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Postcards from Peru: A diary from the UN climate talks (Days 4 and 5)

 

I’m in Lima for the UN climate talks which run 1-12 December. I’ll be regularly tweeting and blogging. If you find this blog interesting please feel to share it

DAYS 4-5 (Thursday 4 and Friday 5 December 2014)

This morning we woke to the news that Super Typhoon Hagupit is bearing down the people of the Philippines.

You may remember that in November last year, just before the climate talks in Warsaw, the Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the same region, leaving over 7,000 dead or missing. Sadly, many of those being evacuated now have been living in tents since that time.

Traditionally the typhoon season ended in October, but the past years have seen major typhoons in November and December. In fact, this will be the third consecutive year when a massive Typhoon hits the Philippines during the UN Climate talks.

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The havoc that extreme weather events like this wreak upon developing nations such as the Philippines, underline exactly why we need to see not just global action to curb climate changing emissions, but action to help nations adapt and become more climate resilient.

My thoughts and those of my fellow WWF colleagues are with all the people of the Philippines right now.

***

Yesterday, back in Lima, our thoughts were with another group of people – those who have been murdered or disappeared as a result of their efforts to stand-up for their communities and the environment.

Inside the venue for the talks, civil society stood in solidarity with the leaders of the Ashéninka people, including the widows of murdered activists from Saweto, who were killed while defending their communities against illegal loggers.

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Those present called on the Peruvian government to pursue justice in the case, and to take steps to protect environmental defenders and address land rights for indigenous communities, the issue at the very heart of this particular conflict.

***

Later in the day, WWF held a press conference to highlight the yawning gap between what the climate science is telling us and what has been pledged so far by countries in the way of finance, as well as action on adaptation and mitigation.

“Low ambition on climate action will impact on the most vulnerable and least responsible” warned WWF’s senior global adaptation policy advisor Sandeep Chamling Rai. “This is not a gap, it’s an abyss. We can avoid falling into it, but we’re running out of time.”

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As for the talks themselves, well the negotiations are finally moving at last. Negotiators and Chairs have come up with a process proposal to move things forward, and they are now finally getting down to work.

In fact, negotiations on some issues went late into Friday night, with some progress made on what needs to happen for a 2015 global climate agreement, draft proposals for countries’ national contributions, and on increasing action between now and 2020, when the new deal is supposed to come into effect.

I’m starting to get a funny feeling we are going to have many more late nights in the days to come.

For all the latest on the climate talks be sure to follow @LangBanks  @WWFScotland and @LeoHickman @WWF_UK on Twitter.

You can also read previous ‘Postcards form Peru’ here: DAY 0DAYS 1 & 2, DAY 3

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