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12 November 2014 – Commenting on new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions unveiled by the US and China today in Beijing, Dipti Bhatnagar from Friends of the Earth International said:
“Today’s climate announcement by the US and China may be spun as a landmark, but in reality the US pledges are just a drop in the ocean. These figures are very far from being the sea of change we urgently need from the US government.”

“The good news is that China is taking the fight against climate change ever more seriously and intends to peak its emissions in next 15 years. We urge China and all nations to urgently switch from emissions-causing dirty energy to community-based renewable energy.”

US President Barack Obama said that the US will aim to reduce its emissions levels 26-28% by 2025 (compared with 2005 levels).

“The cuts pledged by President Obama are nowhere near what the US needs to cut if it was serious about preventing runaway climate change. These US voluntary pledges are not legally binding and are not based on science or equity,” said Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator.

“This agreement deliberately ignores the issue of equity. Industrialised nations, and first of all the world’s largest historical polluter, the US, 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,” she added.

“Disgracefully, today’s announcement ignores the fact that developing countries urgently need finance and technology to transform their energy systems and adapt to climate change,” she added.

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. [2]

The UN is the most democratic space to address the climate crisis. The UN climate talks are supposed to be making progress on implementing the agreement that world governments made in 1992 to stop man-made and dangerous climate change.

The UN agreement recognises that rich countries have done the most to cause the problem of climate change and should take the lead in solving it, as well as provide funds to poorer countries as repayment of their climate debt.

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.


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


[1] For more information see

[2] 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.