ON Saturday evening, the UN's climate summit in Qatar closed
with an agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol climate treaty a
further eight years until 2020. But it left many vulnerable
countries disappointed with the outcome.
Hardly any new commitments to reduce carbon emissions were made
by policy makers in Doha, and there was a distinct lack of funding
from developed countries to help those suffering from the worst
effects of climate change.
Such was the unwillingness by some developed country delegations
to take any significant action, either on emissions or climate
finance, the Association Of Small Island States (AOSIS) almost
walked out on the final morning. In the end a weak deal was agreed,
albeit under protest from Russia, which was trying to weaken it
Negotiations to create a single global treaty covering carbon
pollution, to come into force by 2020, will continue, but many
developing countries and NGOs were left angry that so little action
has been agreed for the short term.
Christian Aid's senior climate-change adviser, Mohamed Adow,
said: "This agreement did nothing to shift the world away from its
trajectory towards environmental chaos.
"We need countries to resolve the huge stumbling block in the
talks which is how to share the required effort to ensure a safe
future. We live on a constrained planet, and the developed
countries who are most to blame need to take responsibility and
One bright spot during the second week of negotiations was the
UK's pledge of £1.8 billion to help poor countries adapt to the
impact of climate change and provide renewable energy technology to
help them develop without carbon-intensive industries.
The announcement made by the Secretary of State for Energy and
Climate Change, Ed Davey, prompted other countries to come forward
with their own funding commitments.
However the Green Climate Fund, which was established in Durban
last year to provide $100 billion a year to vulnerable countries by
2020, remains empty.
After the summit, Mr Adow said governments still had work to do.
"We now need countries to work on how they can make more ambitious
progress in the short term as we head towards the global climate
treaty in 2015."
Joe Ware works in the Christian Aid communications