Durban climate talks: Last Chance for the USA

Press release - 27 November, 2011
Durban – 27 November 2011 - On the eve of the opening of the latest round of UN climate talks in Durban Greenpeace today declared that it is time for our Governments to stop listening to the carbon-intensive polluting corporations and start listening to the people who want an end to our dependence on fossil fuels and real and immediate action on climate change.

This round of the climate talks, the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP), must be the point where our Governments adopt a clear roadmap towards a science based, fair, ambitious and legally binding global agreement, which will ensure that all countries take action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that financial and technical support is delivered to the poor countries for adaptation and mitigation measures.

Africa is already bearing grave ecological and social injustices due to the impacts of climate change. 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,” said Tove Ryding, Greenpeace International Co-ordinator for Climate Policy.

Greenpeace is calling on governments in Durban to listen to the people and 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 instrument
• 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

Greenpeace International in Durban:
Media: Susan Cavanagh +27 (0)76 5400493
Events media: Szabina Moses +27 (0)763799990
For interviews with Kumi Naidoo: Omer Elnaiem +27 (0)72720308
For Photo/video throughout the meeting: Maarten van Rouveroy +27 (0)713264981
All Greenpeace information and background on Durban, including press releases, can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/

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