Durban Climate Talks: Last chance for the US

Feature story - November 27, 2011
On the eve of the latest round of climate talks in Durban, Greenpeace declares that it is time for our governments to listen to the people, and not the polluters.

As communities around the world are facing real climate impacts on a daily basis, governments must now stop listening to the carbon-intensive polluting corporations who are holding us back from decisive action.

Instead they should be listening to the calls of people who want an end to our dependence on fossil fuels, and immediate action on climate change.

This round of the UN climate talks, the 17th Conference of the Parties, must be the point where our governments respond to the international climate crisis by adopting a clear roadmap towards a science-based, global agreement.

The deal must ensure that all countries take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, and that financial and technical support is delivered to the poor countries.

South Africa, as the continent's highest CO2 emitter and the host country must show climate leadership to help reach a meaningful outcome over the next two weeks in Durban.

“Africa is already bearing the brunt of the climate gone awry, but that does not seem to be enough to spur some countries to action, like the US. The US needs to step up now and help the world beat climate chaos. The talks in Durban need to be a new dawn for global climate change negations. One in which the interests of people everywhere are put before those of the polluters” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director from Durban. 

The argument that the US is a major emitter and must be part of a global agreement is increasingly looking like an excuse for inaction on the part of other governments, such as the EU, and emerging economies including India and China.

If the US still fails to engage in a global fight to stabilise the climate, its time for governments like the EU, and emerging economies including India and China to move on without the US. This is the last chance for the US. The entire global effort to reach agreement on tackling climate change must not be allowed to be held hostage by the US.

 Non-negotiables

Greenpeace is calling on governments in Durban to listen to the people, not the polluting corporations, and:

  • Ensure a peak in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2015
  • Ensure that the Kyoto Protocol continues and provide a mandate for a comprehensive legally binding deal
  • Deliver the necessary finance to tackle climate change
  • Set up a framework for protecting forests in developing countries
  • Ensure global cooperation on technology and energy finance
  • Ensure international transparency in assessing and monitoring country commitments and actions

 

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