News release: Doha: Nations must face up to climate change challenge

25th November 2012
news
release

Time is running out for the world to avoid catastrophic climate change, warns Friends of the Earth ahead of UN climate change talks in Doha next week.

Friends of the Earth’s International Climate Change Campaigner Asad Rehman, who is attending the Doha talks, said:

“With the impacts of climate change already biting, nations must wake up to the urgent need to slash global emissions and avert a planetary emergency that will devastate the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

“There’s still time to act. We have the know-how to tackle climate change – all that’s lacking is the political will.

“Building a low-carbon future will end our dependency on increasingly expensive fossil fuels, create millions of new jobs and reduce the quantity of climate-changing gases being pumped into the atmosphere.

“EU credibility is on the line – its current proposals are completely inadequate and would allow European nations to emit more pollution, not less.

“Doha must come up with a science-based route map to navigate the world towards a carbon-free future – and developed nations such as the UK, who’ve done most to create the mess we’re in, must show leadership to ensure we get there.”

ENDS

Contact: Please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Notes to editors:

1. The current commitment phase of the Kyoto climate treaty finishes at the end of 2012. But industrialised nations have so far lacked the ambition and political will to negotiate a second commitment phase that would lead to the cuts in climate-changing emissions the latest science says is needed to avoid a 2 degree centigrade rise above pre-industrialised levels.

For example the EU is currently trying to negotiate a target to ensure that its emissions are 20 per cent less than 1990 levels. But as the bloc has already achieved this target it would mean European nation’s would not be committed to taking any action to tackle climate change for years.
Friends of the Earth is calling for:

* Developed nations such as the UK and EU, to take the lead in ensuring ambitious cuts in emissions by 2020 in line with the scientific evidence. This means that industrialised nations should pledge to cut their emissions by at least 40 per cent domestically of 1990 levels by 2020;

* Emissions cuts must be real – loopholes that allow targets to be met by carbon offsetting (investment in cutting emissions overseas) must be closed.

* Wealthier nations must live up to their promise to provide adequate funds for the developing world to cut their emissions and to take action against the impacts of climate change. It has been estimated that it will be five times more expensive if we fail to act now.

* Developed nations currently not part of the Kyoto Protoclol – such as the US and Australia – must make comparable pledges to cut their emissions too.