UN climate talks fail to match urgency facing world's poor as meeting draws to close

Press release, 17 November 2017
As the UN climate talks head towards their conclusion in Bonn, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

"These talks show signs of achieving some important progress, but equally they lack the necessary decisive action on the rules for the Paris Agreement and on making clear commitments on finance. This demonstrates an alarming lack of urgency as the world is already facing the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

"It is significant that this meeting recognised for the first time the crucial role that women, girls as well as local communities and indigenous peoples have in driving solutions to tackling climate change.  

"We also welcome the Suva Expert Dialogue on loss and damage, which is important for moving beyond simplistic discussions about insurance. It is crucial countries meet regularly to agree what support is needed for the people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the destructive force of climate change.

"But to meet the urgency facing people on the frontline, particularly in developing countries, these talks needed to deliver more. Donors should commit to build on the International Aid Transparency Initiative to track climate finance all the way to the frontline. This is key to ensuring money is used effectively and reaches those who need it most. Donors need to agree a process for indicating how much money they will commit in the future so vulnerable countries can plan the action needed to keep their people safe.

"Lack of action on the Adaptation Fund is a key concern as the talks head to a close. This key source of funding needs to serve the Paris Agreement. Failing to agree this will delay vital preventative action on the ground and risks making it a bargaining chip in future talks. There is no more time for compromise deals."


Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact IIED head of media Beth Herzfeld (beth.herzfeld@iied.org) on +44 (0)7557 658 482.

Notes to editors

IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world's most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions.