Friends of the Earth International

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 7, 2005
10:50 PM

CONTACT: Friends of the Earth International
Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner + 1 347 992 2505
Helen Burley, Friends of the Earth Media Officer +1 201 954 5317 or + 44 7778 069930

 
Ministers in Montreal Must Rescue Climate Talks
 

MONTREAL - December 7 - Ministers arriving in Montreal for the UN Climate Talks must push ahead for international action and not allow the US administration to hold the world hostage, Friends of the Earth urged today (Wednesday 7th December). The world's biggest polluter has refused to enter in to dialogue on future action on tackling climate change at the talks and has walked away from efforts by other countries to bring it on board.

Friends of the Earth International is urging Minister Dion as president of the talks, and Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for the Environment, negotiating here on behalf of the EU, to strive for concrete outcomes from these talks. It is calling for a commitment to a clear timetable and process for future negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol. This means abandoning the flawed strategy of trying to bring the US on board.

The environmental campaign group also wants to see industrialised countries recognise their responsibilities under the Kyoto Protocol and commit to deepening their emissions cuts as well as providing financial support for the developing countries to embark on a clean development path.

Speaking in Montreal, Friends of the Earth International Vice Chair Tony Juniper said: "Ministers must use the next few days to aim for a historic breakthrough on taking forward action under the Kyoto Protocol. People expect their governments to act - and that means industrialised countries must commit to a clear timeline for developing new targets and action by 2008, ready for implementation in the second phase of the Protocol in 2013.

"By reaching such an agreement, countries negotiating here will be sending a clear signal that low carbon economies are the future. These talks have seen positive moves from developing countries to face up to the challenge of tackling climate change. But the emerging economies must also be given the support and assistance they need to move down a sustainable energy track."

Current funding mechanisms for the least developed countries do not match the level of need and many developed countries have failed to pay in the amounts promised. Assistance is also needed in the form of pilot projects to show that sustainable energy solutions are a practical option for developing economies.

Commenting on the position of the UK Government, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union, Tony Juniper added:

"These talks are a key test of the UK and the EU's commitment to tackling climate change. They have rightly wanted to bring the United States on board - but the sad reality is that the current administration is not interested in addressing the problem. Action is already happening in America, with business and local government moving forward. The world must move ahead in the expectation that future US governments will be more willing to join in."

Friends of the Earth International's giant climate mosaic - the world cannot wait - is displayed outside the conference centre, depicting messages from individuals around the world.

For images of the mosaic see www.foei.org and www.foe.co.uk/resource/images/cop11_montreal

Background information: www.foe.co.uk/resource/media_briefing/montrealclimatetalks.pdf

UNFCCC Climate Change Conference Official Site: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_11/items/3394.php

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