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Most vulnerable nations urged not to sign weak climate deal

By John Parnell
RTCC in Doha

Poor countries should not accept a bad deal in Doha, NGOs have said as the UN climate change negotiations apparently stumble toward a late and increasingly insipid conclusion.

Finance is proving a major stumbling block, and the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) claim that there was an offer of $10bn on the table for next year, which would match the current levels of climate funding.

LDC chair Pa Ousman Jarju initially said he would rather leave empty handed but later denied that this was a threat to abandon the talks.

“The saddest part is that the developing countries are being forced into accepting the unacceptable and when they raise their voices people say do you want to be blamed for the collapse of the talks,” said Celine Charveriat, director of campaigns and advocacy with Oxfam.

“They are left with a horrible dilemma of accepting nothing or being blamed for blocking the negotiations,” she said.

“Oxfam and many other NGOs have said they stand in solidarity with developing country governments. If the time comes for them to walk out, we’ll support them and stop the spinning machine that will try to say it’s their fault. The only blame is with rich countries who did not keep their word.”

LDC Chair Pa Ousman Jarju appeared to back track on a threat to walk out on the talks.

Away from finance, there is also frustration with the weakness of the Kyoto Protocol text for the new round of emission reductions. Critics say its low number of participants, unambitious targets and the presence of left over carbon credits all reduce its environmental integrity.

“It’s an empty shell, an insult to our futures,” Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International said.

“There is literally no point in countries signing up to this sham of a deal, which will lock the planet in to many more years of inaction.

“What the world and its people need is more urgent action on cutting climate pollution, more help to those transforming their economies and more help to those already facing climate impacts. This text fails on every count,” he added.

Despite concerns with where the Doha deal is headed, Tony deBrum, the Marshall Islands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs said the engagement provided by the UN climate change process was “vital” and there was nothing else to replace it.

Emmanuel Dlamini, chair of the African Group said they would have to resort to praying for their survival if the UN talks collapsed.

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