70 days to Copenhagen

Time is running out for the climate and our children’s future

Press release - September 28, 2009
After a disastrous week for the climate in New York and Pittsburgh, five Thai children today made a direct appeal for their future to Yvo De Boer, the UN’s top climate official, at the start of the latest round of climate negotiations in Bangkok. They handed the UN little elephant ‘piggy banks’ containing “small change for the climate”.

The children represent over 1.4 million people who have so far signed up to the global tcktcktck coalition's call for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement on averting climate chaos at Copenhagen. The event was the final step in Greenpeace's 15-day, 250km Chang(e) elephant caravan through Thailand to highlight the impacts of climate change and deforestation, in partnership with tcktcktck.

"The need to agree a fair, ambitious and binding deal for the climate in Copenhagen was further driven home this weekend as the Tropical Storm Ketsana, [known locally as Ondoy], dumped a month's worth of rain on Manila in just six hours. With the death toll still rising, and more than 280,000 driven from their homes, it reminds us that Southeast Asia is among the most vulnerable and least prepared areas to deal

with the impacts of climate change," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez.

"With only three negotiating weeks left until Copenhagen, we need to see governments hit the ground running in Bangkok, taking bold action which puts flesh on the bones of the world leaders' grand statements made at the UN in New York last week," said Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Advisor.

Both China and India are showing signs that they are willing to do their fair share in cutting emissions, Japan reiterated its new target and the EU has begun to wake up to the fact that the US has an extremely weak target. Yet the combined target of the industrialised world, even with Japan's new commitment, remains at only 10-17% by 2020 at 1990 levels, woefully short of the 40% needed to keep global

temperature rise to well below two degrees C.

On Friday, the G20 meeting failed to deliver the other crucial factor to break the negotiating deadlock: the USD 140 billion annually needed for developing countries to fight, and adapt to, climate change and to stop tropical deforestation.

"We have just 70 days left until Copenhagen, time is running out. The industrialised countries hold the key to a successful outcome for the climate, the planet and its people. World leaders need to take up Denmark's invitation to attend the December talks, committing personally to guarantee the deal," said Kosonen.

VVPR info: Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace International: Bangkok local +66 8 2334 3915 or +31 646 197 332 Tom Wang, Greenpeace China: Bangkok local +66 5332 4979 or + 86 1391 0902 617 Lea Guerrero, Greenpeace Southeast Asia +66 870 264 260