Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling for urgent action at the 19th annual United Nations Climate Conference, which begins today.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said, “From flooding to hurricanes to droughts and food shortages, the impacts of climate change are becoming more frequent and devastating day by day. The world’s nations are meeting in Warsaw in an important step on the way to setting new climate targets at the equivalent conference in Paris in 2015. This follows on from the new report from the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change which shows that temperatures are up, polar ice is disappearing and the oceans are getting more acid. For the first time the world’s climate scientists specified a global carbon budget, and made it clear that most of the fossil fuels we know about need to stay in the ground.

“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. Sadly, Poland has never been a champion of strong action on climate change, and the UN conference may have to make progress despite, rather than because of, their hosts.”

The world’s nations have committed to setting new global climate targets in 2015. Establishing a timetable and steps at Warsaw is crucial ahead of 2015 in Paris to ensure ambitious goals to keep global temperature below 2°C can be met.

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 19th COP 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 will take part in the second week of negotiations. http://www.cop19.gov.pl There will be a protest march through Warsaw on Saturday the 16th. A briefing on the climate talks from Friends of the Earth Europe is here: https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/Media%20Note%20for%20Warsaw%20…

2. FoE Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon and Head of Campaigns Mary Church will be in Warsaw from 15th – 23rd November. They will be contributing to a daily blog on the FoE (https://foe.scot) and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/campaigns/un-international-climate-talks) websites.

3. The Polish Government are helping organise a World Coal Conference on the 18th November. Protests will take place in Warsaw and at Polish Embassies and Consulates around the world on that day.

4. 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.

www.foe-scotland.org.uk