For Immediate Release
World Leaders Must Listen to the People and Be Bolder Than They Were Today
As world leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York today, Greenpeace leaders responded to key announcements from China, the United States, and Europe:
In response to the announcement by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, Greenpeace Senior Climate and Energy Policy Officer Li Shuo said:
“Five years after Copenhagen, China is in a vastly different position. Domestic air pollution is forcing the country to embark on a new path away from coal and 2014 saw the lowest coal consumption growth in a decade. After the surging carbon emissions over the past decade, we welcome the Vice Premier's pledge to peak emissions as early as possible, and call on China to peak its greenhouse gas emission much before 2025. The country must also capitalize on its domestic progress on coal and deliver an ambitious post-2020 target.”
Reacting to President Obama's speech and announcement of a new executive order to consider climate change in international development programs, Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said:
"Requiring federal agencies to consider climate change in international development programs is a good step, and we hope President Obama will extend this logic to every federal agency decision, especially around the extraction and export of fossil fuels. So far, the Obama administration continues to allow the fossil fuel industry to undermine efforts to address climate change by mining and drilling for coal, oil, and gas from our public lands and waters, unlocking huge quantities of carbon pollution. President Obama's climate efforts and speech today are welcome, but we can do much more to reduce carbon pollution in the United States and help communities around the world deal with the impacts of climate change."
In reaction to the announcements by European Commission President Jose Barroso and French President François Hollande, Martin Kaiser, Head of International Climate Policy at Greenpeace said:
“Europe has given an important signal in supporting the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change through the Green Climate Fund, although the details remain unclear. However, the current mitigation targets and the proposed 2030 climate and energy targets to be decided upon by next month fall short of a truly ambitious plan. These targets will not drive divestment from coal and oil, but will lock it in for the next 16 years. Europe can do better, and must do better. The European Union must set more ambitious climate and energy targets.”
In response to the many announcements made today by world leaders, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:
“Following Sunday’s impressive showing of more 400,000 people calling for action on climate change, we’ve seen some action from world leaders today, but not enough to match the energy of the people marching for their children’s future. To preserve the health and safety of our planet and the human race, we must meet targets dictated by science--not agreed by politicians.
“This week we saw progressive business and faith leaders making strong commitments that are moving ahead of what world leaders promised today. The leaders of major economies must be bolder than they were today in providing a vision for 100% renewable energy for all.”
Last night, Greenpeace projected the message “Listen to the People, Not the Polluters!” on the side of the UN.
Today, in the UK, activists blocked a 1,500 ton coal train heading to the Cottom power station: