Issuing an SOS emergency alert ahead of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Japan, Greenpeace warned that climate change is already devastating nations, destroying lives and costing billions of dollars in damage.
"This is a crisis that knows no boundaries. Our climate is on the precipice and every ton of oil, coal and gas we are digging up and burning pushes us closer to the brink. But there's a way out of this mess. Renewable energy has made a breakthrough faster than thought and is ready to challenge our old hazardous energy system," said Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace International campaigner.
"While the IPCC report will make grim reading, the key message here is choice. Will we continue drifting from one disaster to another, or will we take control of our future? We're at a crossroads and the choices we make now will determine how history judges us."
On the eve of the IPCC meeting, Greenpeace activists displayed a glowing message 'Climate SOS – Go Renewables' near J-POWER's Isogo 1 & 2 coal power plant and Tepco's Minami Yokohama gas power plant to highlight the cause of climate change and the solution to the unfolding crisis.
"Coal burning is the biggest single driver of climate change. But coal has a massive water footprint too, making it one of the largest threats to water security. Add to that the air pollution problem and it's clear that a move away from coal is inevitable and in fact has already started," Kosonen added.
"To make the shift away from coal and other fossil fuels fast enough though is a key fight communities, decision-makers and investors have to unite on."
Meeting to finalise the Working Group II report on 'Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability', the IPCC will discuss climate action in the context of sustainable development. The Japanese government, which is hosting this week's meeting, is failing to meet the IPCC's challenge.
Japan has lowered its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it is also emerging as the world's biggest public investor of coal expansion overseas. Now it is planning a return to nuclear energy despite the ongoing Fukushima disaster.
"A choice between nuclear and coal is a false dichotomy. Japan could completely phase out nuclear power and still meet its old climate target of 25% cuts in emissions by 2020 in the energy sector with efficiency and green energy. What is needed is government policy to enable a faster transition to renewable energy," said Hisayo Takada, campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.
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