U.S. Civil Society Groups to Durban: Don’t Punt

December 7, 2011

DURBAN, South Africa—U.S. environmental, civil rights and development organizations urged negotiators at the UN climate talks in Durban use the critical last two days of the conference to ramp up ambitions for moving the world forward in efforts to combat climate change.

The recorded webcast is available under the Dec. 7 “U.S. Climate Action Network” webcast at: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop17/templ/ovw_onDemand.php?id_kongressmain=201

Here are brief statements from each of the key speakers:

Jennifer Haverkamp, Director of the International Climate Program at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said: “We can’t let the current political or economic crises be excuses to punt on curbing climate change at Durban.  Everybody needs to walk out the door at the end of this week knowing we have an ambitious plan that will lead us to a comprehensive new binding agreement and encourages countries to take action now rather than waiting until the day that becomes a reality.”

Jacqueline Patterson, Director of Environmental and Climate Justice Program at the NAACP, said: “For vulnerable communities worldwide that have been ravaged by disaster, starved by shifts in agricultural yields, and displaced by sea level rise, the cost of inaction is too high to bear. There are economically viable, safe alternatives to what we’re doing now.  What is missing is the political will to act. We need to see real, effective solutions. For us now, and ultimately for the world, it’s a matter of survival.” 

Ilana Solomon, Senior Policy Analyst with ActionAid USA said: “The Green Climate Fund is moving forward and should be made operational in Durban. But without much more ambition, the U.S. could be condemning the Green Climate Fund to an empty vault. If the US is not prepared to step up and lead, they should step aside and allow negotiators here reach the best possible solution for poor nations.”

For more information please contact:

Marie Risalvato, US CAN, E: mrisalvato@climatenetwork.org, M: +1 352-514-3217
Jennifer Andreassen, Environmental Defense Fund, E: jandreassen@edf.org, M: 072 632 2755
Natalie Curtis, ActionAid, E: Natalie.Curtis@actionaid.org, M: +44 (0)7931787025