The Cancun climate conference is here, and much of the world is nervous, hopeful, and pessimistic about what our world leaders are going to do. Many are also getting active, promoting strong climate action. Here’s a letter from Oxfam ambassadors and supporters published last week calling for environmental justice, protection of the poor, and clear climate progress in Cancun (via The Guardian):
A year ago world leaders gathered in Copenhagen to take on one of history’s greatest threats to humanity – climate change. Some important progress was made, but sadly not nearly enough. When they meet in Cancun next Monday for a new round of talks, they can make history. For millions on the frontlines of climate change, the time since Copenhagen has been the year from hell, as floods, droughts, fires, storms and other extreme weather events have wiped out crops and destroyed the livelihoods of some of the poorest people in the world (Report, 20 November). We know that the destructive impacts of climate change will mean more misery and pain for the world’s poor and increasing instability and insecurity unless action is taken. As leaders prepare for a new round of talks in Cancun next week, it is abundantly clear they must do better. And fast.
Climate funding to help poor communities protect themselves and develop in a low-carbon way could help break through the stalemate. Progress on setting up a new global climate fund that enables vulnerable people in poor countries – especially women, who bear the hardest burdens – to build resilience to growing threats could be the key to moving the world closer towards a global deal. A fair, effective and accountable UN body is needed to give voice to those who need the money most and can use it best.
These measures of success are within our grasp if world leaders seize this moment in Cancun. Time is running out, but it’s not too late to prevent a climate catastrophe. We look to them to play their part in the historic challenge of our time, so that a safer future is secured for us all and generations to come.
Scarlett Johansson USA, Djimon Hounsou Benin, Gael García Bernal Mexico, Helena Christensen Denmark, Miguel Bosé Panama, Kristin Davis USA, Bill Nighy UK, Angelique Kidjo Benin, Ian McEwan UK, Jeremy Hobbes
Oxfam ambassadors and supporters
Will world leaders listen to these stars and millions of others? I hope so, but I have to admit that my hopes are not too high.
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