Press Releases

CAN is an important, critical voice in the international climate policy process. The network’s regular press briefings and commentary help journalists and their audience make sense of what can be a baffling process, even to those who have been covering it for years.

CAN helps coordinate and amplify the communications work of its 850 members around major international climate processes. CAN also provides an important capacity building role for some members interested in boosting their communications efforts.

You can find a range of our latest resources and releases below:

CAN reacts as Finance for Development Conference closes in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA, JULY 16, 2015:  Financing for Development Conference closed in Addis Ababa today with the release of an outcome document summing up governments’ thinking on how to generate and manage the funds necessary to allow countries to develop sustainably. The conference comes ahead of two big summits - the first in New York in September and the second in Paris in December - which seek to forge international agreements which eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and fight climate change.
 
Aïssatou Diouf, coordinator Climate Action Network West Africa, said from Addis: 
 
"With climate impacts hitting home around the world and the solutions to the crisis in our grasp, what’s missing from this outcome is a strong call to richer countries to stop using flatlining Overseas Development Aid to meet the climate finance commitments they made in 2009: $100 billion a year by 2020. 
 
It's time to start facing the hard truth: for Paris to deliver, donor countries need to come clean on existing commitments and provide increased public climate finance once the new agreement comes into effect in 2020. Ministers meetings in July should be looking into the solutions to scale up climate finance without diverting aid away from education and health: the upcoming EU-Financial Transaction Tax and EU-ETS reform provide us with two amazing opportunities."
 
To interview a CAN expert on the ground in Addis Ababa, please contact Ria Voorhaar - rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org - +49 157 3173 5568
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org   
 
 

CAN responds as China launches climate action plan towards Paris agreement

China has lodged its climate action commitment towards the new climate agreement which is due to be signed in Paris this December.

The pledge included a commitment to slash the carbon intensity of its economy between 60-65% by 2030 based on 2005 levels with the aim of peaking pollution levels by around 2030. China has also committed to increasing its national share of low carbon energy to 20% by 2030. 
 

CAN members made the following comments:

“China has only ever been on defence when it comes to climate change, but today’s announcement is the first step for a more active role. For success in Paris, however, all players – including China and the EU – need to up their game. Today’s pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious action. It does not fully reflect the significant energy transition that is already taking place in China. Given the dramatic fall in coal consumption, robust renewable energy uptake, and the urgent need to address air pollution, we believe the country can go well beyond what it has proposed today.” Li Shuo, climate analyst Greenpeace China

“This is the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target. In doing so, China has committed to both global climate security and to a transformational energy transition at home. We emphasize the importance of the fact that China has made commitments beyond its responsibility as a developing country. But we hope that China will continue to find ways to reduce its emissions, which will in turn drive global markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Samantha Smith, Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader, WWF.

"It is clear that the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) which was lodged by China today is a serious step forward for the country's transformation to low carbon and climate resilient development. Already a world leader in renewable energy, the government has announced it will roll out as much low carbon energy as the entire US electricity system by 2030. While the plan is indeed a strong effort, it should be viewed as the floor upon which additional efforts will be built. There are early indications that the country could exceed the targets it has set for itself. Bold actions are required from all levels of governments as well as from the indispensable private sector and civil society. China's commitment towards the Paris agreement is an important milestone on the way to Paris and can catalyse stronger action from the rest of the world." Bi Xinxin, coordinator CAN China. 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

Civil Society Reactions: Papal Encyclical for Climate Action

Vatican City, Italy - June 18, 2015 -  NGOs have today welcomed Pope Francis' strong moral case for people and leaders to tackle climate change delivered in today's historic Papal Encyclical.

In a rare open letter that will shape Catholic teaching, His Holiness Pope Francis laid out our moral imperative to “care for our common home” and end the inequalities which are driving interlinked problems of climate change and poverty. Pope Francis is the latest and most high profile voice to join a long list of people, from scientists, business leaders, economists, labour leaders and youth, who understand that taking action on climate change and empowering poorer countries to develop sustainably is both morally and economically right. The fossil fuel industry is increasingly the sole and isolated voice opposing the groundswell of momentum for action. 

Today's call is set to provide a massive boost to two big summits happening this year on sustainable development and climate change. Politicians have a chance to listen to their people and deliver plans to move towards a poverty-free world powered by 100% renewable energy at the UN General Assembly on the Sustainable Development Goals in September (the Pope will be speaking at the UNGA and to the US Congress) and COP21 in December.

NGOs and their allies in the faith community made the following comments:

“The coming months will be critical for decisions about development and care for the planet. We hope that politicians and decision makers will take the strong messages of the encyclical on board and that the outcomes of these international meetings will put the common interest first and be able to make the difference.”  Bernd Nilles, Secretary General, CIDSE. 

“The call by His Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, reminds us that climate change is first and foremost about people. The gross and growing inequality between rich and poor has been made worse by the climate crisis. Moreover, the emissions of the rich are driving weather extremes that hit the poorest hardest. Only when world leaders heed the Pope's moral leadership on these two defining issues, inequality and climate change, will our societies become safer, more prosperous and more equal.” Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.

“From William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in Britain to Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equal rights in the US and Desmond Tutu’s victory over apartheid in South Africa, Christians acting on their sense of moral duty have a history of transforming society for the better. If Christians in Europe and all over the world heed its call as many are already doing, the Pope’s Encyclical could well spark another transformation on a global scale – and Europe and the world would be a better place for it.” Christine Allen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Christian Aid 

"This beautiful and urgent call to action from Pope Francis, besides challenging our lifestyles and behaviors, has perfect timing ahead of the COP21 summit. It was Pope Francis himself who said he wanted the encyclical to influence the international climate negotiations, so now it's time for Catholics and all people of good will to mobilize and remind world leaders of the moral imperative of climate action." Tomás Insua, Movement Coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

“The World Council of Churches welcomes Pope Francis’ encyclical which catalyses what churches and ecumenical organizations have been doing for decades - caring for the earth and fighting for climate justice. By affirming human induced climate change and its impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable communities, the Encyclical is an important call to urgently act as individuals, citizens and also at the international level to effectively respond to the climate crisis.” Dr Guillermo Kerber, Programme Executive on Care for Creation and Climate Justice, World Council of Churches.

"As co-organizers of the June 28 March in Rome to St Peter's Square - Una Terra, Una Famiglia Umana - the Our Voices movement looks forward to showing that an incredibly diverse, rainbow coalition of Catholics, followers of all faiths, environmentalists and people of good will support the Pope's call for action by world leaders. The Encyclical shows that the global multifaith tide of demand for climate action is growing dramatically." Reverend Fletch Harper, Co-ordinator at Our Voices and Director at Greenfaith USA.

"Greenpeace welcomes the valuable intervention of Pope Francis in humanity's common struggle to prevent catastrophic climate change. This first encyclical on the environment brings the world a step closer to that tipping point where we abandon fossil fuels and fully embrace clean renewable energy for all, by the middle of the century. Everyone, whether religious or secular, can and must respond to this clarion call for bold urgent action." Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director at Greenpeace.

 

“We affirm Pope Francis’ moral framing of the threats posed by climate change. We have too many brothers and sisters around the world living on the edge of poverty whose livelihoods are threatened—and too many little ones in our congregations set to inherit a dangerously broken world—to believe otherwise. For too long the church has been silent about the moral travesty of climate change. Today, the Pope has said, ‘Enough is enough,’ and the Christian Reformed Church welcomes his voice.” Dr. Steven Timmermans, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America 

“Pope Francis’s encyclical has added a moral imperative to the financial case for preventing catastrophic climate change. Carbon Tracker’s financial analysis has shown that plans to invest trillions of dollars in high-cost fossil fuel projects does not make economic sense. Pope Francis makes it clear it doesn’t make moral or ethical sense either. These fossil fuel assets that may never be burned anyway pose significant risks for investors and will impact the pension pots of millions of ordinary people,” Anthony Hobley, CEO of the Carbon Tracker Initiative

"The Pope’s moral call to protect the environment and humanity is backed by science. Pope Francis has hit the nail on the head by connecting the climate crisis with its root causes of huge consumption, massive inequality and destruction of ecosystems. As he says, real solutions need to be based on equity, justice and morality." Harjeet Singh, Climate Policy Manager for ActionAid International

“Climate change will be felt mainly through water – too much in times of flood, too little in times of drought, and in many places increasingly saline or polluted. Though the world’s poorest have done least to contribute to this global catastrophe, they are the most vulnerable to climate change and least able to cope. As the world’s temperature rises, basic needs for water – including drinking, cooking, washing, sanitation and hygiene – must be given priority, to ensure the health and well-being of those most vulnerable, and to make communities more resilient to climatic changes. Developed world support to help least-developed countries adapt to the new realities will be essential.” Louise Whiting, Senior Policy Analyst, Water Security and Climate Change, WaterAid UK

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

Civil Society Reactions: UN Climate Negotiations close in Bonn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bonn, Germany - June 11, 2015 -  NGO observers called out the juxtaposition between growing real world momentum for a 100% renewable energy world and the slow pace of the UN climate negotiations which close in Bonn today.

In the negotiations toward a new global climate agreement due to be signed in Paris this December, countries will agree that the the co-chairs in charge will produce a new draft for senior politicians to review. This will allow them to tackle crunch issues over the coming months before talks resume in August. The co-chairs will also set forward initial ideas about how a Paris package covering finance, mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage should be structured. And after difficult negotiations, all countries have come forward with proposals to achieve more ambitious and immediate emissions cuts over the next five years - another key element of the Paris package. A work program on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation also closed, providing guidance to those working in the field.

CAN members made the following comments:

“The reality is that we need much faster progress on the post-2020 negotiations, that we need to ramp up what we are doing already, that we cannot ignore that impacts are already hitting people everywhere, and that the solutions, from falling renewable energy prices to low carbon transport are out there, waiting to be scaled up.” Jaco du Toit,  climate change officer, WWF

“The text which will make up the Paris agreement is like a lens we’re all looking through to a safe and secure world.  At the moment it’s a bit grubby and hard to see through. The co-chairs of the negotiations on the Paris agreement need to go away and give it a good clean so that leaders can see what needs to be done." Mohamed Adow, senior climate change advisor, Christian Aid

"All around the world, we are witnessing a groundswell of climate action -- from companies, governments and financial institutions. Now there is a clear path for our leaders to make the necessary, bold decisions in the coming months that will ensure historic international action on climate change." Jake Schmidt, director of international program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The Luddites of climate action in the coal and oil industry should take note of the signals coming from G7 and progressive business leaders.   The negotiators in Bonn should take note too, and make more rapid progress in the upcoming formal and informal meetings.  The Paris climate protocol should accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels, building in new commitments from major emitting countries every five years,  so that we can achieve the vision of 100% renewable energy by 2050." Martin Kaiser, head of international climate politics, Greenpeace 

"From floods and droughts to hurricanes, typhoons and heat waves, the impacts of climate change are increasingly evident all over the world. The world expects an agreement in Paris that accelerates the shift away from a global economy based on polluting fossil fuels towards one based on clean renewable energy sources, and that helps vulnerable communities deal with climate impacts.  Ministers and national leaders must actively engage with each other over the summer to provide the political guidance that will enable their negotiators to pick up the pace when they return to Bonn in late August." Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Negotiators avoided a show-down over crunch issues like finance and increasing near term emissions cuts, but they are only delaying the inevitable. A clearer mandate from Heads of State and ministers is needed to ignite the talks and ensure key questions are answered. Upcoming events like the Financing for Development meeting in Addis, the UN General Assembly in New York or the G20 in Turkey offer the perfect opportunity for high level political signals to be sent. Political leaders need to give a clear steer on how to address the inadequacy of current emissions reductions pledges, but also on the urgent financial support needed for the most vulnerable countries and populations." Jan Kowalzig, climate change policy adviser, Oxfam

"The conclusion of the work program on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation provides a little more clarity on safeguards reporting and the importance of promoting the multiple benefits that forests provide, but it is minimal. Now all eyes are on finance and implementation, and we will have to be vigilant in tracking whether safeguards are actually respected on the ground." Niranjali M. Amerasinghe, director, climate & energy program, Center for International Environmental Law

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

Copyright © 2015 Climate Action Network - International, All rights reserved. 

Organization: 

G7 puts the end of fossil fuels on the global agenda, now for more action to get us there

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bonn, Germany - June 8, 2015 -  Climate Action Network (CAN) members commented today on what the groundbreaking call to decarbonise the global economy this century coming out of the G7 meeting means for UN climate negotiations. 

The UN climate talks currently underway in Bonn are designed to push forward a new global agreement on climate change due to be signed in Paris this December.

The first week of talks made slow progress, but proceedings received an injection of energy today when all countries acknowledged the need to speed up the pace and called for the co-chairs managing the discussions to work on a new draft of the agreement.

CAN members made the following comments:

"The G7 leaders today declared that the global economy must be decarbonised this century if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This is yet another signal that the end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable, and the dawning of the age of renewables is unstoppable. Now G7 countries must increase the ambition of their domestic climate plans, so as to do their fair share of meeting this global goal.  Meanwhile, in the negotiations here in Bonn, countries today acknowledged the need to step up the pace of efforts to craft a streamlined, manageable text that outlines clear options for the post-2020 climate agreement due to be adopted in Paris this December.  There was an unprecedented, united call by countries -- the likes of which I have not seen in my 26 years of following this process -- for the co-chairs who are managing these negotiations to put forward their own draft text later this week. This is essential to enable ministers meeting in Paris next month to give political guidance on key issues in the negotiations, such as ambition, fairness, transparency and finance." Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The course is right, but more speed, ambition and specific actions are needed. Developing countries are ready to move fast and far on renewables, but they need finance and technology from rich countries to do it. We need to see more of these concrete commitments for immediate action. We also want to see them shifting investment towards low-carbon technologies in their own countries." Samantha Smith, leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

"Elmau delivered. At the close of the G7 discussion today in Elmau the vision of a 100% renewable energy future is starting to take shape while spelling out the end of coal. The heavy lifting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel will begin when she returns to Berlin and has to present a plan for complete phase-out of the dirtiest energy source, coal. Then she would live up to her name as the ‘climate chancellor'."Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace international climate politics lead.

"Heading into the G7 summit Chancellor Merkel’s announcement that Germany will double its climate finance contribution to $4 billion was big news for the developing world. We saw this as a positive benchmark that could have been a game-changer. Unfortunately, other G7 leaders missed the opportunity during their summit in Elmau to reach the bar set by Germany. Their acknowledgement of the need to provide climate finance after 2020 was an improvement on previous positions but we urgently need a roadmap to the pledged $100billion. These countries still have plenty of opportunity between now and Paris to step up to the plate." Anoop Poonia, CAN South Asia 

"Japan clearly tried to play a spoiling game at the G7, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership shone through. The experience should prove to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that his position on climate and coal is at odds with the rest of the leaders. He should reconsider its position in run up to the Paris Climate Talks in December." Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.  

"G7 leaders still aren't spelling out how they will keep their $100bn promise by 2020. They've failed to commit to increase public funds, which is a vital foundation for success in Paris at the end of the year. Developing countries need a credible financial roadmap, not a set of accounting tricks. Thankfully Angela Merkel has bucked the trend. Her pledge to double climate finance from Germany has set the bar for the others - now the rest must follow suit. Currently rich countries provide just 2% of what poor countries need to adapt to a changing climate." Tim Gore, Oxfam policy lead climate and food.
 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

Organization: 

Abe Government set to waste lives, money and jobs with poor climate plan

Monday June 8, 2015 - Elmau, Germany: New analysis released at the G7 summit currently taking place in Germany confirms that major economies stand to gain massive benefits as the result of their latest climate action pledges, with laggards Japan and Canada bucking the trend due to their weak plans.

The NewClimate Institute report released today shows that a Japanese plan in line with a pathway to 100% renewable energy by 2050 would give the country a healthy workforce thanks to cleaner air, new jobs in a booming renewables sector, and huge savings resulting from avoided fossil fuel imports - three things that Japan desperately needs in its current economic malaise. 

But the Abe government's draft offer - also known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) - towards the new global climate agreement due in Paris this December is so insufficient that it will see - by 2030 - Japan waste 67,000 potential jobs, forfeit USD25 billion annually, and fail to save 15,000 lives each year. 

“We are calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take this draft plan back to the drawing board and deliver a vision for the country that taps its renewable energy potential, creates decent jobs and saves the lives of Japanese people at risk from air pollution,” says Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.

"The people want more action, businesses want more action - it's high time the government tries to regain the country’s lost climate leadership.”

Compared to the forecast impact of current policies, by 2030, Japan's paltry offer will create zero additional jobs in the renewable energy sector, reduce the country's fossil fuel import bill by only USD8 billion a year, and save just 1500 lives annually. That's ten times less than the co-benefits resulting from the more ambitious action plan which civil society organizations are calling for. 

As a result of its low ambition, Japan clearly loses out in comparison to its East Asian rival China. Thanks to a groundbreaking bilateral agreement with the US last year, Japan's neighbor unveiled a plan that would - by 2030 - create around 500,000 decent new jobs by 2030 and save around 100,000 lives from deadly air pollution every year. 

The report shows that Japan's G7 peers in Europe and America are - like China - set to secure more benefits from enhanced climate action, as they move faster in the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

The consideration of the multiple benefits of climate action can significantly influence the ambition level of national governments when formulating their national plans as it links directly to the needs of the people,says NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Höhne, author of the study.

Japan's fellow laggard at the table in Elmau, Canada, is also pitching a pathetic climate plan at the G7 this Monday. If the weak Canadian offer had been in line with a 100% renewables pathway by mid-century, it could have secured an enormous 600% increase in lives saved, and 60% more jobs in the renewables sector by 2030, compared to what it is likely to happen under the proposed plan.

“Canada’s failure to take its climate protection responsibilities seriously will hurt Canadians in the long-run, as our economy remains over-reliant on dirty oil, as our air remains more polluted than it needs to be, and because sustainable jobs in the renewable energy sector were not created,” says Louise Comeau, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada.

2015 will be the first time all countries present national climate action commitments. Some of these plans will be stronger than others, but collectively they are a signal of intent to end the fossil fuel age, to embrace the dawning renewable energy era, and to build resilient communities free from poverty and inequality.

The climate action plans by the five major economies assessed in the new report - Japan, Canada, EU, US and China - will collectively save 115,000 lives a year, put USD41 billion back in the coffers annually, and create 1 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2030.

If all these governments had presented plans in line with 100% renewables by 2050, the additional benefits of their collective actions would add up to 1.2 million lives saved per year, more than 2 million jobs created, and USD514 billion saved. 

Notes to Editors 

  • The report, Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions, was written by the NewClimate Institute - which raises ambition for action against climate change and supports sustainable and climate-resilient development through research and analysis. It was commissioned by Climate Action Network (CAN) and the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). 
  • CAN is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 
  • The GCCA is a diverse network of more than 450 nonprofit organizations in more than 70 countries with a shared goal — a world safe from runaway climate change. The GCCA harnesses the strengths of faith, development, science, environment, youth, labor, and other civil society organizations to mobilize citizens and galvanize public opinion in support of urgent climate action. 
  • You can find the full report here, and infographics based on the report here.
  • Japan has released a draft INDC which would see the country reduce its emissions by 26% from 2013 levels by 2030. WRI analysis finds this is not comparable to the efforts of the US and the EU. The analysis recommends that Japan would need to increase its proposed INDC mitigation goal to at least a 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 to achieve an average annual decarbonisation rate similar to that of the EU and U.S. for the 2020-2030 time period. Civil society organizations are calling for a 40% reduction on 2005 levels. 
  • Two WRI infographics reveal that the speed and scale of the emission reductions proposed by Japan and Canada lags behind those of the US and the EU

Contact 

To be connected with a spokesperson on the report, please contact:

Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, +49 157 3173 5568, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org 

Christian Teriete, GCCA, +49 176 8050 7753, email: christian.teriete@tcktcktck.org

What the G7 means for the UN climate talks in Bonn - Webcast Media Briefing

Monday June 8 - Bonn, Germany: Expert observers at the UN climate negotiations currently underway in Bonn will outline what the G7 outcome due Monday lunchtime will mean for the talks as they enter the second week.
After slow progress during the first week, the co-chairs of the negotiations aiming to draft a new agreement on climate change, due to be signed in Paris this December, will present a proposal for a new way of working for the session to countries on Monday morning. CAN will brief reporters on what the proposal will mean for progress towards the global agreement. 

For the first time this year, all countries are expected to put forward climate action plans to the Paris agreement. In today's briefing, CAN will present the findings of a new report which shows that Japan's weak draft plan will see the country accrue far fewer benefits  including the creation jobs in renewable energy, improved public health and money saved from avoided fossil fuel imports - than if the government scaled up the plan in line with a 100% renewable energy pathway. 
 

To ask questions in this special webcast event, email rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org or Tweet @CANIntl. 
 

Who:

• Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists 
• Li Shuo, Greenpeace China
• Masako Konishi, WWF Japan

• When: Monday June 8th, 14.30pmCEST

• Where: Room Nairobi 3, World Conference Centre Bonn, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2, 53113, Bonn (UNFCCC accreditation required to attend).

• Webcast: The press conference will be webcast live here and available on demand afterwards here.
 

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

About CAN:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

Organization: 

G7 leaders have a chance to create climate of confidence on energy transition: NGOS to leaders

Friday June 5 - Elmau, Germany: On the eve of the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany, NGOs from all seven member countries call on their leaders to send a strong signal that the era of fossil fuels is over. As the world's largest industrialised countries, the G7 have a global responsibility to go further and faster to address climate change, through rapid decarbonisation of their economies and providing support to the poorest.  Robust commitments from the G7 can help pave the way for the new universal climate agreement concluding in Paris at the end of the year even as the current round of talks are underway in Bonn. 

Climate science has shown that in order to avoid unmanageable climate change, fossil fuel emissions must be phased out in favour of a world economy powered by 100% renewable energy. This new reality is being recognised by a growing number of key economic and corporate actors all over the world.  It is high time for the G7 to add vital momentum by agreeing to lead the global phase out of fossil fuel emissions by 2050. 

Decarbonisation starts at home, by tackling the dirtiest energy source: coal. Undermining recent claims by fossil fuel companies that rising emissions result in lowering poverty, the Africa Progress Panel report published today shows that coal-fired power generation is not a development solution for Africa. We call on G7 leaders to agree to phase out their domestic coal use and stop supporting coal projects in developing countries. 

To phase out poverty, we need a stable climate. The richest countries must support access to clean energy, climate-friendly development and climate resilience in the developing world. In Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries promised to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries. Simply reiterating the promise is not enough. Six years on we’re still no clearer on how this target will be reached. Angela Merkel has shown leadership by pledging to double Germany's public climate finance.  Other G7 leaders need to step up to the plate on this issue.

Christoph Bals, Germanwatch (Germany) says: "The G7 needs to send a strong signal to investors that the era of fossil fuels is going to end. Angela Merkel has put the decarbonisation goal on the G7 agenda. But she can only be a credible champion of decarbonisation if Germany acts decisively at home to reach its own 2020 climate target. This will require a significant reduction in the use of coal in the German electricity mix before 2020."

Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists (USA) says: "President Obama has shown real leadership in ramping up climate action at home, and clearly wants a strong climate agreement in Paris.  He initiated the developed countries’ $100 billion pledge in Copenhagen; now he must help ensure it's delivered on.  President Obama and other G7 leaders should also commit to decarbonize their economies by mid-century, to provide the leadership needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

Celia Gautier, Réseau Action Climat France says:  "With France's COP21 Presidency this year, President Hollande should step up at the G7, reaffirming the need for a fossil-free future by 2050. He also needs to put his own house in order. Two state-owned companies -- the French utilities Engie and EDF -- are still investing massively in coal abroad, emitting as much as half of France's carbon pollution. Yet both of them are sponsoring the Paris COP. It's François Hollande's responsibility to officially call on these companies to commit to divest from coal ahead of COP21."

Liz Gallagher, E3G (United Kingdom) says: "As a leader committed to fighting poverty, David Cameron knows climate stability is essential for poverty alleviation. 2015 marks a crucial year for both climate and development, for the first time all countries will join forces.  David Cameron and the G7 must spearhead a new model of development fit for purpose in the 21st century, making development and climate action work together, not undermine each other. G7 Foreign Ministers missed a great opportunity to address threats to our security from climate change.  The G7 leaders will need to put that right and get a plan now to protect the poorest communities on the frontline of disaster."

 Kimiko Hirata, Kiko Network (Japan) says:  "Japan needs to urgently stop blocking crucial decisions from the G7 on overseas coal investments and a on a clear decarbonisation goal.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should open his eyes to the fact that promoting coal power at home and overseas, combined with its poor draft climate action plan towards the Paris agreement puts international collaborative efforts in jeopardy. We urge other G7 countries to step up.”

Dale Marshall, Environmental Defence (Canada) says: “We urge the other G7 countries not to let Canada stop you from agreeing on transitioning away from fossil fuels by mid-century. In Canada, the federal government needs to address the country’s fastest growing source of carbon pollution—Alberta’s tar sands. Citizens across the country want the Canadian government to step up and join G7 and global leaders in taking meaningful climate action.”

Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, Legambiente (Italy) says: "Italy has to do its fair share. Matteo Renzi must immediately stop his support of drilling projects in the Adriatic Sea and the Sicily Channel. At the same time, the Italian government has to finally put in place an ambitious national climate action plan with renewables and energy efficiency as its key pillars.”

CONTACT:

For a one-on-one interview with any of the above spokespeople, please contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, mobile: +49 157 3173 5568rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Japan on notice, picking up extraordinary Fossil of the Day Award as glacial progress made at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Bonn, Germany - June 4, 2015 - At the Bonn Climate Conference today where countries are pushing forward a new global agreement due to be signed in Paris this December, Climate Action Network (CAN) members took stock of the progress negotiators have made over the past three days and identified the key tasks that lie ahead. Meanwhile, CAN gave a Fossil of the Day award to Japan as the country that has been doing the most to block progress on climate action (see full award statement below).

During this morning’s press conference, CAN members and allies made the following comments:

"The process of bringing down the size of the draft Paris agreement has been slow going so far; the good news is that the tone in the rooms is relatively positive for this stage in the process. Parties appear to be rebuilding some of the trust lost in Lima. But the key point here is this isn’t just about making the text shorter, it’s about making the text stronger. Right now you have almost every option you could want in the text. Parties need to focus on maintaining the elements that would trigger the most ambition. That’s what civil society is looking for in the second week here. Meanwhile, we have an all-star line-up of under-achievers today presenting their current climate action plans in Bonn - Australia, Canada, and Japan. These are three countries are among those that have sat at the table for dinner the longest. They’ve eaten the most and they, therefore, owe the most. But what we’re seeing today is that they’re doing the least.” Lou Leonard, Vice President Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund-US

“At the G7 Summit this weekend, leaders can back a phase out fossil fuel emissions in favour of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Doing so, would give a strong signal to investors, and could build trust in UNFCCC talks underway here in Bonn. But Canada and Japan are blocking efforts to send this signal. President Obama needs to walk the talk now and help Chancellor Merkel to bring Japan and Canada on to the team so that the G7 leaders stand on the right side of history."  Martin Kaiser, Head International Climate Politics, Greenpeace

“Japan must present a more ambitious emission reduction target if it has to responsibly address climate change. A mid term reduction target of 26 percent on 2013 levels by 2030 is too weak and regressive. It is jeopardising Japan’s position in a world order that is increasingly showing better climate ambition. Japan is trailing behind the US and EU on climate action right now. While it continues to be a significant donor of international development aid in the Asian region, it can’t go it alone on climate. Japan can’t self-marginalize itself from the realities of climate change. With the kind of ambitious action required to avert the climate crisis, we cannot afford to have countries saying 'we will cross the bridge when we get there'. We have to get there now, and every step matters."  Yeb Sano, former climate commissioner of the Philippines and now Leader of the People’s Pilgrimage for Our Voices.

Japan Handed Extraordinary Fossil of the Day Awards in Bonn

In an extraordinary move, CAN members voted to hand Japan a Fossil of the Day award during the Bonn Climate Conference. The Fossils are normally handed out daily during the major climate talks of the year, Conference of the Parties but the network felt strongly that Japan’s efforts needed to be acknowledged for the following reasons:

Strike One! Today’s first place fossil goes to Japan for their extremely weak INDC, for using smoke and mirrors (shifting baselines) to fake ambition, and for having the audacity to claim this is in-step with developed country 80% by 2050 targets. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe will present this weak excuse for an INDC - which equates to an 18% cut on 1990 levels - to G7 leaders this weekend, where he will presumably try to pull the wool over their eyes too. This INDC is not ambitious or fair.

Strike Two! The second fossil award goes to Japan for blocking a proposal from G7 countries that would help development aid and banks work in line with efforts to prevent global temperatures rising beyond the 2C degree threshold. Seriously, does Japan want to lead us towards a world with catastrophic levels of warming?

Strike Three! Japan wins the third fossil for funding carbon intensive coal projects in developing countries. Despite growing criticisms from international community - Japan was awarded a fossil in Lima for this dastardly behaviour - it continues to do so. As long as Japan keeps its dirty coal policy, the fossil awards will keep coming. Japan should be funding renewable energy solutions, not dirty coal.

You’re out! Japan get’s THREE fossil awards

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

 
 
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Australian climate policy: lies, damned lies and statistics

Bonn, Germany - June 4, 2015: The Australian Government has serious questions to answer on its climate policies and ambition ahead of Paris as well as their role in pushing ahead to open up vast coal reserves, which will blow the global carbon budget.

They are still yet to formally put forward their INDC. Today (Thursday 4 June) in Bonn, the Australian Government has been asked to ‘please explain’ by a large number of their key trading partners and historical allies- including China and the US.

But how do their responses stack up against reality? Especially when you review the comments/ statements contained below. It also has a range of quotes for free use by media.

This information sheet helps you with the understanding where the country sits on climate, environmental and energy action and policy.

Australia was described as a ‘wrecking ball’ at the Warsaw COP.


What progress has Australia made towards the achievment of its quantified economy- wide emission reduction target?
 

Australian Government: “The Australian Government is firmly committed to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. The centrepiece of the Government’s emissions reduction efforts is the $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund that commenced purchasing emissions abatement in April 2015. Accompanying the Fund will be thesafeguard mechanism to ensure emissions reductions purchased in this way are not undone elsewhere in the Australian economy.”

  • When the government abolished the carbon price in 2014, it was replaced with Direct Action – primarily a taxpayer-backed Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
  • However, the fund is unlikely to achieve even a 5% emissions reduction by 2020. The first ERF auction held in April 2015 was hailed as a stunning by the government. Assuming the cost for carbon emissions remains at the average of almost AUD$14 per tonne of CO2 as paid in the first auction, the $1.89 billion budgeted will buy another 135 million tonnes of emissions. 
  • But even assuming all the 47.3 million tonnes bought in the first auction are delivered, and the price per tonne of carbon remains the same, then the total emissions reduction bought by the ERF will be around 182 million tonnes of CO2. This is 54 million tonnes (or about 23%) short of Australia’s overall target. However it is likely that this first auction has already picked most of the “low-hanging fruit.”
  • As Mr. Abbott explained, the ERF is not actually about a 5% target: “The bottom line is we will spend as much as we have budgeted, no more and no less. We will get… as much emission reduction as we can for the spending we have budgeted.”
  • There is also no timeline for the reductions. In fact, much of the 47 million tonnes bought in the first round of auctions won’t be delivered until after 2020.
  • Almost all of the abatement to be delivered before 2020 from the first auction appears to be from projects that were already in place sometime before the ERF came along, or rely on a one-off land clearing permit regime.
  • Manufacturers, miners and electricity generators (equivalent to more than 60% of Australia’s emissions) won’t have to reduce their emissions and may in fact be able to increase them, which could cancel out the emissions reductions. Direct Action’s “safeguards mechanism” has been watered down to the extent it effectively safeguards against industry having to do anything. A government issues paper said baselines for emissions would “reflect the highest level of reported emissions for a facility over the historical period 2009-10 to 2013-14[1]”. If companies exceeded the baseline calculated that way, they could have their emissions averaged out of the next three years, or apply for a baseline “expansion”, or apply for an exemption, for example after a natural disaster.
  • Elaine Prior, a senior analyst at the global investment bank Citigroup said: “It appears to us that the mechanism, as described in the consultation paper, is unlikely to impose any significant costs or constraints on companies … it also appears unlikely to make any significant positive contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction efforts.”[2]

What is Australia’s level of ambition post-2020?

Australian Government: Australia has an existing national renewable energy target, a "national energy productivity plan" and national building and appliance energy standards.

  • Australia’s recent ‘discussion paper’[3]does not mention a two degree goal, instead citing the IEA ‘new policies scenario’ which could result in upwards of 3.6 degrees warming.
  • The government will set a post-2020 emissions reduction target without a policy. Its discussion paper asks what policies might be implemented to achieve a new target that are “complementary” to Direct Action. Direct Action may not have enough money to meet even the 5% target, and all analysis suggests it would be extremely difficult to “scale up” to a higher target.
  • In May 2015, the Government cut Australia’s large-scale renewable energy target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of annual renewable energy production by 2020 to 33,000 gigawatt hours. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says investment in Australian projects will fall from an expected $20.6 billion by 2020 to $14.7 billion.
  • The government is not including climate change in long-term planning exercises. The recent intergenerational report[4] even claimed that some economic effects of climate change “may be beneficial – where regions become warmer or wetter this may allow for increased agricultural output, while others may be harmful”.

Does Australia have special circumstances?

Australian Government: Australia has special “national circumstances”, as “for the foreseeable future, Australia will continue to be a major supplier of crucial energy and raw materials to the rest of the world ... At present, around 80% of the world’s primary energy needs are met through carbon-based fuels. By 2040, it is estimated that 74% will still be met by carbon-based sources.”

  • Australia is already one of the largest per capita emitters on the planet and is refusing to pull its weight.
  • Australia’s justification for it’s special circumstances is based on “new policies scenario” of the International Energy Agency’s world energy outlook 2014, which was a baseline calculation of what would happen if countries implemented only the policies announced at that time, a scenario which would pave the way for at least 3.6C of global warming.

Abbott Government – Highlights on climate and energy

Prime Minister Abbott was elected PM in September 2013 and quickly started dismantling Australia’s climate change framework, including:

  • Moving to become the first country in the world to abolish the legislated price on carbon emissions
  • Shutting down the Climate Commission, an independent panel of experts that provided information on how climate change is affecting the country
  • Drastically reducing funding to the United Nations Education program (UNEP)
  • Has successfully managed to massively reduce the country’s mandated 20% Renewable Energy Target (RET), bringing a number of major renewable energy companies and projects to their knees
Abbott also denied any link between bushfires and climate change and accused Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change of "talking through her hat." Both Figueres and Al Gore criticised Abbott on climate.
 
Abbott opted not to send a representative to the COP 19 UN conference in Warsaw, a move described by former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer as “puzzling”.
 

He appointed climate sceptic Dick Warburton to review Australia’s renewable energy target, in a move widely seen as first steps to weakening the target.

In a play out of the FIFA playbook, the Australian government has spent $100,000 on travel to lobby against UNESCO over the Great Barrier Reef listing in an attempt to protect their interests of coal development in the Galilee Basin.

Not only does the Coalition not vote against climate science, it blatantly ignores it. As many lesser developed countries have already pledged their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the Abbott government seems to be endeavouring to do what the Howard government managed under the Kyoto Protocol. That is, to plead special consideration and avoid responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Coalitionhas directed $4m to fund an Australian climate consensus centre fronted by political scientist and climate change contrarian Bjorn Lomborg. The University selected turned down the offer of funding after an outcry from students, academics and the public.

In an attempt to qualify for renewable energy subsidies under the RET, the Australian government plans to allow the burning of native forest biomass. Not only will this burnt forest power be forced into direct competition with genuinely renewable forms of energy generation (wind and solar), but it will reduce the renewable energy certificates available for genuine low or no emission technologies by up to 15%.

In its recent budget, the Abbott government has yet again cut funding to climate research, with the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility a new addition to the list of climate and energy agencies to be halted in 2017. This government has already cut hundreds of millions of dollars from climate science, international climate finance and clean technology research programs. Critics say this sets Australia's climate change action policies back to the 1990s.

The government is instead pushing ahead with a “Direct Action” policy, widely criticised as ineffective.

Australia is one of the leading countries opposing limits on coal finance in international discussions. A recent report reveals foreign governments have given Australia more than $4 billion to fund coal projects since 2007. In addition to global funding, Australian taxpayers have put up $1.4 billion to subsidise coal mines and power plants via the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, a government bank that enables the finance of Australian projects in other countries.

Abbott attempted (and failed) to take climate change off the G20 agenda in 2014.

The United Nations world heritage body condemned Australia’s approval of the dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of sludge for new coal ports in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

In an unprecedented move, the Abbott government applied to have sections of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area delisted by the United Nations, incorrectly claiming it had been degraded.

The Federal government’s recent Energy White Paper is yet another indication of the massive missed opportunity to incentivise renewable technology, instead aligning Australia’s future in old, polluting technology.

Abbott’s personal approval rating has plummeted after just 18 months of rolling out and doing their best to destroy these meaningful climate and energy policies.

Abbott was recently criticised for a bizarre video he released on YouTube, in which he linked a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of WWII D-Day to his government's policies, including cutting the taxes on carbon emissions and mining and saying that Australia is “open for business.”

John Oliver did a brilliant summary of Abbott gaffes, well worth watching as a backgrounder, describing him as “hard-line, right wing” and “religiously anti-immigration.


A range of comments for free use by media:

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:
“We don’t support, as a government, and as a Coalition, further lock ups of our forests. We just don’t support it. We have quite enough national parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already, in fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:
“Australia has had fires and floods since the beginning of time. We've had much bigger floods and fires than the ones we've recently experienced. You can hardly say they were the result of anthropic [sic] global warming.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

“Coal is vital for the future energy needs of the world. So let’s have no demonisation of coal. Coal is good for humanity. Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world. Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world’s principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

“It sounds like common sense to minimise human impact on the environment and to reduce the human contribution to increased atmospheric-gas concentrations. It doesn’t make much sense, though, to impose certain and substantial costs on the economy now in order to avoid unknown and perhaps even benign changes in the future.

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"The climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now [...] Climate change happens all the time and it is not man that drives those climate changes back in history. It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"These so-called nasty big polluters are the people that keep the lights on. I mean, let's not forget how essential these people are to the business of daily life."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"If you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax?”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions. But we don't believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don't believe in harming economic growth.”

 

Comments for use by media from a wide cross section of politics, NGOs, academics, firefighters, health professional, religious leaders etc in response to The Abbott Government’s stance on climate and energy.

 

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters:
“Other countries, including the US and China, have asked very valid questions about the inadequacy of the Abbott Government’s Direct Action program and lowly emissions reduction target. In response, the Abbott Government has come up with a whole lot of spin and hot air in an embarrassing attempt to cover up its shameful inaction on climate change.”

 

The Climate Institute Deputy CEO, Erwin Jackson:
“The government’s response to other countries questions on the effectiveness of its domestic pollution reductions policy lack transparency and try to avoid accountability. The government appears to be inflating the impact of its actions to 2020 without providing any estimate of the pollution reductions it will deliver. Its responses raise more questions than it answers.”

 

Friends of the Earth Activist, Cam Walker:
“The renewables industry has been brought to the brink of collapse because of the extreme opinions of key players in the Coalition government and this reduced target will mean fewer jobs and investment in regional Australia, and less action on climate change than the original target,”

 

GetUp Campaigns Director, Paul Oosting:

“It’s hard to believe the government that said we’re open for business is now sending renewables investors packing. The RET’s been a big success for the country, doubling renewable electricity generation and reducing wholesale electricity prices. It’s time to balance out the multi-billion dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry with support for the fledgling, but fast growing renewables sector."

 

The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA) Member, Frances Pike:

“Decades of over-logging of public native forests has led to environmental degradation of vast tracts of native forest, loss of water yields from catchments and rain-making capacity.  Australia now faces a wildlife crisis in many regions, and loss of habitat from logging is a major cause. The last thing we now need is forests being degraded and destroyed as a source of power production” said Ms Pike.  

 

Solar Citizens National Director, Claire O’Rourke:

“Australians have been betrayed by the Abbott government's pandering to the big power companies at the expense of ordinary families who are struggling with the cost of living. The Prime Minister’s repeated attacks on solar have put jobs and investment at risk and undermines the cheap, clean, sun-powered future Australians want."

 

Greenpeace Australia Reef Campaigner, Shani Tager:

"UNESCO now joins a long line of scientists, banks, organisations and individuals who are deeply worried about the Reef's health. The Australian government can't talk about protecting the Reef while aggressively supporting the licensing of mega-mine and expansion of coal ports along the Great Barrier Reef coast."

 

Former Leader of the Liberal party, Chair of AODP.net Dr John Hewson (Tony Abbott was a former staffer of Dr Hewson):

"The economic, environmental and health risks of climate change are very real. Prime Minister Abbott would be smarter to back Obama, who is likely to lead the international response to climate change, as a priority, for the rest of his presidential term.”

 

Former international oil, gas and coal industry executive, former chair of the Australian Coal Association and the former CEO of the Institute of Company Directors, Ian Dunlop:

“The omens are not good. The federal government remains in total denial that climate change will have any material impact on Australia’s future. Sensible climate policy has been dismantled, replaced with token gestures. Climate change does not feature in the policy reviews underway, with ludicrously Orwellian efforts being made to remove any reference to it throughout government.”

 

350.org Australia CEO, Blair Palese:

"As the world moves rapidly away from coal, oil and gas and toward clean energy, Tony Abbott's lack of leadership on climate change has Australia shirking its global responsibility on the most important issue of our time. As the country with the most to gain by the take up of solar, wind, wave and geothermal energy, Abbott's belief that 'coal is good for humanity' is relegating Australia to the energy dark ages."

 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO, David Ritter: 
"The Abbott Government has consistently failed the responsibility test on climate change, leaving Australia as an embarrassing laggard in a world that is moving to act.  Both the Australian people and the world deserve better than this from the Australian Government on climate change."

 

Delegate of United Firefighter's Union QLD, Queensland, Dean McNulty: 

"Firefighters are right on the front lines of the climate threat. We need a leader who will stand and face the climate challenge with our international colleagues, not a leader who runs away."

 

Oxfam Australia Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, Dr Simon Bradshaw:

“Climate change is the single biggest challenge in the fight against poverty and hunger. Our region is home to some of the most vulnerable nations on earth, many of which are already struggling with shifting rainfall, sea level rise and more extreme weather. The Australian Government is both swimming against the tide of international action and working against the needs of poor people in developing countries. Renewable energy, not coal, is the key to reducing poverty and supporting inclusive economic growth throughout the developing world.”

 

Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) President, Dr Liz Hanna:

"Health and medical professionals are increasingly sounding the alarm on the Australian government's backward steps on action to tackle climate change, given the serious health impacts for people in Australia and around the world from failing to cut emissions. This, compounded by the Abbott government position on promoting the coal industry, is inconsistent with its duty to prevent further climate change and avoiding known risks to health and wellbeing."

 

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change President, Thea Ormerod:

“In a globalised world, it is morally unacceptable for the leaders of individual countries to take a stand which would frustrate a global deal on climate change. It is all the more reprehensible when such a stand serves the interests of the wealthy, and will come at the human cost of the poor and future generations.”

 

The Climate Institute CEO, John Connor:

“Government and business figures have often opposed climate and energy initiatives on the basis that Australia shouldn't "go it alone". This budget shows that if there's anywhere we're at risk of going alone, it's backwards.” This latest budget locks in the benefits that polluters now can to continue polluting for free, while loading up taxpayers and a supposedly stressed budget with the task of paying for emissions reductions.”

 

Australian Conservation Foundation Energy Analyst, Tristan Knowles:

“It’s hard to believe a government of an advanced developed nation in the second decade of the 21st Century can release a vision for an energy future that pays so little attention to climate change. The energy white paper could have provided a roadmap for a sustainable energy future, but instead it was merely a rubber stamp on Australia’s old dinosaur industries and further proof that the current government has its head in the sand on energy policy.”

 

Former Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator for Tasmania, Christine Milne:

“The depth of this government's denial is alarming. They're condemning Australia to economic dislocation, to being way behind the rest of the word, and to making life harder and more dangerous for everyone in our region, as extreme fires and storms intensify [...] The Abbott government does not accept the science, continues to support coal expansion and can't see that they will be left behind as plenty of countries commit to a fossil fuel free world.”

 

Daniel Spencer Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)

“The Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its coral cover over the last 30 years, in large part due to climate change. It’s a warning sign that carbon-intensive fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Citizens and investors alike are sending a clear message that the world has to move beyond coal. Australia should be leading this shift by creating jobs in clean energy instead of trying to build unviable coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef.”

 

For further information or requests for interview, more detailed briefings with those quoted here please contact (both on the ground in Bonn):

Ria Voorhaar, CAN International P: +49 157 3173 5568 E: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Andrew Bradley, ECF P: +61 403 777 137 E: andrew.bradley@europeanclimate.org

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