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Time to make a deal

Posted by Sara Cowan Campaigns and Activism Co-ordinator

10th Dec 2014

As the second week of climate talks get underway the call for urgency gets louder. 

Nowhere is this need for urgency clearer than currently in the Philippines. Yesterday morning we stood in solidarity with those from the Philippines who are calling for 'solidarity not just sympathy' as the largest peacetime evacuation in the world's history has just taken place in their country.

The full force of typhoon Hagupit is still being assessed and, in anticipation of today's ministerial speeches, campaigners from the Philippines said: "we aren't looking for words of sympathy that we have received in the past, we need climate action. We don't want to be the poster child of climate disasters".

In each of the past three years, a major typhoon has decimated parts of the Philippines. This reality provides a crucial reminder of the urgent task facing negotiators in Lima.

Oxfam partner, Shubert Ciencia, called on those negating in Lima to give justice to those who lost their lives or livelihoods but agreeing an ambitious deal in Paris next year.

So what's happening in Lima?

After a sluggish start to the conference the second week got underway with the release of a series of new draft texts of the agreements being worked on here in Lima.

These texts show there is still plenty of work to be done in this second week and Ministers must urgently inject energy into the process so that they can lay the groundwork for ambitious action in Paris next year. There can be no further delay.

There were positive elements within the new text, including a proposal from African and Latin American countries calling on developed countries to demonstrate their current progress towards meeting their promise made in Copenhagen in 2009 to commit $100 billion in public and private funds by 2020 to help developing countries cut carbon pollution and adapt to climate change. There is also a demand for developed countries to provide a detailed roadmap on how funding will be ramped up over the next few years.

How climate action will be financed is a key element to ensuring equity within any agreement that comes out of the UN process. That's why in the past we have welcomed Scotland's Climate Justice Fund which, although small, is an excellent example of how countries most affected by climate change can be supported to adapt to it. We hope Scotland's example can help raise ambitions during these talks and we are working hard to highlight Scotland's climate action story.

Away from the conference centre another summit got underway yesterday in central Lima. The People's Summit is bringing together people from around the world, in particular indigenous people's movements from Latin American countries, to discuss climate action and to put pressure on those inside the UN conference to take action. To the sound of Peruvian bands, and calls to strengthen the fight for climate action, hundreds gathered for the start of a week-long programme of activity in support of the people's movement for climate justice.

Later this week, the People's Summit will submit their declaration detailing seven areas of action for delegations at COP20.  The voices of people here in Lima and around the world are crucial to bringing about ambitious climate action.

By that time we hope that the negotiations will have stepped up a gear; they must. There remains an opportunity for real progress by the end of this week but urgency is needed. It's time to make a deal.

Blog post written by Sara Cowan

Campaigns and Activism Co-ordinator

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