Huhne set to fly back from COP 16

Environmental groups are decrying the decision to recall Chris Huhne and Greg Barker from the Climate Conference in Cancun for Thursday's student tuition fees vote.

Leading development and environmental groups, including Christian Aid, today urged the Government to abandon plans to recall Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne from the UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico.

Junior minister Greg Barker is also to return for the crucial vote.

Huhne has been asked to play a key role in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks by conference organisers the Mexican government.

They have tasked him with helping bridge the negotiating gap between rich countries refusing to sign up to a further commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Developing countries are insisting that without such an extension, there can be no international climate deal.

Groups including Christian Aid, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Tearfund and WWF-UK today (November 8) wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg saying the need for a new climate deal was of the utmost urgency and could not be jeopardised by domestic political considerations.

In Cancun, Christian Aid, senior climate justice adviser Sol Oyuela: said “The prospect of Chris Huhne being pulled out of Cancun at precisely the moment when his presence is so important to achieving a good result is terrible news.

“The timing could not be worse. There are just a few days left for in which to achieve a badly-needed leap forward.

“The Mexican government specifically invited him to help take charge of some of the most vital but difficult elements of these talks. To recall him now would suggest that the UK has a very disappointing sense of priorities when it comes to solving global problems.”

Environmental campaigners are still hoping that a last minute solution can be found to keep Mr Huhne in Cancun.

Alison Brown

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