1.5C is alive but it’s on life support says Christian Aid

Responding to the outcome of COP26, Amanda Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid, said: “We were told that COP26 was the last best chance to keep 1.5C alive but it’s been placed on life support. Rich nations have kicked the can down the road and with it the promise of the urgent climate action people on the frontline of this crisis need.  

“After two weeks of negotiations, the voices of those experiencing the harsh impacts of climate change have largely been excluded and not been heeded. Warm words on loss and damage and finance for developing countries to adapt to climate change are not good enough. Rich nations need to accept their responsibility, put their money where their mouths are, and provide the billions needed. Developing nations have done the least to cause this crisis but have shown commitment to tackling it. 

“Throughout COP26, people of faith have united with activists from the Global South, feminists, youth and indigenous people to demand climate justice. Our movement has never been stronger and this must be the legacy from Glasgow to keep hope alive.”

Nushrat Chowdhury, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Justice Advisor in Bangladesh, said: “Loss and Damage became a defining issue for these talks, but COP26 has left vulnerable people empty handed. This is a devastating outcome for people in my country and around the world already suffering the tragic impacts of the climate crisis. We now need to make COP27 in Egypt the ‘Loss and Damage COP’ with richer nations finally accepting their financial responsibilities for the crisis we face. With Scotland leading the way in Glasgow, being the first government to commit funds, other rich nations and polluters must follow suit. A report by Christian Aid published this week showed that even if the world limits global heating to 1.5C, vulnerable countries will face an average GDP hit of 33% by the end of the century. Loss and Damage will not go away. With emissions rising and extreme weather events increasing, the bill will only increase if countries try to brush it under the carpet.”

Fred Njehu, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change & Energy Advisor, from Kenya, said: “It was good to see momentum building to phase out fossil fuels. It is vital that the energy transition to clean renewable energy accelerates at a rapid rate, all over the world. Africa has an abundance of wind an solar power, but it needs the technology and funding to harness it and leapfrog dirty energy. Kenya’s electricity mix is already 90% renewable. Africa can be a clean energy superpower if given the right support to unlock that potential.”

Joab Okanda, Christian Aid’s Africa Senior Policy Advisor, from Kenya, said: “All eyes now turn to COP27 in Africa, which needs to do much more to put the priorities of the global south above those of the rich world and corporate profits. Hopefully a COP led by an African nation can better prioritise the needs of those who live and experience the devastating impacts of the climate crisis every day.”

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