vulnerable developing countries in particular are already struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change,” says Ninni Ikkala, IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator. “A global Adaptation Framework is needed to provide international support for urgently needed adaptation actions on the ground, including managing natural resources better and making sure that local communities benefit from them.”

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