Kyoto recommitment needed to reverse climate change threat

Durban, Geneva: Global accords and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should not be scrapped and, instead, there must be a recommitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for as many parties as possible, according to Green Cross International.

“Developed and powerful nations need to earn their stripes as true world leaders by grasping the opportunity that Durban offers,” says Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International. “They must issue a mandate to conclude negotiations by 2015 on a protocol or another legally binding instrument that ensures long-term cooperation to reduce carbon emissions. Such a protocol or instrument requires robust terms of reference to review its adequacy.”

“The world urgently needs post-Kyoto mechanisms that operationalize the Cancun agreements, the main elements of which will be the Green Climate Fund, the system of Measurement Reporting and Verification (MRV) of mitigation and finance, the Technology Mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee.”

Drought, rising temperatures and sea level rises are affecting the world’s poorest countries and most vulnerable people. But the increase in extreme weather events associated with climate change demonstrates how vulnerable we are and placed people from all nations, rich and poor, on alert.

“Now is not the time to bring an end to the Kyoto Protocol, particularly when the United Nations has declared that 2011 has been one of the warmest years on record and that humans are to blame,” says Mubarick Masawudu, President of Green Cross Ghana, who is participating in the COP-17 conference in South Africa.

“Almost entirely all of Africa’s agriculture relies on rain, and this will continue to be severely compromised by climate change and variability, which in turn worsens food security for millions and exacerbates malnutrition.”

Today, almost one-fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where water is physically scarce. By 2025, this is projected to rise to 1.8 billion. Three-quarters of African nations are in zones where small rainfall reductions can cause large declines in overall water availability.  With the existing climate change scenario, by 2030 almost half the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. By the same year, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places will displace between 24 million and 700 million people.

Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of high-level advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva and has a growing network of national organisations in over 30 countries.

Related material:

From Durban, video interview with Green Cross Ghana President Mubarick Masawudu

Contacts

Paul Garwood

Director of Communications

Green Cross International

Email: paul.garwood@gci.ch

Mob: +41797760454

Off: +41227891662

Skype: paul.garwood

In Durban

Mubarick Masawudu

President and CEO

Green Cross Ghana

Email: masawud@gmail.com

Mobile: +27769255313

Website: http://www.gci.ch

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