Greentech Lead India: In the wake of the Doha climate summit, Greenpeace today urged
governments across the world to wake up to the reality that climate change is
already gripping the planet and take urgent action to avoid catastrophic global
This year has already seen devastating storms, droughts
and floods causing significant loss of life, including in the US, China, India,
Africa and Europe. This should be seen as a warning signal and a test of
whether governments will protect their people, according to Greenpeace.
At stake in Doha is the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding
cap of greenhouse gas emissions, whose first commitment period expires at the
end of this year.
Greenpeace is demanding that a second commitment period be agreed on in Doha,
and that it does not carry over the excess emission rights –or ‘hot air’
allocation — that allows governments to trade their way out of real climate
action. The leftover hot air is estimated to total 13 billion tons of CO2
–equivalent to 2.5 times the annual emissions of Europe.
“Climate change is no longer some distant threat for the future, but is
with us today. At the end of a year that has seen the impacts of climate change
devastate homes and families around the world, the need for action is obvious
and urgent,” said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace climate campaigner.
In the past five years, the growth in coal use has caused over two-thirds of
the increase in global CO2 emissions, pushing greenhouse gas emissions to a
record high. In recent weeks, the World Bank, the CIA and the UNEP have each
warned about the consequences of unchecked climate change. This is a wake-up
“The world’s energy economy is not just going in the wrong direction, it
is accelerating in the wrong direction. In Doha governments must agree to the
continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, and close the loopholes that could give
countries a free pass to pollute for years. They must also bring ambition on
immediate emissions reductions and urgency back to the talks,” Kaiser
At climate talks in Durban last year governments agreed to sign a legally
binding global deal in 2015, as well as to cut emissions for the period until
it comes into force in 2020. At Doha they must show real progress towards the
2015 agreement and greater ambition on their targets for 2020, Greenpeace said.