Commenting on the Global Carbon Report from the Tyndall Centre, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: 

“2013 will see the highest-ever emissions of climate-changing gases from human activity.  These figures are a grim reality-check for the Ministers assembling at the Warsaw climate conference.  The world’s nations need to make urgent progress on further reducing emissions in the run up to 2020 and to agree how fair 2020 targets will be set in Paris in two years’ time.

The Global Carbon Report predicts that human activities will have created 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the most ever emitted.  Emissions from burning coal will be the largest single source.

“Temperatures are up, polar ice is disappearing and the oceans are becoming more acidic.  The world is already a degree warmer than it was, and could be heading for a disastrous 4.5 degrees of warming by 2100.  Following serious backsliding from Australia, Japan and Canada, the Warsaw conference needs to produce some concrete results to end the planet’s dangerous fossil fuel fixation and to develop the huge job-creating potential of renewable power.  Countries like Scotland can take a lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Many key issues need to be resolved, including how to share targets fairly between nations and how to compensate countries already suffering damage from climate change.  However, this conference is already surrounded by controversy, with sponsors ranging from car companies to airlines, and a major coal conference running at the same time.

 “Scotland has world-leading climate targets but we need to try harder to actually meet them, with more investment needed in insulating people’s homes, a major shift in focus from cars to public transport, walking and cycling and a continuing transformation of the electricity sector.”

The global network of Friends of the Earth groups will be looking for good progress on issues including;

– equity – how we fairly divide future climate targets between nations

– loss and damage – how we help those who are already suffering from the effects of climate change, including committing new money

– phasing out fossil fuels and nuclear power and developing more community-owned renewable energy

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The Global Carbon Project’s report each year incorporates data from multiple research institutes around the world on carbon dioxide emissions, carbon increase in the atmosphere, and land and ocean sinks for its annual assessment of the earth’s carbon budget. The 2013 report has 49 authors from 10 countries. To find out more visit www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget or phone UEA Press Office +44 (0)1603 592764.  

2. The 19th UN climate conference runs from November 11th until 22nd November and is being held at the National Stadium in Warsaw. Politicians, including Scotland’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change take part this week.  

3. FoE Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon and Head of Campaigns Mary Church are in Warsaw until 23rd November.  They are contributing to a blog on the FoE (http://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c6…) and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (http://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c…) websites.  They can be contacted on 0758 4411762 and rdixon@foe-scotland.org.uk.

4. Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report, confirmed that human activity is causing climate change:   http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep…

5. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:

* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.

www.foe-scotland.org.uk