Sinking icons highlight how climate changes threatens us all

Press release - 8 December, 2010
Cancun - 8 December 2010 - In a symbolic activity, to illustrate that climate change threatens us all, Greenpeace today immersed models of iconic global structures (1) in the sea off Cancun – adding a twist to the resort city's coastal horizon.

With the partially-submerged edifices, including the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower, Greenpeace sent a message to Ministers reminding them of what is at stake as they go into the final days of the UN Cancun

"Climate change knows no borders, it does not discriminate. The rising tide of climate impacts, be they economic, environmental or humanitarian will affect each and every one of us  – rich and poor. Here in Cancun, government Ministers can still choose to steer us towards a bright and safe future, “ said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director.

Update on the talks
On finance, Greenpeace is increasingly concerned that one of the key decisions at this meeting, on setting up a climate fund, could be pushed back to next year.

“One of the few positive elements to emerge from Copenhagen was the promise that the climate fund would be established in Cancun – and now even this promise looks set to be broken,” said Wendel Trio, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director.

Equally as difficult are the discussions on how to increase the weak emission reduction pledges made around Copenhagen. Assessment after assessment has shown that the pledges are completely inadequate to keep global temperature rise below 2degC or less. The USA, Canada and Russia, with the weakest targets of all are not even willing to acknowledge this gap.

There is a massive contradiction in the EU, which is happy to acknowledge a gigatonne gap, but refuses to even shift its target up to 30% by 2020 (at 1990 levels) to address this gap.  Australia is in a similar position, refusing to increase its target.

“The industrialised world has an historical responsibility to cut emissions – and yet the US, Russia, Japan and Canada won’t improve their commitments.  We remind this carbon club that by refusing to admit that there is a gigatonne gap the dangerous delusion perpetrated by these nations threatens to unleash climate chaos on us all.”

Greenpeace called on all governments to agree on the legal form of the final deal.

“Japan’s comments on an agreement decided in its own ancient city of Kyoto have been extremely unhelpful and are unacceptable.  We also call on Canada and Russia to swing in behind the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol as part of a larger, legally binding agreement.”

Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director Wendel Trio:  +52 1 998 204 9770
Communications:  Cindy Baxter +52 1 998 216 1099
Images:  Jo Kuper:  + 52 1 998 109 4319

(1)    the iconic structures represented are:
Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Mexico’s Angel of Independence, the Rio Christ, the Great Pyramid of Giza, China’s Temple of Heaven, and the Sydney Opera House