As two weeks of UN climate talks concluded in Germany today, Friends of the Earth Scotland warned that not enough progress was being made towards a fair climate treaty, due to be finalised in Paris this December.

The government negotiators were unable to agree on the legal form of the treaty or on a fair distribution of carbon emission reduction commitments. They also failed to agree how to generate sufficient public finance to cope with the damage that will be caused by climate change.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “These talks are not progressing with the level of urgency that the climate crisis demands. The Paris negotiations in December must produce a deal that is in line with what climate science recommends and justice requires. We are currently far from any kind of decent draft agreement.

“If rich governments continue to drag their feet at the UN negotiations instead of taking immediate action, people will pay for it with their lives. Climate change is with us now, and every delay causes more heatwaves, droughts and floods. Hundreds of thousands of people are already dying every year because of climate change.”

The Scottish Government announced on Tuesday that they had missed their climate change emission reduction targets for the fourth year in a row.

“Scotland is considered to be setting a good example internationally but they can’t sustain that reputation if we keep missing targets. This week’s figures show they need to redouble their efforts, particularly on transport and energy efficiency.

“People around the world are already implementing real, proven solutions — community-controlled renewable energy systems. The energy revolution has begun, and global leaders must support it and commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

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.

 

Notes to editors:

1. Scottish Government announcement, 9th June 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33058391

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is planning on taking 100 people to the United Nations talks in Paris this year.
http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/sites/www.foe-scotland.org.uk/files/Clima…

3. United Nations public opinion research across 75 countries showed 80 per cent of citizens across the globe are very concerned about the impacts of climate change, but close to 70 per cent also see action to combat it as an opportunity to improve their quality of life. Read more of this research released yesterday http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/surprising-citizens-views-on-…

4. Friends of the Earth International groups protested outside the talks in Bonn. See photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foeeurope/sets/72157653981062209

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, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk