Video and Statement from Climate Negotiations: Seize the Moment to "Get us Back on Track" and avoid Catastrophic Consequences

The following was issued by WWF International from Durban, South Africa:

Durban, South Africa: Government leaders are still not seeing the big picture—we are here to address catastrophic climate change, WWF said today ahead of the closing of the climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa.

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy initiative issued the following statement:

“There is still time to make some incremental progress on a few key issues here in Durban, but it’s important to realize that incremental progress is pretty much all we’ve seen for 17 years.

“The bottom line is that – no matter the final scenario – we are not seeing the kind of ambition of governments that will keep warming to 2°. In fact, some scenarios in play here could result in being legally bound to a 4° world. This would have dire consequences and result in an unstable future where the basic needs of people, like food and water, could no longer be met.

“So it’s important that governments, when they finish here, remind themselves that they don’t yet deserve any congratulations – we haven’t solved the threat of climate change and they are responsible for that.

“In Cancun, governments agreed that they would limit global warming to 2° in order to avoid disastrous climate change. But what they’re doing here could mean we’ll miss that target with catastrophic consequences for people and nature all over the world. And they need to remember that when they go home.

“The people are not fooled. Impacts are already being felt by hundreds of millions around the world. From the United States, which in the last year has experienced 14 climate-related weather disasters costing more than $1 billion USD each, to the Horn of Africa, which is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years.

“WWF is not giving up. Broader civil society is not giving up. The people are not giving up. When this meeting ends, the fight for a secure and fair future for our world will go on, both inside and outside this process.

“There are a few hours left. If leaders are truly serious about addressing climate change, they must use this time to ensure we keep 2° in reach. They must commit to a 2015 timeline for agreeing an ambitious deal and immediately chart a course to get us back on track.

“They must reflect on why they are here and prove to the public that they will do more to reduce pollution and be held accountable to those promises.

“Anything less is unacceptable.”

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Online Resources:

WWF US > Climate Change Blog

WWF International >  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) » COP17

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