COP22 Marrakech

Climate change is already happening and Africa will be the continent worst affected. Urgent action is crucial. We must demand the Ghana government to promote low carbon development and completely throw out the possibility of any coal fired power station in Ghana. Burning coal will lead to serious health problems for local communities and increase Ghana’s greenhouse gas emissions, which will then need cutting from elsewhere in the economy to compensate.  This doesn’t make sense and will be much more difficult. Instead we must demand energy justice through universal access to clean renewable low carbon energy options such as solar and wind power, and implemented in cooperation and partnership with the Africa-led Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).  The AREI is leading the way in implementing practical solutions to deal with energy access for all people in Africa as well as climate change mitigation. Low carbon energy solutions will create jobs, provide sufficient energy for all, and boost local and national economies across Africa.

At the UNFCCC COP 22, now underway in Marrakech, Morocco, Friends of the Earth-International has shared the following press release.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

OPENING MEETING OF PARIS AGREEMENT FACES TOUGH CHALLENGES

Today, 15 November, will mark the formal opening of the Paris Agreement, the first time that all the parties that ratified the agreement will come together.

The recently-released UNEP Emissions Gap report concludes that the world is not on track to meet the 1.5ºC stated goal of the Paris Agreement. To prevent even more severe climate impacts – killer floods, droughts and sea level rise – the climate science demands that emissions reductions must take place right away.

“As 2016 is confirmed as the hottest year on record, the hopes of millions of people are invested in the promise of the Paris Agreement to limit temperatures to well below 1.5ºC warming and prevent catastrophic climate disaster. But the real work must start now. No one can wait till 2020 to act, otherwise their own celebrations about Paris will ring hollow. We must push all countries to do their fair share of effort to limit warming. Rich countries must increase their weak targets in the crucial pre-2020 period and stop shirking their obligations to help poorer countries deal with climate impacts, grow cleanly and tackle the gross inequality that denies so many the right to a dignified life. Some rich countries, such as the EU and Japan, who have already met their weak targets must show real leadership by committing to increase action, ending their addiction to fossil fuels as quickly as possible and supporting the acceleration of the renewable energy revolution that is already underway,” says Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth International.

The election of Donald Trump as US President is a challenge to the rest of the world to step up on climate change.

“Climate change is not going to wait for US action and neither should the rest of the world. That’s why the world should respond to Donald Trump’s Presidency by moving forward and strengthening the weak Paris Agreement pledges. Trump’s election must unify the world in treating the US as a climate pariah, not serve as an excuse for inaction. The US has been outside the UN climate process before and other countries must ensure that good progress continues to be made while we work to create change back home”, says Ben Schreiber, Climate and Energy Program Director of Friends of the Earth US.

Friends of the Earth International calls on governments to use this week’s High Level gathering to  deliver a concrete plan for 2018 that includes how all parts of the Agreement are being met – the emissions cuts, the finance, technology transfers and the adaptation measures. They must not try to re-interpret or undermine the agreement signed in Paris. They must urgently ramp up pre-2020 action in line with fairness and climate science, as shown in the CSO Equity Review 2016.

–  ENDS –

For more information, please contact our spokespersons listed below:

Asad Rehman, Friends of Earth International. Local mobile: (until 18 Nov) 00212 6 26 88 91 95.
UK Mobile: +44 7956210332. Email: asad.rehman@foe.co.uk.

Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth US, Climate and Energy Program Director. Office: +1 202 222 0752. Cell +1 202 280 8743. Email: bschreiber@foe.org

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