By Adriana Opromolla, Caritas Internationalis policy analyst

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga brought the concerns of Caritas members to one of the most important negotiating groups at the Durban climate talks: the 132 nation G77 and China bloc of developing countries.

Cardinal Rodriguez met with G77 and China Presidency, Ambassador Silvia Merega of Argentina along with Caritas members from Europe and Latin America. He explained the importance of climate change for Caritas and the Church today. The Cardinal stressed the need to reach a just deal for future generations.

Ambassador Merega said different trends are emerging throughout the negotiations: firstly, even though the meeting aims at addressing a collective global problem such as climate change, the reality is that what is being negotiated is economic interests. This makes negotiations a long and complex process.

Secondly, she said, the various countries gathered here present different levels of development, therefore different economic capacities to make commitments. This puts further strain on negotiations.

And she said that some of the issues involved in climate change – namely, the financial aspects – are not being discussed here.

On the Green Fund, Ambassador Merega declared that negotiations are being carried out in a compartmentalised way. The G77/China bloc is worried about the clear separation between discussions about the structure of such a fund and on how it is financed. The latter discussions are unfolding outside this meeting.

Caritas expressed concern at the risk of negotiations taking too long to yield results. Ambassador Merega shared this concern. She said that it was difficult to have satisfying results in a reasonable time.

She said the Group Presidency does not have the power to influence decisions, but just to propose thematic outcomes and coordinate discussions. Regrettably, there is no unity within the group itself; its members share nothing but minimal common views.

Cardinal Rodriguez wished Ambassador Merega and the G77 good luck in their work and said the hopes of future generations were riding on a successful outcome in Durban.