Merkel must help break deadlock on pre-2020 climate action at Pacific COP

Press release - 13 November, 2017
Bonn, Germany – 13 November 2017 – Developed countries must break a deadlock at the UN climate talks in Bonn and discuss their pre-2020 climate actions, starting with COP host German Chancellor Merkel who can lead the way, Greenpeace said.

While there has been progress on the Paris rulebook and the design of next year’s stocktake of collective climate action efforts (the Talanoa Dialogue), the issue of pre-2020 climate action has emerged as the most contentious aspect of COP23 in Bonn.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“Developing countries are rightfully concerned about pre-2020 climate action and developed countries need to show good faith by giving the issue the space it needs to discuss how to ratchet up our efforts.

“Emissions need to peak by 2020 at the latest. This means pre-2020 climate action is critical if we’re to limit global warming to the 1.5 degrees. We have a small window of opportunity and the sooner we act, the better.”

Germany has targeted a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but will fall far short of its target unless it ends its reliance on coal. Greenpeace is demanding Merkel signal a full coal phase out in the new coalition government agreement.

“Merkel cannot truly call herself a friend of the Pacific is she fails to meet her commitments at home. The time for climate sweet talk has ended. Merkel must present a plan on how to reach and go beyond the 2020 targets,” Morgan added.

In a year marked by a spate of destructive hurricanes, drought and floods, climate vulnerable Fiji is presiding over this year’s climate talks in Bonn, placing heightened focus on the threat of rising seas and extreme weather. 

The climate talks also coincide with new figures from the Global Carbon Project revealing CO2 emissions are expected to rise this year by about 2 % after three years of zero growth due to the slower pace of emissions cuts in the EU and US and (anomalous) higher emissions in China.[1]

“We are making progress, but not fast enough. We must do more. Developing countries are right to raise the issue of pre-2020 action. All stakeholders need to pull together,” Morgan said.

“Bonn is another crucial step in the path and all eyes are on Chancellor Merkel. The US non-state actors have shown the true face of America by their commitment to climate action here in Bonn. Merkel and others, like the EU and China, now need to do the same,” Morgan said.



[1] The Global Carbon Project’s report on the Global Carbon Budget is available HERE


Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia: , phone: +49 152 1927 7342 (DE)

For interviews with Jennifer Morgan, contact Leola Abraham, Communications Manager, Greenpeace International: , phone: +31 6 46 16 20 12

For German media, contact Gregor Kessler, Communications, Greenpeace Germany: , phone: +49 151 7270 2918

Greenpeace International Press Desk, , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)