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Christian Aid urges UK to 'walk the talk' on climate change commitments

by Heather Preston

Christian Aid is calling on the British government to 'pull its weight' in the fight against climate change and take steps to lower carbon emissions before it's too late.

The charity says it is the poorest communities around the world that are bearing the brunt of the crisis and first world countries such as the UK have a responsibility to act.

Christian Aid's director of policy, public affairs and campaigns, Patrick Watt tells Premier developing countries experience deforestation, flooding and decreased crop yields, despite having done the least to contribute to the climate crisis. 

"Some of the poorest countries are seeing the biggest temperature rises, the most extreme weather effects. But it's also because in poor countries people tend to rely more directly on the land and often don't have the same financial buffers to withstand shocks.

"It is also having an effect as a vector of disease, as temperatures rise the physical range of certain diseases increase - take malaria for example," he said

The charge comes ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

Watt explains that more developed countries have a responsibility to help tackle the climate crisis as per capita, they consume much higher levels of carbon.

Christian Aid is putting pressure on the government to honour its commitment to lowering global heating by 1.5 degrees - the UN target adopted in the Paris Agreement, as well as providing financial support to poorer countries impacted by the effects of the climate crisis.

"We are calling for the UK government to take steps to ensure Britain is pulling its own weight when it comes to meeting its commitments. It has made many commitments to limit global heating but hasn't yet implemented many of them - so walking the talk.

"Secondly, we want to see the UK government leading and convening other countries to do the same - particularly the other leading carbon emitting countries.

"There was a commitment made back in 2015 to give $100 billion a year from rich countries to poor countries to help them to adapt to the effects of climate change - that promise hasn't been met," Watt said.


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