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DEAL OR NO DEAL:

GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR UN CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS

I Count - the UK’s largest campaign on climate change - eagerly looks forward to the forthcoming annual UN talks on climate change to be held in Bali, Indonesia and is urging the UK Government to push for a much needed international agreement for when Kyoto protocol runs out.

Director of I Count, Ashok Sinha, will be joining an international NGO delegation who will be lobbying officials at the conference. 

From 3 to 14 December 2007, politicians from across the world will meet at the UN COP-MOP Climate Change Conference. A key item on the agenda will be the discussion of a ‘post-Kyoto’ international agreement on managing and limiting climate change for 2012 onwards.

I Count is urging Environment Minister, Hilary Benn, who will be joining high profile politicians for the final crucial stages of the conference between 12 - 14 December 2007, to push for action from the talks. 

 “It’s deal or no deal at the UN talks at Bali. World leaders must take concrete steps to negotiate a fair and binding international agreement to fight climate chaos in the face of a post Kyoto vacuum in 2012. New deals take time to set up - next year will be too late. Government’s need to recognise the 2 degree C global warming danger threshold - in order to frame all carbon reduction policies and laws around the world,” said Dr Sinha.

I Count also underlines that the UK must get its domestic policies right if it is to have credibility in international climate change negotiations. At present, the proposed 60 per cent target in the UK’s Climate Change Bill is not consistent with the Government recognised global warming tipping point of 2 degrees C.

“ The UK must get its house in order and demonstrate how industrialised countries can win the fight on climate change. This means ensuring the Climate Change Bill commits to at least an 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050. Also, the omission of aviation and shipping sectors means the proposed 60 per cent target is effectively reduced by about half .” Ashok Sinha, Director for I Count.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1.  I Count is the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition - showing the public and politicians that all our actions to reduce carbon emissions count.  We are the largest campaign on climate change, involving all the UK’s major environment, development, faith, women’s and community NGOs. Together we are millions of people and counting. www.icount.org.uk.
Alison Blower Media Coordinator - I Count campaign
Email: [email protected] Tel: 0207729 8732 Mob: 07967 698928

2.  I Count campaign policy asks for Bali talks include:
• UN Process
 Ensure that all countries fully commit to the UN Process and not be side-tracked by other non-binding approaches to tackling climate change.
• Adaptation
 Secure funding and resources to help vulnerable people and ecosystems adapt to the effects of climate change.
• Equity
See that industrialised countries take the first steps to reduce emissions as part of a fair and equitable deal, in which the needs of the poorest people are considered as a priority.
Forests
• Ensure that any new deal will help protect tropical forests and will take into account the carbon dioxide emissions produced through deforestation.

3.  The UK’s Draft Climate Change Bill began its passage in the House of Lords and will be voted on by MPs in the Commons in Spring 2008.  I Count supporters and local groups from member organisations will be lobbying their MPs to ensure they put pressure on the UK Government and deliver a bold Bill which keeps the UK consistent with the global warming danger warming threshold of 2 C with the following:
a.  Increase the carbon dioxide reduction target, from 60% to at least 80 % by 2050.
b.  Ensure that emissions from international aviation & shipping are included in the reduction targets.
c.  Set binding carbon budgets with annual milestones, to make sure that emissions reductions are on track.
   
The exclusion of aviation and shipping sectors in the Bill equates to an ‘escape’ of 27% of the UK’s Carbon Budget by 2050, which has the effect of cancelling out half the planned 60 per cent reduction.  

4.   Why the Bill needs an 80% carbon reduction limit. What is the difference between 2 or 4°C of global warming?

The Government’s own Stern report (1), sets out the following scenarios. Up to 2 degrees C of global warming could see:
• health: at least 300,000 people die each year from climate-related diseases - mainly diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition
• land: up to 10 million more people affected by coastal flooding each year
• environment: high risk of extinction of Arctic species, including polar bear and caribou

Go beyond 2°C, and the risks grow hugely. A 60% reduction in carbon dioxide as set out in the draft Climate Change Bill may result in a 4° C rise in global temperatures which could see:
• water: 1-4 billion more people suffer water shortages, while 1-5 billion gain water which may increase flood risk
• food: agricultural yields decline by 15-35% in Africa, and entire regions out of production, for example, parts of Australia
• land: 7-300 million more people affected by coastal flooding each year

1 Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, Sept 06.