Katowice, Poland, 2 December 2018 – 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:

“We’re on a fast road to suffering unless we act now. People are already dying from the impacts of climate change. This is the harsh reality that leaders must confront at COP24. They are the last generation of leaders who still have the time to act. They must put the Paris Agreement to work and ramp up action now. Only through fast, bold change can we alter the course of history.

“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 Poland campaigner Paweł Szypulski said:

“Heavily dependent on coal plants and planning to build a new one, the Polish government must answer where it truly stands. Will it stand on the side of climate science and the people, or against them? This is the third COP in 10 years Poland has hosted and what has changed? Talk of common sense over climate science indicates that no progress has been made in the country’s thinking.

“Having a major coal utility like PGE as one of COP24’s sponsors sends the wrongest possible signal at the wrongest possible time. The climate is fast approaching a breaking point and as COP24 host, Poland must finally reject coal and drive climate ambition. There are no second chances.”

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 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.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“This is the defining moment of our generation, the true test of our humanity. In Katowice, leaders of every country will be challenged to look each other in the eye and say: ‘Yes, I stand with you and the people’. Those who don’t will be condemned in history and held to account. At COP24, governments must act and commit to aligning their climate action plans by 2020 with the crucial 1.5°C target agreed in Paris.”

ENDS

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:

Aaron Gray-Block, Greenpeace International, aaron.gray-block@greenpeace.org, +61 437 845 150

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)