What’s so important about Poznan anyway?

Feature Story - 2008-12-04
Oh no! More talks about climate change. And they’re not even on a tropical island like last year’s Bali conference. They’re in freezing Poland! Why should I care?

The Bryn Mawr glacier in Prince William Sound, Alaska is collapsing as a result of global warming.

Because if these talks fail there is less chance the world will take concerted action on climate change.

These talks will set a foundation for the crucial climate change meeting in December 2009 in Copenhagen when countries must agree to concrete  greenhouse pollution cuts.

And also where developed countries must agree how much they can help developing nations to cut their emissions through the transfer of clean technology and with cash.

Read our Greenpeace China Poznan blog.

Poznan talks in a nutshell

Where: Poznan, Poland

Who: 190 countries (including China)

When: December 1 -13 (ie NOW)

What: For countries to lay down a framework for crucial climate talks in Copenhagen next December

Crunch time for the climate

Copenhagen may be our LAST CHANCE to save the world from the devastating effects of climate change.

If the world fails to reach a deal at Copenhagen, we'll be staring catastrophic climate change in the face.

That means: more hunger and thirst as crops fail and water resources dry up, more extreme weather events such as deadly hurricanes and freak blizzards, and homes swallowed under rising seas.

Climate change is humankind's most urgent AND most critical environmental problem.

Climate change is about all of us.

But it's governments that decide whether they are willing to do anything about it.

What do we want from China?

China and the US are the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

China has already said it is willing to cut its emissions, providing developed countries commit to emissions cuts and help developing countries with clean technology transfer and investment.

China can decide if it wants to be the biggest solution to climate change by replacing coal with renewable energy and improving its energy efficiency, or be the biggest problem in stopping the climate change nightmare.

Beijing must take a leading role at Poznan and show the world that China is not the bad boy of climate change.

What does Greenpeace want from Poznan

-- a "climate vision" that will address what the science requires: global greenhouse pollution peaking by 2015. Emissions can be cut by quitting coal as an energy source, massively increasing renewable energy and stopping forest destruction.

-- a draft negotiating text on the table and a detailed workplan to get this completed by Copenhagen in December 2009.

-- Developed countries must agree greenhouse gas emission reduction targets at the upper end of 25-40%, as identified by the UN

The solution is pretty straight forward: to avoid runaway climate change, the world needs to quit its addiction to coal and stop destroying forests - and that work has to start in Poznan.

Let's start investing in a future that is possible.

All that is missing at the moment is political will. We need investments in clean, renewable energy and an end to subsidies for dirty and dangerous energy like coal and nuclear.

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