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On Monday, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) warned that rich countries are putting us on course for irreversible and more devastating climate change, instead of taking the urgently needed radical action to reduce their carbon emissions.
The warning was issued as governments from around the world start a week-long gathering at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany to negotiate a new global climate treaty. The goal is to reach an agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC in Paris, France, in December.
“Emission cut pledges made by rich countries so far are less than half of what we need to avoid runaway climate change. The draft Paris agreement on the negotiating table this week shows that many seem ready to accept irreversible and devastating consequences for people and the planet,” said Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe in a press release issued on Monday by FoEI.
The press release adds that hundreds of thousands of people are paying with their lives for our governments’ continued inaction. But the real leaders, the people, are taking action, and showing the way with real solutions, such as community controlled renewable energy. It also states that thousands of people from all over the world plan to go to Paris to make their voices heard during the United Nations climate summit and to mobilize further in 2016 and beyond.
“Our governments must stop dirty energy and urgently follow the real leaders – the people, not the polluters. More and more people are supporting the real solutions, resisting fossil fuel extraction and leading us towards climate-safe societies,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International’s climate justice coordinator.
Climate justice organisations, social movements, faith groups, trade unions, environmental and development organisations released a new report titled: ’Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs’. The acronym “INDCs” stands for “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” that include the proposals of each country for polluting emission reductions the country is willing to implement.
In fact, the new report is based on information submitted by governments to the UN about their Intended Nationalyl Determined Contributions. It also shows that many developing countries are pledging to do more than their ’fair share’ to cut emissions while rich countries are dangerously failing to pull their weight.
This means that there are developing countries that according to “equity” and “respective capacities” principles, among others, are offering more emission reductions than would correspond to them, although they don´t have the historical responsibility for the climate crisis, which falls with industrialized countries. Contrary to this, rich countries are pledging emission reductions far below what they should be pledging.
Scientists from all over the world warn that if the current greenhouse gas emission levels continue, the average global temperature could rise up to six degrees by 2100. This would cause an absolutely irreversible climate change with extreme events unknown to humankind.
Before the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, a global alliance –Reclaim Power- highlighted the need to transform the energy and economic system and stop climate change with actions in different parts of the world on October 9-10.
Reclaim Power is a convergence of measures implemented by social movements, international networks, non governmental organizations and grassroots groups gathered to fight not only against dirty and detrimental energy, but also in favor of the rights of the people to energy, as well as state and community controlled renewable energy.
In a press release issued by FoEI on October 8, Climate Justice and Energy Program co-coordinator of Friends of the Earth International, Lucy Cadena, said that: “Global consumption of energy today is huge and rapidly rising, but more than 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity, and many more have barely enough to fulfill the right to a dignified life”. “The time has come to Reclaim Power – to take control of our own energy systems”, she added.
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