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EU, LDCs, small island states urge Durban to deliver ambitious results

The Least Developed Countries (LDC), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the European Union (EU) said a few hours before the end of Durban climate conference that they are united in their desire for an ambitious outcome of climate change talks.

The trio also called on other blocs to join.

"The price of buying time is rising. Durban must deliver. The EU, LDCs and AOSIS are ready to undertake concrete obligations to manage the climate change challenge. We urge others to join," the three blocs said in a statement on Friday.

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started last week in South Africa's port city of Durban is ending Friday. Negotiators are rounding up their talks behind closed doors and results are expected before the end of the day.

People at the conference are "optimistic" that negotiators will put political and economic interests aside to unite against climate change,which is causing havoc in the world, especially in islands and poor nations.

The second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and Green Climate Fund (GCF) are said to be bones of contention in the negotiations.

"We believe that the world has had a lot of time to think. What we need is not more thinking. What we need is more action. The gap between our ambitions and the current pledges is simply too wide. And we need not to remind anyone of the scale of climatic threats facing the most vulnerable countries in the world as a result of climate change," the organizations said.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said in the statement that facts are clear that "we are still too far from where we need to be to secure the most vulnerable countries' right to sustainable development."

The trio said that climate change is a matter of life and death.

"The chance to reach our objective is getting smaller as time passes and we need to start this process today. For many countries, this is a matter of survival and this process should be able to deliver an answer to meet their worries.

"We need to deliver in Durban," Hedegaard said.

She said the EU is ready to operationalize the Green Fund (GF) and the other Cancun institutions to deliver what was agreed in Cancun but higher ambitions on mitigation action are crucial.

"What we need is to effectively stop climate change. And that can only happen if all parties to the UNFCCC process will be committed to concrete efforts," said the statement.

"Hence, we need firm and clear decisions mapping out next steps that deliver the ambition we need," it added.

This includes agreeing on an amendment of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period together with a robust mandate and roadmap for a legally binding instrument.

Under this instrument, all parties to the UNFCCC need to commit, respecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 14,2011