Climate Justice Groups Call for Binding Deep and Drastic GHG Emissions Cuts by Developed Countries

Civil society organizations from different countries and regions gathered at the “Speakers’ Corner” near the International Convention Center to demand that governments in the climate talks renew binding agreements for developed countries and commit to ambitious targets for “deep and drastic GHG emissions cuts” immediately.

“Rich countries must meet deep emissions reductions that are science-based in order to prevent catastrophic loss of lives. We demand developed countries to cut domestically their levels of emissions between 40% to 50% by 2017 and 95% by 2050.  This must be done through a renewed and continuous commitment to the internationally legally binding agreement of the Kyoto Protocol which is the only instrument that has the only internationally recognized rules and deals with compliance” said Michele Maynard of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

Developed countries are trying to ignore their historical obligations and furthermore they are trying to replace the KP with a very weak “pledge and review” system.

According to the United Nations, current pledges risk global warming of 2. 5° to 5°C within this century.  The IPCC estimates that Africa will warm 1 and ½ times this global level. This means that Africa stands to suffer as high as 7 degrees increase in temperature.

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth international (FOEI) said “We are already in a planetary emergency,  but the polluting rich industrialized countries are trying to break their existing legal obligations to cut their emissions and seeking instead to direct the talks towards a “new mandate” and a “new treaty.” These are delaying tactics aimed at further preventing drastically needed actions on climate change and passing on the burden for climate action to developing countries.”

Willy D’Costa from Jubilee-South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) said that the groups who came together for today’s action at the Speakers Corner are also calling for a “stop to false solutions.”  “The world’s elites want to continue their excessive emissions and are using governments to promote solutions that do not address the roots of the climate crisis. Instead these false solutions pave the way for private profits to be made from the climate crisis and peoples sufferings” said D’Costa who also represents the Indian Social Action Forum.  “We reject offsets, carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, agro-fuels, and so called “clean coal.”

The groups urged developing country governments to uphold the welfare and interests of their citizens. “We ask our governments not to sell us out” said Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee-South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD).  “All countries and peoples must contribute to the effort to reduce global GHG emissions. But those responsible for the crisis must bear the greater share, proportional to their historical and continuing responsibility for the climate crisis. There is no time to lose. No more delays, no more deception, no more evasion, no more false solutions.”

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