On Friday 4 November, just days before the UN climate talks open in Marrakech, the Paris Agreement comes into force. Friends of the Earth International reiterates its concern that without greater ambition and more urgency the Paris Agreement will fail to deliver the scale of fair and drastic action needed to prevent dangerous climate change.

197 countries [1] have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to hold the global temperature increase to “well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.’’ However, even if countries stick to commitments made so far, we can expect at least 3.5°C of warming.[2]

“After 24 years of negotiations we are hurtling towards a 3.5 degree world, which will be catastrophic for millions across the world,” said Geoffrey Kamese, Friends of the Earth Uganda/NAPE. “Despite all the science-based evidence, rich countries are failing to do their fair share of emissions reductions as well as provide much-needed finance to drive energy transformation in developing countries. The clock is ticking, we have almost no time left to ensure the peoples of Africa are not sacrificed to increasing temperatures.”

“There are 1.2 billion people living with no access to electricity and over half of those people are in Africa,” said Geoffrey Kamese, Senior Programme Officer, Friends of the Earth Uganda/NAPE. “Africa-led and people-centred initiatives – such as the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative – must be given support to work for people. However, we’re only seeing more of the same – old and indeed new dirty energy projects – oil, coal, gas and big dams, fracking, even tar sands – continue to devastate communities.

The Paris Agreement’s goal of preventing catastrophic climate change and protecting the world’s poor will be worthless if governments use it to open the door to untested, dangerous geo-engineering (that will also trigger a global land grab for agrofuels), and to focus on discredited solutions such as carbon markets and nuclear energy.

Friends of the Earth International champions the real solutions to the climate crisis: steep and urgent reductions in carbon emissions, in line with each country’s fair share; an end to deforestation; new, public finance and support for clean, sustainable, people-centred power solutions, and a transformation in our food systems. These solutions have long been underway, initiated by people and their communities.

Decision-makers must listen to the people, listen to the science, and stop wasting precious time and money on false solutions.

Contacts:

Spokespeople and experts are available throughout the COP22 for interviews, analyses of the the summit, and forward-looking perspectives on what to expect from the climate movement:

Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator
3rd & 4th November – London, UK
5–13 November, Marrakech, Morocco
+ 44 79 74 00 82 70.
sara.shaw[at]foe.co.uk

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator
3-10 November, Maputo, Mozambique
11-19 November, Marrakech, Morocco
+ 25 88 40 35 65 99.
dipti[at]foei.org

Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth International spokesperson.
4-18 November, Marrakech, Morocco
+ 44 79 56 21 03 32.
asad.rehman[at]foe.co.uk

For general information contact our Media Coordinator Leonie Beunen: 0031 6 52 08 80/ 0031 6 51 00 56 30 or mail press[@]foei.org.

Key Dates during COP22

Week 1: 7/8 of November Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) will release an animation about impacted people on our social media and our website.
Week 1: 10 November FoEI will co-host a side event about climate displaced people 16:45-18:15 / Bering – (Blue Zone area E)
Week 1: 13 November FoEI will participate in Moroccan civil society marches and actions
During the COP22 in Marrakech, Friends of the Earth International will be highlighting:
Justice and protection for impacted people. In particular, justice for those countries most vulnerable to climate change, including Africa and the Middle East. And justice and protection for people impacted directly by climate change including ‘climate displaced people’; those impacted by dirty energy; and those impacted by false solutions.Urgent and meaningful action before 2020, which must include no carbon markets and developed countries cutting emissions at source, immediately.An immediate end to dirty and harmful energy and a push for an energy transformation. This demand is particularly focused on a push for a just energy transformation in Africa, which depends on developing countries delivering on finance.

Photos:
For images from Marrakech please contact press[@]foei.org
For images from Paris COP21 and other images please see https://www.flickr.com/photos/foei/albums

References:
[1] http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php
[2] This 3.5°C estimate was made by Climate Interactive. Basically, it assumes “no further action after the end of the country’s pledge period.” See https://www.climateinteractive.org/ programs/scoreboard/. The often cited lower estimate of 2.7°C was made by Climate Analytics, and, critically, it depends on further assumptions – that the first-round NDCs are fully implemented and also that they are that a followed by a “continued and comparable level of effort through the rest of the century.” See http://climateactiontracker.org/

Main image: Global Day of Action calling on climate negotiators to listen to the voice of the people, Durban 2011 ©Friends of the Earth International