Katowice, Poland, 3 December 2018: As the UN climate talks open this week – Friends of the Earth International launches a bold new vision of an energy transformation amid fears that the talks will yet again fail to deliver the fair and ambitious climate action needed to address the scale of the climate crisis.
In a move that raises the middle finger to the climate, the Polish hosts named Polish coal company JSW as the first sponsor of the talks. This comes less than two months after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that even 1.5 degrees of warming will have huge planetary impacts and could wipe out 90% of coral reefs, and that the consequences of 2 degrees will be devastating and potentially irreversible. For context: current commitments made under the much lauded Paris Climate Agreement would lead to temperature rises of upwards of 3.5 degrees. And some of these pledges are contingent on finance flowing from wealthy countries to poorer countries and so not guaranteed to take place. Hot on the heels of the IPCC report came news that concentrations of greenhouse gases have reached record levels in the atmosphere.
Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy Program Coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, said:
“This year was supposed to be a major year for the climate – pledges made in Paris three years ago were to be ratcheted up to meet the need for early and steep emission cuts. Thanks to a weakened Talanoa Dialogue, climate ambitions are severely threatened, in addition to the dismantling of equity and the egregious fact that fossil fuel companies are sponsoring the Conference. We need a just transition away from fossil fuels and dirty energy to a just, clean, peoples’ energy system. We need to push for gender justice and for a world free from oppression and inequality.”
Friends of the Earth International is in Katowice bringing solutions to the climate crisis. We are launching People Power Now: An Energy Manifesto – 10 demands for a just energy transformation. If implemented these demands provide a pathway to a new, clean energy future for all, that contributes to keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.
But time is not on our side – inaction by successive governments at the UN and among national governments has left a narrow and shrinking window for action. Friends of the Earth International has, for decades, warned of the consequences of delay. There is deep frustration with this endless talking shop where polluters freely influence the debate, rich countries block the radical action needed for fossil fuel phase out in the North and finance for the South, while the planet warms and people live with the consequences.
Ricardo Navarro, of Friends of the Earth El Salvador, commented:
“In El Salvador we are already living with climate impacts. We are fearful for the future – the picture painted by the IPCC 1.5 Report is dire. Now we also face the threat of right wing populist and climate denying leaders further undermining climate protection and racing to exploit fossil fuels. But we must resist. We must build an alternative future based on a just energy transformation.”
Notes for editors
Monday 3 December 2018
COP24 opening press conference: Expectations for the talks and the launch of our People Power Now! An Energy Manifesto
Organizer: Friends of the Earth International
Chair: Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International
Time/ Venue: 11:00-11:30am Press Conference Room, Area 4 Theatre, UNFCCC Conference Centre
Tuesday 4 December 2018
Side Event – People Power Now! Transforming our Energy System
Friends of the Earth International will launch People Power Now: An Energy Manifesto – a set of demands to ensure a just transformation to a people’s energy system. This manifesto is a culmination of years of dialogue, research and movement building, across every continent.
Organizer: Friends of the Earth International
Time/ venue: 11.30-13.00 UNFCCC Conference Centre Room: Pieniny
Saturday 8 December
Event: March for the Climate
Organizer: Fundacja Strefa Zieleni
Time/venue: 12noon Katowice, plac Wolności
Friends of the Earth International spokespeople from Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America will be available to interview during the conference in Poland, including:
- Dipti Bhatnagar (Mozambique) – International program coordinator for Climate Justice and Energy at Friends of the Earth International
- Sara Shaw (UK) – International program coordinator for Climate Justice and Energy at Friends of the Earth International
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Sara Shaw, Climate Justice and Energy Program Coordinator
+44 7974 008270
Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator
Follow @FoEint using the hashtags #COP24 and #ClimateJustice