Thursday, 9 December 2010

Need for urgent action on climate change - but its not forthcoming

I agree whoelheartedly with this excellent letter in todays Post about the need for urgent action on climate change from Oxfam's Roger James - but sadly both he and I are going to be very disappointed with what results from the meeting at Cancun.

T HE weather is very much in our minds at the moment and while it may seem odd to be concerned about man-made global warming while we struggle with the cold, the latest Royal Society research indicates that on present policies we have little chance of avoiding a 2C global temperature rise.

These projections send a powerful reminder why progress at the current international climate change conference in Cancun is more urgent than ever.

A new Oxfam report shows that 21,000 people suffered weather-related deaths during the first nine months of 2010, more than twice the number for the whole of 2009.

This year is on course to experience more extreme-weather events than the ten-year average of 770.

It is also one of the hottest years ever recorded with Pakistan logging 53.7°C – the highest ever in Asia.

Climate change affects us all: The Association of British Insurers tripling by 2050. In the South West such events seem to have become more common.

Building a greener economy is an even more necessary solution in a time of recession.

The poorest communities around the world who are the most vulnerable urgently need funds to adapt to climate change and to build a low carbon economy.

Oxfam South West campaigners are among many thousands of people in this region who have raised these concerns.

The Cancun conference is a real opportunity for the world to decide on an effective response to climate change.

This challenge is also an opportunity for those countries that move fast to prosper in a greener, fairer future.

Roger James, Oxfam South West, Brunswick Square, Bristol

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