Copenhagen/Brussels, December 7, 2009 – The
European Union must make stronger commitments to fighting climate change to
increase the chance of achieving a just and effective global climate agreement,
Friends of the Earth Europe said today as vital United Nations climate talks
opened in Copenhagen.
Pledges made so far by developed countries
fall far short of what science says is needed for the world to stand a decent
chance of avoiding the worst consequences of climate change. The positions of
rich countries arriving at the negotiations, including Europe, also make the
chances of reaching an agreement which delivers climate justice extremely slim.
Europe has made an
inadequate 20% emission reduction target for 2020.
Its promise to increase this to a 30% target dependant on other parties’
commitments is also far below what is needed, especially as it includes huge
amounts of offsetting which does not deliver real cuts in emissions.
European governments have failed to decide
what financial contribution
they will make to support developing countries to mitigate their emissions and
adapt to the consequences of climate change.
Sonja Meister, climate campaign coordinator
for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “Europe must up its commitment and agree
to at least 40% emissions reductions by 2020. Cuts of 40% have been proven to
be feasible and affordable – Europe has no more excuses for not living up to
its historical responsibility. Europe’s governments must make a clear
commitment about how much new money they are willing to pay to developing
countries to help them to tackle climate change.”
“Rich countries are responsible for the vast
majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today and must immediately
commit to steep and legally binding reductions of their emissions. These
reductions must take place without offsetting and without other false solutions
such as agrofuels, nuclear energy or so-called 'clean coal',” said Friends of
the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria.
Friends of the Earth Europe demands that in Copenhagen the EU must:
- commit to at least 40% domestic emission
reductions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, without offsetting. The Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM) should be abolished as it deters the structural
changes necessary in Europe to green the economy and deliver emission
reductions. The majority of CDM projects do not deliver real emission cuts and
many have devastating social and environmental consequences in the global
- deliver its fair share of the finances needed
by developing countries for mitigation, technology and adaptation. This needs
to be new, public money additional to existing development aid. The money must
be administered by the UNFCCC in a central fund. Any funding outside of the UN,
including the World Bank’s climate investment funds, and any financial
transfers made as part of offsetting schemes should not count as fulfilment of
developed country commitments.
- commit to a legally binding UN agreement and
a continuation of the Kyoto Protocols which obliges developed countries to make
further commitments on cutting emissions and provide finance and technology to
developing countries. Attempts to derail the Kyoto Protocol must be stopped.
- keep forests out of carbon markets. Existing
forests should be protected by halting deforestation, forest degradation and
the conversion of forests into plantations. Any agreement on deforestation
should be a rights-based approach and should not include carbon markets or
- ensure that the next commitment period of
the Kyoto Protocol has a strong compliance regime that ensures that emissions
in industrialised countries go down year by year. Too many parties, including a
series of EU member states, have so far failed to deliver their commitments
under the Kyoto Protocol. The urgency of climate change requires emission cuts
to be delivered within short timeframes.
Friends of the Earth International is also
mobilising thousands of activists during the talks to show world leaders the
strength of demands
for them to reach a strong and fair agreement to tackle climate change.
The Flood for Climate Justice organised by Friends of the Earth International
will take place on 12 December will see thousands of people flood the streets
For more information please contact:
Francesca Gater, communications officer for
Friends of the Earth Europe, +45 298 42677 (Danish mobile) or +32 4 85 930 515
(Belgian mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonja Meister, climate campaign coordinator
for Friends of the Earth Europe, +45 617 27520 (Danish mobile) or +49 1766
4608515 (German mobile), email@example.com
A new study published by Friends of the Earth
Europe and Stockholm Environment Institute on December 1 proves for the first
time that Europe could achieve at least 40% domestic emissions reductions by
2020 without resorting to false solutions like agrofuels, nuclear or carbon
capture and storage.
The full report ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate
Challenge: Domestic Actions and International Obligations to Protect the
Planet’ is available at: www.foeeurope.org and www.sei-international.org/climateshareeurope
Friends of the Earth International has
spokespeople from all continents and with a wide range of different expertise
available during the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.
For a list of spokespeople, or for details of
Friends of the Earth's activities in Copenhagen including the Flood for Climate
Justice please contact Francesca Gater on +45 298 42677 (Danish mobile) or +32
4 85 930 515 (Belgian mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org