Urgent Action Needed as Scientists Warn on Scale of Climate Crisis

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Kelly Trout
Email: ktrout@foe.org
Phone: 202-222-0722

Urgent Action Needed as Scientists Warn on Scale of Climate Crisis

STOCKHOLM - Commenting on a forthcoming key science report on climate change, Friends of the Earth International warns that this report will confirm the need for urgent action to address the climate crisis. [1]

“The science is clear. We now need an urgent and dramatic transformation of the world’s dirty, corporate-controlled unsustainable energy system to stop climate devastation and avert worsening impacts on people and communities,” said Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s fifth assessment report on the physical science basis of climate change, released in Sweden next week, will confirm beyond all reasonable doubt that climate change is real [2]; that it is caused by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions [3]; and that it poses a severe and immediate threat to human well-being, including food production and human security.

The report will draw the alarming conclusion that an average global warming of 4 degrees Celsius is “as likely as not likely” by 2100 and assert with a high degree of confidence that warming over large land masses, such as Africa, Asia and the Americas, will be even higher than average global warming.

2013 has seen extreme weather events devastate communities and cities around the world. Just a few days ago, Mexico was lashed by 2 tropical storms at the same time and Colorado faced a one in a 1000-year flood after droughts and raving forest fires. In June, thousands perished in severe floods and landslides in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand and thousands were removed from their homes in Germany due to floods. Earlier this year, over 150,000 people in southern Mozambique were temporarily forced from their homes due to floods.

The IPCC will confirm that climate impacts already experienced have been worse than originally predicted, and predict a likelihood of increased frequency of heat waves, increased frequency and severity of heavy storms, and a significantly increased risk of devastating forest fires.

Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice & Energy Coordinator Dipti Bhatnagar said: “This new IPCC report highlights once again the scale of the threat to humanity posed by the climate crisis. We have all the evidence we need, we even have the solutions to tackling the climate crisis, what we don’t have is the political will of our leaders. This is a wake-up call for them to put the interests of people and the planet before those of dirty energy corporations.”

“The IPCC concludes that we need a substantial and sustained reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. To deliver this we must reject false solutions like large-scale geo-engineering and start by tackling the root causes of climate change like our reliance on life-destroying fossil fuels and by urgently investing in community-owned, renewable energy alternatives,” she added.

A briefing produced by Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland predicts the content of the forthcoming IPCC report. It is available at: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/ippc_wg1report_qna.pdf

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International, Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator: +44 7912 406510 or email sarah.clifton@foe.co.uk

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International, Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator: +258 84 0356599 or email dipti@foei.org

Notes

[1] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the official intergovernmental body tasked with the assessment of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. It relies on contributions from thousands of scientists from around the world, organised into three working groups who each publish a detailed report on a five yearly basis. In 2013 and 2014 the IPCC will launch its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which will provide an update of knowledge on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change. The summary report of Working Group 1, focused on the Physical Science Basis of climate change, will be published on 27 September, followed by the full report on 30 September.

[2] The report shows that the last three decades have been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850, and that the first decade of the 21st Century has been the warmest.

[3] The report also demonstrates that it is 95% certain that human activities are responsible for more than half of the observed global temperature increase from 1951 to 2010. It finds that the 40% increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since 1750 is a result of human activity “virtually all due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and a small contribution from cement production”.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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