COP24 ends without firm promises to raise climate
Sunday, December 16: Just two months after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned we have 12 years left to save the world, COP24 ended with no clear promise of enhanced climate action.
COP24 led to an approved Paris Agreement rulebook, but no clear collective commitment to enhance climate action targets.
Greenpeace International Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan attended the climate summit in Katowice, Poland.
"A year of climate disasters and a dire warning from the world’s top scientists should have led to so much more," she says.
"Instead, governments let people down again as they ignored the science and the plight of the vulnerable. Recognising the urgency of raised ambition and adopting a set of rules for climate action is not nearly enough when whole nations face extinction."
Last week, Morgan called on New Zealand to be more vocal at COP24 and separate itself out from positions of the umbrella group, which includes Australia, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, the US and Norway.
Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says despite the lack of firm commitment coming from COP24, New Zealand must get on with the job.
"There is no time to waste. We’re on track for a three or four degree temperature rise, which would cause mass extinctions and the displacement of tens of millions of people," he says.
"Real climate action in New Zealand means addressing the giant cow in the room. Agriculture has to be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme, synthetic nitrogen fertiliser must be banned, cow numbers must be reduced, and there must be a massive Government-led investment in regenerative farming.
"New Zealand was celebrated internationally for becoming one of the first countries in the world to ban new oil and gas exploration permits. Now we need to double down on that with serious investment in clean energy to replace fossil fuels."
Greenpeace is calling on the Government to stop subsidising the oil industry and instead offer over 500,000 interest-free loans to New Zealand households to install solar panels and batteries over the next ten years.
"Enabling half a million Kiwi homes to convert to solar could contribute 1.5 GW of new clean power and 3 GW of grid-stabilising battery storage to New Zealand’s electricity grid in the next decade," Norman says.