Durban climate talks: Last Chance for the USA

Press release - November 28, 2011
Auckland – 28 November 2011: On the eve of the opening of the latest round of UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, Greenpeace today declared that it is time for our Governments to stop listening to the carbon-intensive polluting corporations, and start listening instead to the people who want an end to our dependence on fossil fuels and real and immediate action on climate change.

This round of climate talks, the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP), must be the point at which 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 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 to the talks, must show climate leadership to help reach a meaningful outcome over the next two weeks in Durban.

“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, in 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 those in the EU, and emerging economies including India and China.

“If the US still fails to engage in a global fight to stabilise the climate, it will be 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,” says Naidoo.

Greenpeace is also calling on governments in Durban to:  

• 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