COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, 2 November 2014 – Drastic changes to the way we produce and consume energy are urgently needed, said Friends of the Earth International today, on the day the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Scientists are telling us we must stop our climate-polluting way of producing energy if we want to stand a chance to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Friends of the Earth International’s climate justice and energy coordinator, Dipti Bhatnagar.

“Floods, storms, droughts, failing agriculture and rising seas are already causing devastation, often for the poorest on the globe. Current levels of climate action put us on track for as much as 7.8°C of warming by 2100, which would bring unimaginably disastrous consequences,” she added.

The IPCC report released today, known as the  Synthesis Report,  builds on three reports released by the IPCC throughout 2013-2014. They all form part of the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC.

The first was released last September and focused on the physical science basis of climate change. The second, from March 2014, outlined the experienced and projected impacts of climate change, and third, from April 2014, focused on how to reduce climate pollution (known as ‘mitigation’).

The IPCC is a senior UN panel made up of thousands of scientists, and this report marks its fifth assessment since 1990 of the state of climate science and knowledge.

“In order to address climate change, we require the transfer of resources and technology from developed to developing countries in the order of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. This repayment of the so-called ‘climate debt’ of the rich to the impoverished will allow us to build the community-controlled sustainable energy systems we need to fight poverty and climate change at the same time,” added Dipti Bhatnagar. [2]

The world’s richest, developed countries are most responsible for climate change. They emitted the biggest share of the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere today, way more than their fair share. They must urgently make the deepest emission cuts and provide the bulk of the money if countries are to share fairly the responsibility of preventing catastrophic climate change. [3]

The solutions to the climate crisis are available. They include steep reductions in carbon emissions, stopping fossil fuels and deforestation, building clean, sustainable, community-based power solutions, and transforming our food systems.
FOR MORE INFORMATION

Dipti Bhatnagar,  Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator: +258 840 356 599 (Mozambique mobile) or email dipti@foei.org

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] A backgound briefing on the IPCC findings by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice is available.
An FAQ background note on the IPCC is available here.

[2] For more information on the climate debt read this opinion in the New York Times.

[3] A briefing by Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland details how clear, equitable sharing of the ‘carbon budget’ between nations is essential to address the climate crisis.

Image: An Eskom coal power plant and surroundings, South Africa. According to a study from July 2014, commissioned by the Friends of the Earth South Africa, ESKOM coal is a killer.