Tweet a leader: let’s get some action going at COP-17


by Ian Sullivan

This blog posting originally appeared at

The climate negotiations in Durban are stuttering. There is little progress on agreement on the emission reductions needed to keep warming below 2 degrees. There is also a rumbling debate about how to fill the Green Climate Fund.

We need you to urge our leaders along the path to a sustainable planet. Together with Oxfam members across the world you can tweet at a range of the key players here at the Durban UN Climate Summit. So, if you’re on Twitter, here are some suggestions for you to tweet:

To @StateDept Stop blocking #COP17 emissions cutting initiatives. Step up or step aside! #GROW

Here’s why they need to hear your messages.

Increasingly the fate of the talks rests on discussions over the timeline for countries to increase their emissions cuts in line with the overwhelming scientific consensus. In the negotiations there has been a lot of scary talk about doing nothing until 2020 – which gives us little chance of keeping warming under 2 degrees. Large emitters, including the US, are pushing this distressing narrative. With just a few days left of COP17, the stakes are high.

On the financing side, talks are ongoing about ways to fill the Green Climate Fund.  One exciting area that is emerging as a genuine possibility is a tax on shipping pollution, called a bunkers tax. We’ve estimated that this could raise in the region of $10 billion a year for the fund. We’re delighted to see that Bloomberg have reported Shipping Fuel Charges May Fund Climate Aid, UN Document Shows and today the UK based Daily Telegraph also highlighted this source of income as a realistic outcome.

We need to ensure that this makes it to the final agreement. Here you can also play your part. Tweet the messages below and ask that our leaders don’t let vested interests talk them out of taking this strong action.

To @StateDept Stop blocking #COP17 support for shipping pollution charges. Step up or step aside! #GROW

To @SApresident maximise #COP17 presidency. Support shipping pollution charges now to fill the Climate Fund #GROW #southafrica

There is still plenty of discussion to be had in the final days of COP17. With your support we’ll be fighting hard to secure money for the Climate Fund and more action on emissions reductions.

Ian Sullivan is Oxfam Great Britain Online Campaigner.