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Gov­ern­ments must seize the oppor­tu­nity to tackle Cli­mate Change, WWF says

pub­lished 10 Novem­ber 2013 | mod­i­fied 03 Novem­ber 2014

With only 50 days of nego­ti­a­tions left for world lead­ers to pro­duce a new global cli­mate agree­ment in 2015, they need to make every day count, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said ahead of the United Nations cli­mate talks in War­saw, Poland which start on Mon­day, Novem­ber 11.

Coke ovens Radlin PolandThis 19th ses­sion of the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (also called COP19) has seen pre­vi­ous meet­ing results with lots of poten­tial but lost effec­tive­ness when progress was sup­posed to be made. Such as the Kyoto pro­to­col that was never rat­i­fied by for instance the USA, and Canada with­drew from it in 2012. The meet­ing in War­saw is impor­tant because it paves the way to a crit­i­cal meet­ing in Lima next year and then in Paris in 2015, where a new global cli­mate deal is to be agreed.

We are clear that we have lit­tle time left to act, and gov­ern­ments, includ­ing Poland, aren’t doing enough to address the problem
Tas­neem Essop, COP 19 head of del­e­ga­tion, WWF »

“The Pol­ish gov­ern­ment has unfor­tu­nately shown us how not to han­dle these impor­tant nego­ti­a­tions by hav­ing embar­rass­ingly low ambi­tions for this meet­ing and by try­ing to pack­age their pro-​coal stance as “clean coal” — some­thing that sim­ply doesn’t exist. We are clear that we have lit­tle time left to act, and gov­ern­ments, includ­ing Poland, aren’t doing enough to address the prob­lem. The world is alarm­ingly far from an emis­sions reduc­tions path­way that would limit dan­ger­ous cli­mate change,” Essop says.

Cli­mate and energy pol­icy is cur­rently dri­ven almost entirely by the vested inter­ests of fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies and not by what is good for the planet and good for human­ity, she says.

“We need to change this approach in War­saw. We are call­ing on gov­ern­ments to make sig­nif­i­cant progress and agree to con­crete actions to bring down emis­sions before 2020. Scal­ing up invest­ments in renew­able energy and energy effi­ciency pro­vides such an oppor­tu­nity, espe­cially since the tech­nolo­gies are becom­ing increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive and affordable.”

Saman­tha Smith, WWF leader of the Global Cli­mate & Energy Ini­tia­tive said: “When the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change deliv­ered their recent report, they couldn’t have been more clear: cli­mate change is still hap­pen­ing, the main source of cli­mate pol­lu­tion is burn­ing fos­sil fuels, and the win­dow of oppor­tu­nity for tack­ling the prob­lem is rapidly closing.”

In short, says Smith, we need to close the ambi­tion gap now and War­saw is the place for gov­ern­ments to start doing this. “We know that most of the pol­lu­tion that causes cli­mate change comes from burn­ing fos­sil fuels. We must quit fos­sil fuels and have a just tran­si­tion to clean renew­able energy. It won’t hap­pen fast enough with­out gov­ern­ments, who need to send clear pol­icy sig­nals to investors.”

WWF is call­ing on investors and financiers around the world to end their sup­port for coal, oil and gas and to increase invest­ments in sus­tain­able, renew­able energy, includ­ing energy access for the poor.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at WWF. Orig­i­nal text is edited.

(Source: WWF press release, 05.11.2013)

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