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#COP21: Countdown Starts For Paris Climate Deal



The endgame for the UN climate deal has begun with only a few days left until countries are expected to adopt a new agreement to tackle climate change. In response to the draft Paris outcome text released on December 9, Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator for humanitarian aid organisation CARE International, made the following statement:

Time is running out for the planet

“The new draft includes many of the elements required for a meaningful deal, but ambition is under threat. Time is running out for the planet – the impacts of climate shocks are already here, and they are getting worse every second we delay.  Negotiators need to step up their game to deliver a robust deal that works for the people and the planet. We cannot accept a weak deal that locks the poor and vulnerable into a viscous cycle of escalating disasters,” says Sven Harmeling.

“The good news is that we are seeing unprecedented support for the demand of the most vulnerable countries to limit warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Anything beyond means that climate change impacts will increase at the expense of the poor. But a 1.5 degree target is not yet agreed and would be on its own a hollow shell. It must be underpinned by a long-term goal to cut emissions, which is currently on the table,” Harmeling adds.

Loss and damage moving forward, but still a lot to work on

“It’s encouraging that ‘loss and damage’ is recognised in the draft text but the means to deliver meaningful solutions for climate impacts are still falling short from what is needed. This is a question of survival for many vulnerable countries – we need the EU, US and Canada to shift their hard line on this issue.” Harmeling says.

Human rights, gender and food security not yet on secure ground

“Human rights and gender equality can form the glue to build trust for a fair and ambitious climate deal. While such elements remain in the text, countries have not yet agreed to anchor them into the agreement. There is no time to waste. Governments must demonstrate political will. We will continue to fight for securing the place of these elements in the agreement,” Harmeling concludes.


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