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No time to waste: climate impacts demand response

Bonn, November 3, 2017 – In a year marked by devastating hurricanes, floods and drought, Greenpeace said real world leaders must stand up at the UN climate talks in Bonn and propel climate action forward or be held accountable for their inaction.

Two years since the Paris Climate Agreement signalled the intent to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Greenpeace said leaders meeting in Bonn must now achieve real progress on the Paris Agreement’s implementation guidelines (the rulebook).

Leaders must also set the groundwork for raising climate ambition and ending the injustice of inaction ahead of the first stocktake of collective efforts in 2018. (1)

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“We have no time to waste. Our climate is changing, putting people and communities increasingly at threat, from Suva to Washington or anywhere, but we have a window of opportunity to take fast, bold action to deliver true security and justice for every one of us.

“At this year’s COP, leaders can start fulfilling the promises they made in Paris and signal their intent to seize the opportunity and the obligation of our time by ramping up climate action.”

Dubbed the Pacific COP because it is being presided over by Fiji, it will be the first time the global community has met since US President Trump announced Washington would withdraw from the Paris agreement. Fiji has called for Bonn to become a visionary summit and a reaffirmation of climate action.

“Trump’s decision to back out of Paris has backfired spectacularly, sparking a groundswell of support for global climate action. There is no turning back and there will be no renegotiation and that message must be made clear at COP23. We expect new leaders to emerge in Bonn and the eyes of the world will be on the EU, China and others to step up,” Morgan added.

The continued hypocrisy of Paris signatories is also being exposed as people around the world take matters into their own hands. On November 14, the Norwegian government’s Arctic oil drilling agenda will be challenged in court as part of a global wave of people litigating to hold governments and big polluters to account. (2)

“Negotiating for global climate action in Bonn while planning to open up the Arctic for oil drilling is simply incompatible and when politicians put oil before people, they need to be held accountable. This is why we are taking Arctic oil to court,” Morgan added.

In Germany, summit co-host Angela Merkel must also bring substantial climate commitments to the Pacific COP if she is to reclaim her climate-chancellor badge.

Greenpeace Germany Executive Director Sweelin Heuss said:

“Coal is still a major part of Germany’s energy mix threatening the nation’s targeted emissions cuts, while CO2 emissions from the transport sector continue to rise despite the promises of cleaner, more efficient cars. What authority does a COP host hold if it fails to deliver on its own promises? Germany must now kick its coal habit and signal the end of the line for the combustion engine.”

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