At the end of its week-long meeting in Berlin, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that preventing catastrophic climate change requires an urgent and fundamental transformation of energy systems around the world. The Panel says that although global emissions of greenhouse gases grew faster between 2000 and 2010 than in previous decades, renewable energy has expanded substantially and its costs have now fallen so dramatically that it is increasingly ready to displace old, polluting forms of energy.(2)
Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Political Advisor at Greenpeace International, said: "Renewable energy is unstoppable. It's becoming bigger, better and cheaper every day. Dirty energy industries are sure to put up a fight but it's only a question of time before public pressure and economics dictate that they either change or go out of business. The 21st century will be the 'age of renewables'."
More than half of the recent growth in carbon emission has been due to China burning ever more coal. But recent clean air measures signal the end of China's coal boom.(3) China, the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has the potential to become the game-changer in international climate politics.
Li Shuo, Climate and Energy campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said: “China could break the deadlock in UN climate talks by presenting an ambitious new target with binding emissions cuts. If China leads, the US and the EU will have no excuse for not being more progressive. The test of whether governments are willing to act on the IPCC’s findings or turn their backs on public concern will come during next year’s climate treaty talks in Paris.”
Germany, which hosted the IPCC meeting, plans to cut its carbon pollution by 40% by 2020.
Karsten Smid, Climate and Energy campaigner at Greenpeace Germany, said: “Germany’s energy revolution is a practical reality and an example to the world. Clean energy owns the future. Politicians and investors need to catch up.”
Tina Loeffelbein, Greenpeace International climate communications:
Tel: + 49 151 167 209 15 E-mail:
Notes to Editors:
(1) Photos of the protest are available from the Greenpeace Picture Desk Hotline: +31 207 18 2471
(2) A Greenpeace summary of the key findings of the IPCC report is available here.
(3) Greenpeace East Asia: ‘The End of China´s Coal boom: 6 facts you should know’ is available here.