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How the US and Other Wealthy Nations Are Pushing Us Toward a Climate Cliff

So far at the UN climate summit no large nation has announced new measures to slow rising temperatures and help avert projected floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising seas.

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ASAD REHMAN: Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: —as a result of climate change.

ASAD REHMAN: And we’re seeing here, for example, developing countries are asking for only $200 million in the Adaptation Fund, which is—the United States spends $350 million purely on its military bands. And what we’ve seen is developed countries blocking progress on that. So, what we’re seeing here in terms of—is not about the fact that the United States and other countries actually aren’t—don’t want to spend their money in terms of tackling climate change, because this is not about them doing some—the developing countries a favor; it’s not—it’s both a legal and a moral obligation, not only for the developing countries, but also for the whole planet as a whole.

As we’ve heard from all of the reports, we’re heading towards a warming of the planet of 6 degrees. That, whilst it might impact on developing countries more immediately, it is going to impact on every single person. So it is up to the United States, like the European Union, as well, to actually come here with real commitments of climate finance and to be able to spend them, so that we can’t have this transition, because we have—do have real solutions. You know, Friends of the Earth groups, global campaigns all around the world are trying to force their governments to shift away from their addiction to dirty fossil fuels, invest in renewable energies, which gives us new jobs, clean growth, and can actually take us out of this financial cliff, because whilst there may be some ways out of the fiscal cliff, there is absolutely no way out of the climate cliff. And that’s why the urgency and action is required.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both very much for being with us. I know you both are racing off to meetings. Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth International, based in Britain now, from Pakistan, and Wael Hmaidan, thank you so much for being with us, director of Climate Action Network International. He’s also the founder of IndyAct, an organization that started in Lebanon in 2007. Thank you both.

ASAD REHMAN: Thank you, Amy.

WAEL HMAIDAN: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: This is  Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,  The War and Peace Report. When we come back, you’ll hear from people in the streets marching here in Qatar, demanding urgent action on climate change. Stay with us.

Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,000 stations in North America. She is the co-author of “The Silenced Majority,” a New York Times best-seller.

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