Lima climate talks: foundations for Paris deal built on sand
Commenting on the much-delayed outcome of the UN climate negotiations in Lima Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns, Mary Church, said:
“What we’ve seen in Lima is a deliberate attempt by countries who’ve benefited from many decades of pumping carbon into the atmosphere to avoid paying their climate debt, with the strong risk of locking in catastrophic warming. Exhausted negotiators are walking away from Lima with the foundations of a Paris deal built on sand when the urgency of the crisis demands that they are built on rock.”
The negotiations in Lima were supposed to deliver a strong framework for a global treaty to limit warming to no more than 2°C which could be agreed in Paris in December 2015. Instead developed countries made a concerted effort to erode a core principle of the UN climate convention – “common but differentiated responsibility” – which recognises that the burden to act on climate sits heavier on historically high-carbon nations and those with more capacity to act.
“Lima has done nothing to deliver on pre-2020 emissions reductions, failed to provide a clear roadmap for how developed countries will meet their obligation to provide $100bn to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and has delivered only a very weak foundation from which to build a deal to avert catastrophic climate change in Paris. World leaders have failed to act on the urgency of the climate crisis at these talks
“Avoiding tackling the causes of the climate crisis when we know what the solutions are is nothing short of criminal. The science is irrefutable and the early impacts on vulnerable countries already grimly visible.
“In a world where we know of 5 times more fossil fuels than it is safe to burn, it is clear that most of the oil, coal and gas is going to have to stay in the ground. We urgently need to transform our energy systems to run on clean, reliable renewables.
“5 years on, Scotland’s Climate Act remains the most ambitious domestic legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the industrialised world. In the context of the totally inadequate pledges on the table in Lima, it is more important than ever that Scotland starts to live up to its leadership role by putting in place further serious, practical measures to curb emissions.
“True climate leadership includes calling an immediate halt on shale gas fracking, coalbed methane and underground coal gasification. In a country that produces more than 7 times the hydrocarbons we consume, it would be grossly irresponsible to allow a new frontier of fossil fuels to open up.”
Notes to Editors
1. The 20th Conference of the Parties to the UN climate conventions finally passed the key document for Paris at about 1:30 on Sunday morning Lima time. The meeting was supposed to finish on Friday.
2. In September, UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon held a summit aimed at increasing ambition ahead of Paris. Current pledges on the table from developed countries are grossly inadequate both in respect of emissions reduction and finance, including the much hyped USA-China deal.
3. Twenty thousand people marched in the biggest climate protest in Latin American history on December 10 in the March in Defense of Mother Earth. They called for justice and real solutions to the climate crisis, including steep and immediate reductions in carbon emissions, stopping fossil fuels and deforestation, building renewable community-owned energy solutions, and transforming our food systems, all in the context of respect for human rights.
Pictures at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk6a76tk
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, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.