2 December 2018 (Toronto, CANADA)  – The warning that we have just 12 years left to save the climate must now result at COP24 in a bold commitment to accelerated climate action, Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace’s head of delegation at COP24 Jens Mattias Clausen said: “The window of opportunity is open – but only just. Climate science still provides hope, but the time for political talk has long gone. People are clamouring for action. Children are walking out of schools, the vulnerable are calling for justice or launching lawsuits and communities are standing up to defend their forests. Which leader will stand with them and deliver them reasons for hope?”

Greenpeace Canada Climate & Energy Senior Strategist, Keith Stewart, said: “The politicians gathered in Poland must confront the harsh reality that people are already dying from climate change and that they are the last generation of world leaders who still have the time to act.  Governments must work in cooperation to achieve a carbon-neutral society. We need fast, bold action to alter the course of history. Bold climate action can deliver a better world where a 100% renewably-powered economy provides clean air and water, jobs and prosperity, and justice for climate impacted communities. We expect nothing less of governments at COP24. There is no time to waste. Within Canada, that takes real climate leadership, not a multi-billion investment in a new tar sands pipeline that will be a stranded asset in the low-carbon world we need to stop climate change.”

Canada’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) falls short of our fair-share contribution to the global effort to confront climate change and Canada’s current climate plan will not achieve its 2030 reduction target.

This year’s COP comes in the wake of clear and urgent warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme. [1] In the face of such dire warnings, however, there are glimmers of hope emerging.

  • The G20 outcome saw the G19 strongly reaffirm their resolve to act on climate, isolating the US administration as the lone government to have abandoned Paris.
  • The EU has sought to take leadership by proposing to go net zero by 2050. To stay within 1.5°C, the EU will need to reach this goal by 2040.
  • The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) nations have committed to enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and are calling on rich nations to do the same ahead of COP24.
  • Leaders from 18 European countries have called for all countries to revisit their national climate action plans in light of the latest scientific findings.
  • Regional governments, cities and businesses provided a strong example to world leaders of what climate ambition looks like at the Global Climate Action Summit.

 

This week, on December 7th, Prime Minister Trudeau meets the provincial ministers in Montreal to discuss NAFTA and other topics. He has another chance to make climate change a priority. The question remains whether he realizes that the world is living through a climate emergency, and that more urgent action is required to address the crisis.

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Notes:

[1] Clear and urgent warnings from the IPCC, WMO and UNEP include:

 

[2] Greenpeace’s media briefing and COP24 expectations please can be found here.

[3] Greenpeace has produced a detailed briefing on the IPCC report, which can be found here.

Contacts:

Loujain Kurdi, Greenpeace Canada, loujain.kurdi@greenpeace.org, +514-577-6657

Maria Elena De Matteo, Global Communications Strategist, Greenpeace East Asia, mariaelena.dematteo@greenpeace.org, +39 351 8198 110

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)