UN Climate Talks Close with Insufficient Progress

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Susann Scherbarth, climate campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 48 6341837 or susann.scherbarth@foeeurope.org
Ann Kathrin Schneider, climate campaigner, Friends of the Earth Germany, +49 151 2408 7297 or annkathrin.schneider@bund.net
Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy coordinator, Friends of the Earth International, +44 7580 270129 or lucy.cadena@foe.co.uk

UN Climate Talks Close with Insufficient Progress

BONN, Germany - As two weeks of UN climate talks come to a close here today, Friends of the Earth International warned that not enough progress was made towards a fair and adequate climate treaty, which is supposed to be finalised in Paris later this year.

While the leaders of the world's seven industrial powers (G7) made lofty statements this week about a fossil fuel phase out by the end of this century, politicians actually negotiating key issues of the planned UN treaty on climate change failed to make real progress in Bonn.

They were unable to agree on the legal form of the treaty, or on a fair distribution of emission reduction commitments, and also failed to agree how to generate sufficient public finance for adaptation to climate change.

Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, said: “Climate change is upon us, and every increase in temperature causes more heatwaves, droughts and floods, killing thousands of people. If developed country governments continue to drag their feet at the UN negotiations instead of taking immediate action, millions of people will pay for it with their lives. People around the world are already implementing real, proven solutions—community-controlled, renewable energy systems. The energy revolution has come of age, and our politicians must help implement it or fade into obsolescence along with the dirty energy systems they cling to.”

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Susann Scherbarth, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “G7 countries have signalled their agreement on the importance of tackling climate change eventually, but haven’t announced any meaningful action. The emission cuts they’ve promised are less than half of what climate science recommends and justice requires. We are on the path to a disastrously empty deal in Paris this December, but ordinary people are making the energy transformation that our governments have failed to.”

Germany, as the current chair of the G7 and host of the latest round of UN climate change negotiations, came under particular scrutiny.

Ann Kathrin Schneider, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Germany, said: “Angela Merkel has turned from climate chancellor to coal chancellor. While she talks big on climate, she’s silent when it comes to supporting a levy on coal power plants, without which Germany will shamefully miss its 2020 emission reduction targets. If Germany does not address the fossil fuel industry in its national climate policy the phrase ‘Energiewende’ will soon be meaningless.” [1]

Today a group of activists from various Friends of the Earth groups protested outside the UN venue in Bonn calling for an energy revolution. [2]

Throughout 2015 and beyond, people from around the globe and Friends of the Earth groups will keep the pressure on national governments to take urgent and appropriate action in line with what science and justice demand. [3]

[1] ‘Energiewende’ means 'energy transition', and refers to Germany’s announced transition away from nuclear and fossil fuel sources to renewable energy.

[2] Photos of the protest will be available from 12:30 CET +1 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/foeeurope/

[3] For more information: www.wearetheenergyrevolution.org

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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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