The crisis is now, we don't have time to wait - video interview with Harjeet Singh

Friday, December 9, 2011 - 15:38
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Harjeet Singh of Action Aid International at COP17

Harjeet Singh gives his reactions to events as they are unfolding in Durban at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP17).

The crisis is now, we don't have time to wait!

ON CLIMATE CASH

As the Green Climate Fund looks set to be operationalised in Durban, but without anything in it:

For every dollar we invest in preparing communities against climate disasters, seven dollars are saved in emergency response.

It is false economy not to invest now.  If governments do not act now the climate crisis will dwarf our ability to respond.

“Times are tough and budgets are tight, but rich countries can afford to deliver their $100 billion a year promise.  A small tax on banks, planes and ships could raise billions.  Without it, the Green Climate Fund will remain an empty vault. It would be scandalous for governments to leave Durban without agreement on at least one source of finance.”

ON THE KYOTO PROTOCOL

As the world waits to see which nations will lead on committing to a post-2012 agreement:

How long are governments going to let the music play before one puts their foot forward and leads the dance? Every year rich nations side-step the issue, we risk driving millions more people into hunger.

ON AGRICULTURE

As the World Bank, South Africa and rich nations at COP17 promote 'Climate Smart Agriculture' -  the latest proposal to slash carbon emissions, climate proof harvests and boost agriculture through private investment: 

Durban was supposed to deliver cash for climate affected farmers.  Now instead of feeding Africa, it looks set to line the pockets of big business.

Climate Smart Agriculture is no more than pretty packaging for soil carbon markets created to profit rich nations.

With nearly a billion hungry people in the world, the priority for poor famers should be feeding their communities, not capturing carbon.”