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Outcomes from the Durban Climate Talks

by helen on December 14, 2011

Thank you to everyone who acted and prayed as part of Hope for Creation ahead of this year’s climate talks in Durban, South Africa.

The talks ended with an agreement amongst all countries called the ‘Durban Platform’. This brought some minor progress towards the global action needed but not enough. Much more needs to happen to agree the ambitious action required to protect poor countries that are hit hardest.

Here’s a round-up of what was agreed.

For more detail, please download Tearfund’s policy summary.

Emissions cuts
The climate talks ended (eventually) with the ‘Durban Platform’ – an agreement amongst all countries to agree a plan on global emissions reductions by 2015 at the latest, with legally binding targets for all countries to kick in by 2020.

To keep things going in the meantime, a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (the existing agreement between rich nations) has been agreed by some developed countries.

This agreement could result in average global temperature rises of 3-4˚C through only requiring global emissions cuts targets to take effect by 2020. This potential temperature rise is deeply worrying because it could result in:

- another billion people with increased water stress;
- decreased crop productivity for all rather than some cereals in low latitudes;
- up to 5 times more people becoming at risk of coastal flooding;
- the burden on health services being much more substantial;
- and 20-30% of plant and animal species being at increased risk of extinction (impacting people as humans rely on ecosystems).

Adaptation should be a priority because even if greenhouse gas emissions are halted today across the world, the cumulative effect of emissions to date would still be experienced for the next three decades. There was not a sufficient sense of urgency on adaptation during the climate talks. Despite hopes that adaptation would feature more strongly as the talks were in Africa, negotiations in this area were sadly slow.

Across all richer nations there were clear commitments on how to deliver the previously promised climate finance. Developing countries felt vulnerable and distrustful of past promises on emissions and finance from rich countries.

A work plan was also set up in Durban, ‘to progress’ work on finance and produce a report by the next talks in Qatar in December 2012. This is a small step forward, but ‘progress’ is un-ambitious and an actual decision is needed.

What happens next?
Please continue to pray for more ambition from leaders so the door to keeping global warming below the danger-threshold remains open. Pray also for agreement soon on ways to deliver finance to help poor countries – who are hit hardest – respond.


Stories from Colombia, UK and Portugal

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UK A church in London, UK had a service focused on climate change and the environment. The congregation put energy-saving pledges on paper leaves which were attached to a pledge tree (see photo above). They watched a short video about how to live in a more eco-way: ‘Think small. Think about our future’ and the […]

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Leader of the climate talks accepts political statement

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On Thursday 1 December – during the UN Climate talks which are taking place in Durban, South Africa – the Hope for Creation political statement was delivered to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC – the body that runs the climate talks). Over 60 leaders of churches and […]

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Messages delivered to UK Prime Minister

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A week ahead of the UN Durban Climate Talks, Dr Elaine Storkey delivered thousands of messages from Tearfund supporters urging the UK government to take the lead internationally in the negotiations. Dr Elaine Storkey said: ‘It was a time for us to challenge our political leaders to act responsibly.’ The 9,000 messages came from people […]

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Your stories?

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November 6, 2011

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Children’s prayers

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Here’s a prayer to use for Hope for Creation in a family or children’s service. Dear Lord Thank you for making this amazing world. Thank you for making it so beautiful. Thank you for loving every person you’ve made in the whole world. Please help us to look after the world. Please help us to […]

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UK Press Release

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Global movement of Christians pray for climate action 31 October 2011 On Sunday 6 November, a global movement of Christians all over the world will be taking part in a global day of prayer for action on climate change. Thousands of Christians from Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, Nepal and 50 other […]

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November 3, 2011

Planning Hope for Creation has been full of surprises and excitement as we hear stories from all over the world about what’s being planned for the day. Here are a few examples: Far and wide: It’s been exciting to see individuals and churches from more and more countries signing up week by week. We’re now […]

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50 countries

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Individuals and churches from over 50 countries across the world will be acting and praying as part of Hope for Creating this coming Sunday. Australia to Zambia, Hong Kong to the United States, South Africa to the Netherlands – the news about this day has spread far and wide! Christians from Africa, Asia, Australia and […]

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Have you signed onto our Statement to Political Leaders?

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Christian leaders from across the world have already signed onto our Statement to Political Leaders on our Hope for Creation. Will you join them? Hope for Creation takes place just weeks before a critical climate change negotiations start in Durban, South Africa. To ensure our voices are heard in Durban, a small group involved in the day […]

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New Nepali resources

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We have uploaded a great PowerPoint presentation on climate change in Nepali, describing the impacts of climate change in Nepal and a biblical response to it.  You can use it to give information in your church, friends, family etc. You can download the powerpoint here. And also, we have uploaded a petition form in Nepali. […]

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Prayer resource

October 24, 2011

As Christians, we believe that prayer is vital in bringing about change in our worldand ourselves. We’ve produced two prayer resources to guide your prayers on Sunday 6 November. The Hope for Creation Prayer Resource contains prayer points around the themes of ‘thanksgiving’, ‘real change’ and ‘power’ along with a prayer for use in church […]

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New Prayer Film for Hope for Creation

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The team behind Hope For Creation in Australia have put together a short film which includes a selection of images set to music to help you pray and reflect on the impact of climate change is having on communities around the world.

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Prayer for Tuvalu

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Last month the Tuvalu government issued a state of emergency for Tuvalu due to the extra long drought they have been facing. The island has been suffering from rainfall abnormality since last year. For the past 5 to 6 months there has been no rain at all, and that caused shortage of water. Trees are dead, […]

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Hoop voor de Schepping (Netherlands)

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Hope for Creation heet in Nederland Hoop voor de Schepping. Op zaterdag 5 november doen hulporganisatie Tear en  natuurorganisatie A Rocha mee aan de Landelijke Natuurwerkdag. Het plan is om met veel kerken en andere christelijke groepen of organisaties een dag aan het werk te gaan in de natuur. Poelen opschonen, fruitbomen snoeien of wilgen […]

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सृष्टिको लागि आशा – Get involved in Hope for Creation in Nepal

October 13, 2011

Click here for more about how you can get involved in Hope for Creation in Nepal.

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Statement to Political Leaders on our Hope for Creation

October 12, 2011

Hope for Creation takes place just weeks before a critical climate change negotiations start in Durban, South Africa. To ensure our voices are heard in Durban, a small group involved in the day have produced a Statement to Political Leaders on our Hope for Creation. The statement is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and calls on world leaders to world leaders […]

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Why A Rocha is getting involved

September 27, 2011

Sarah Young from A Rocha, the Christian conservation charity, explains why they’re getting involved in Hope for Creation. At A Rocha, we believe that God made the world, loves it and has called us to look after it. That’s why we think it’s essential to address climate change through both prayer and action, as part […]

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A Poem for COP 17

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Allen Goddard, Director for Theology & Citizenship at A Rocha South Africa has written this poem ahead of COP 17 in Durban, South Africa in November. Anticipating COP 17 During the Season of Creation * For two thousand years our story said there was no room at the inn but what if there were none in the […]

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