Global Momentum for Action Unstoppable – But We Are Still on Track for Dangerous Levels of Warming

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Leonie Beunen

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Global Momentum for Action Unstoppable – But We Are Still on Track for Dangerous Levels of Warming

MARRAKESH, Morocco - Today at the conclusion of the UN climate conference, Friends of the Earth International said that the momentum for global action on climate change refused to be overshadowed by the election of a climate denier to the US Presidency.

“Climate change is not going to wait for US action and the rest of the world is clear it is moving forward,” said Benjamin Schreiber of Friends of the Earth US.

“Trump’s election must unify the world in treating the US as a climate pariah, and respond to his Presidency by redoubling ambition,” Schreiber continued. “The US has been outside the UN climate process before and other countries must ensure that progress is made while we work to create change back home.”

Hope continues to rest on the renewable energy transformation that is taking place globally, and must be led by people.

COP22 was billed to be an African COP,” said Kwami Kpondzo of Friends of the Earth Africa. “The good news is that the African Renewable Energy Initiative took off here in Marrakech; an initiative by Africans for Africans, to leapfrog the dirty fossil fuel development and bring clean community-based energy instead.  Friends of the Earth groups have fought long and hard to make this initiative a reality and it’s a testimony to the work done by African civil society in the fight against energy poverty.

“However, in this COP we saw very little movement on the crucial issue of finance needed for the people of Africa, Kpondzo continued. “Dodgy accounting and fishy finance reporting by rich countries means that the millions already experiencing floods and droughts in every corner of Africa will be left to help themselves. Broken promises will not help us survive a crisis we did not create,” he continued.

“The science is clear and the current pledges on the table take us to a world of over 3ºC warming, which is incompatible with a safe existence for millions on this planet.” said Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth Malaysia. “Rich countries had an obligation to bring stronger pre-2020 ambition to the table because we must stay under 1.5ºC, but this has not happened. Not acting now is not fair. It will only make action later that much harder, and the cost in human suffering even greater”, she continued.

“Next year the COP goes to our country, to Bonn,” said Ann-Kathrin Schneider of Friends of the Earth Germany. “With Germany also hosting the G-20, this will be an important time for citizens to come together to make their voices heard. Leaders must come to Bonn with a genuine and ambitious political will to meet the global challenge of climate change, including helping those already being displaced by this crisis. We will be there in our thousands to make sure they don’t falter and we will hold our leaders accountable on behalf of people all over the world,” Schneider continued.

Friends of the Earth International asserts that this powerful movement of people is key to solving the climate crisis.

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Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 74 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FOEI campaigns on today's most urgent environmental and social issues.

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