07 October 2011 Panama --- Governments have failed to make important progress at a crucial preparatory meeting ahead of a major climate change summit in Durban, South Africa next month, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
While the Panama talks, Oct. 1-7, saw some technical areas advance, the key political issues, namely ambitious global emission reduction commitments, the future of the Kyoto Protocol and long-term finance, were left unresolved.
Tasneem Essop, WWF Head of Climate Strategy and Advocacy said the climate change talks are in trouble.
“It appears the lines have hardened on key political issues without much willingness by countries to compromise. There is still so much work to do and now very little time left to do it. Ahead of COP17, heads of state and ministers must urgently resolve these issues in order to lay the foundations for collective action to tackle the climate change crisis.
“In Durban it is essential that countries recommit to the Kyoto Protocol and for all governments to begin formulating a roadmap towards a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty that prevents the worst consequences of climate change.
“Finance is a key issue for Durban, and for the long-term success of the climate negotiations. The United States is now the main obstacle to constructive discussions on how long-term financial pledges will be met to help the most vulnerable countries cope with increased floods, droughts and sea-level rise. WWF calls on the United States and other governments to make progress on this issue before Durban, or at least to allow others to do so.
“Failure is not an option, but it will become a real possibility if these deadlocked issues are not addressed before COP17.
“A positive outcome in Durban is still within sight, but it will take an all-out sprint to get there. With a surge of political will from country leaders, a path forward is still very possible. Their citizens expect nothing less, said Essop.