Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

World Leaders Must Listen to the People and Be Bolder Than They Were Today

WASHINGTON -

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.

http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2014/09/23/greenpeace-delivers-peoples-message-eve-climate-summit

Today, in the UK, activists blocked a 1,500 ton coal train heading to the Cottom power station:

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/people-vs-coal-20140923

###

Greenpeace logo

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Norwegian 'People vs. Arctic Oil' Case Heads to European Human Rights Court

"We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'Let Scientific Evidence Determine Origin' of Covid-19, Say Heads of US National Academies

"Misinformation, unsubstantiated claims, and personal attacks on scientists surrounding the different theories of how the virus emerged are unacceptable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


EU Parliament Overwhelmingly Votes to End Caged Animal Farming

1.4 million people across Europe signed a petition to "End the Cage Age," and MEPs are now calling for a ban by 2027.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Frontline Foe of Formosa Plastics Plant in 'Cancer Alley' Among 2021 Winners of 'Green Nobels'

Sharon Lavigne, the North American recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, is being recognized for stopping construction of a plastics manufacturing plant in her Louisiana community.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


50+ Groups Urge Biden to Swiftly Fill Open Seat on FCC to Remedy Digital Divide, Restore Net Neutrality

"If we are to reach the goal of having a country where everyone, no matter their address or size of their bank account, has affordable access to high-speed internet, we need a full commission as soon as possible."

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·