Read the latest from behind the scenes with Oxfam’s team as UN climate talks draw to a close in Doha, Qatar. (Time stamps are Arabia Standard Time - AST). For more information go tohttp://bit.ly/YUWAPX
20:05 Though further speeches are still taking place here at the Qatari National Convention Centre here in Doha, the summit is effectively over. Developing countries have been pressed, in the final late hours, into a ‘take it or leave it’ agreement. Read Oxfam’s full statement (PDF)
Celine Charveriat, Oxfam
Many small Pacific island nations are, at their highest point, just metres above sea level. Photo: Oxfam Australisa
18:51 And now the chair is ramming through all decisions, without even a chance for the braveLeast Developed Countries to stand up and voice their opinions.
18:45 This summit has been a test of strength for negotiators and for people observing them alike as the hours and hours have ticked by. First Russia made their stand, then Poland, and now it is Ukraine and Kazakhstan — all holding up agreement on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (the existing legally binding agreement for the reduction of greenhouse gases). For hours and hours we have waited. And as I write, the chair has just restarted the proceedings. For better of for worse, things are likely to go through swiftly now.
16:40 While we continue to wait for discussions to begin again, I just had a quick conversation with Noah Zimba, from the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, who summed up the sense of dissatisfaction that has run through the negotiating corridors over the last two weeks.
“Like it or not, this process is the only show in town to get a global agreement on climate change. The lack of political will from leaders to take the necessary steps to limit global greenhouse gas emissions is at the heart of the stalemate here in Doha. Governments must move beyond their petty disagreements, unite and move the world onto a low-carbon development path.”
”After days of paralysis and in the face of an extremely weak outcome in the negotiations, some might want to blame the process for continuing inaction. But what is the alternative? There is only one planet and one atmosphere. No country on its own will be able to prevent catastrophic climate change from devastating its economy and hurting its citizens.”The time for dialogue it shrinking. And as more time passes, we’re facing a more and more dangerous and uncertain future.”
15:50 With only slow progress being made at UN climate talks in recent years, one of the questions that’s often levelled at the negotiations is whether the UN is the right place to tackle the problem, or whether the world should look elsewhere. Oxfam’s Celine Charveriat gives her perspective.
15:20 It was looking like we were just about to get things moving again here in Qatar, with discussions already running a day over. Well, it seemed that way, until a representative from the UNFCCC just took to the stage and made announcement — saying that several of the governments who have stated that they wish to sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol have forgotten to do this formally and send through ‘written consent.’ Oops! Given that they’ve all had a full two weeks to do this, the words epic fail come to mind.
13:05 As we described last night (scroll down for past updates), ‘loss and damage’ continues to be a critical issue at the summit, with heated debates late into the night here at the conference centre. The BBC’s Roger Harrabin sums it up in an article he posted this morning.
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Huge congratulations to the Oxfam bookshop in St Giles, Oxford - on Saturday they turned 25. Not only that, though - they’ve also raised more than £5m for Oxfam!
It’s a testament to the dedication and brilliance of the 63 volunteers who work at St Giles.
The manager, James Carruthers, told the Oxford Mail, ”This incredible achievement would not have been possible without the continued support from the local community and all the shop’s customers. Last year, we raised our highest amount ever - £303,000 - but we can only achieve that because the [book] donations keep coming in.
“Even just a few paperbacks can make a difference and sometimes, if someone has a book they know is valuable, they will bring it to us because they know we carefully price first editions and use all the tools available to check a book’s value.”
Keep them coming Oxford! Who knows, you might have a big piece of the next £5m on a dusty bookshelf in your attic…
So Obama is back for another four years. Here’s what the world had to say about his re-election, and the effects on some of the countries Oxfam works in:
“In his victory speech President Obama told Americans that 10 years of war were ending. But turbulence in the Middle East means that military action, perhaps even new wars, will push back on to his agenda. … The Syrian war is leaking into neighbouring countries. Second term Obama is likely to authorise more support of the Syrian rebels, short of direct US military intervention. … Another crisis between Israel and the Palestinians is overdue. When it comes, Obama will be tempted to revive the push for peace he abandoned in his first term.”
BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen
“I want to talk to Barack about … how we must do more to try and solve this crisis [in Syria].”
“The question facing President Obama is how quickly do the remaining troops [in Afghanistan] come home, and how many are left here after 2014. Military commanders would like a more gradual withdrawal, and a force of 10,000 plus to remain. But the White House, with a renewed mandate, is likely to press for an accelerated exit, with fewer American soldiers and marines remaining to assist Afghan forces, after 2014.”
Quentin Sommerville, BBC
“Many analysts on Pakistan’s TV channels expect little change in US policy towards Pakistan. But one, Sami Ibrahim, told private Dunya TV that even though ‘things are not great right now’, the existing working relationship between Mr Obama’s White House and Islamabad gave ‘hope for improvement’. Another analyst, Nasim Zehra, was even more upbeat, saying Mr Obama’s victory was a ‘win’ for Pakistan, as his administration and Islamabad have ‘worked together’ and ‘developed a relationship’.”
“The president hopes that Obama continues his efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.”
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
“The start of the second term is likely to be preoccupied with more of the same: international efforts to remove Al-Qaeda-linked rebels from the north of Mali - by force or negotiation or both - and efforts to ensure that Zimbabweand Kenya avoid repeating the violence that wrecked their last elections.”
Andrew Harding, BBC
“Mr Obama’s success is particularly resonant in Africa this morning because not only is he an African-American but the first American of immediate African descent to have not only ascended to, but succeeded in, the most powerful and challenging office in the world.”
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga
”Russia has received the news of President Obama’s re-election with cautious optimism. … There is concern in Washington at the current human rights situation in Russia; at the same time, there is suspicion in the Kremlin that the US is funding and supporting President Putin’s opponents.”
Steve Rosenberg, BBC