Greenpeace demands governments to take action on climate change

IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report indicates a last chance for the planet while climate defenders detained in Russia for a peaceful protest against drilling in the Arctic.

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Press release - September 27, 2013
New Delhi, September 27, 2013: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today approved and released the first of a series of four reports that will make up the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). It warns of an alarming escalation of impacts – but also shows that preventing climate chaos is still possible.

The report highlights accelerating impacts of climate change that make for truly disturbing reading. In the past decade (2002-2011), the Greenland Ice Sheet melted at a rate six times faster, on average, than the decade before. Antarctic melting was five times faster. Since 1993, sea-levels have risen twice as fast as in the past century on average while the Arctic sea-ice has diminished significantly faster than projected.

"The only logical response to a warning of this magnitude is immediate action. Unfortunately those who are taking this action are now in prison in Russia, while those that are most responsible are protected by governments around the world," said Jai Krishna, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

28 Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer, have been remanded in custody in Russia pending investigations into a peaceful protest against drilling for oil in the Arctic last week.

"In the Arctic and around the world we are reaching a series of tipping points. From the Keystone pipeline in the United States to Gezi Park in Turkey and to oil rigs in the melting ice, citizens are fighting the tired mistakes of the 20th century and demanding a new approach. The age of fossil fuels is coming to an end. The only question is how fast we leave it behind," added Jai Krishna.

The IPCC report underlines "unequivocal and unprecedented" warming of the climate system. Despite many interpretations from a 'leaked' copy of the report even claimed a pause in warming, the actual report clearly says that "each of the last three decades have been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850."

But India has been pushing for fossil fuel based energy expansion. Approvals for coal mines and coal-based power plants have far exceeded the requirement assessed by the Planning Commission for the 12th five year plan and more than 200 gigawatts of power plants and 830 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) of coal mines have now been approved.

On the other hand, renewables are now cost competitive and attracting investment, yet India's approach towards renewables has been lacklustre. More than 300 million people, mostly marginalised, are still waiting to get access to energy. This is the same population that will bear the brunt of climate change. Indian government needs to focus on decentralised renewable energy instead of energy based on centralised fossil fuel.

The report shows there is still a way out of this mess. The IPCC defines different scenarios, Representative Concentration Pathways, for our emissions and related impacts. The scenario that keeps warming below 2°C implies that fossil fuel emissions will need to stop growing before 2020 and reach zero by around 2070.

"We can keep within the limits that governments themselves have agreed to but so far failed to act on. For one, India needs to raise its ambition on renewable energy by increasing the national targets from 15 per cent to at least 20 per cent by 2020," said Abhishek Pratap, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

 

For photos refer to:

http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIFV19U12&CT=Story

For further details contact:

Shachi Chaturvedi, Senior Media Officer, Greenpeace India, 9818750007,

Jai Krishna R, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, 098455 91992,

Abhishek Pratap, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, 09845610749,

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