Saturday, December 12, 2015

#COP21: Global climate deal shows end of fossil fuels is near - but injustice is still ingrained

Greenpeace activists create a solar symbol around a world-famous Paris landmark, the Arc de Triomphe.
© Greenpeace
OPINION: By Kumi Naidoo in Paris
THE WHEEL of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned. There’s much in this deal - the so-called Paris Agreement -  that frustrates and disappoints me, but it still puts the fossil fuel industry squarely on the wrong side of history.

Parts of this deal have been diluted and polluted by the people who despoil our planet, but it contains a new temperature limit of less than 2C degrees.

That single number, and the new goal of net zero emissions by the second half of this century, will cause consternation in the boardrooms of coal companies and the palaces of oil-exporting states and that is a very good thing. The transition away from fossil fuels is inevitable.

Now comes our great task of this century. How do we meet this new goal?

The measures outlined simply do not get us there. When it comes to forcing real, meaningful action, Paris fails to meet the moment.

We have a 1.5 degree wall to climb, but the ladder isn’t long enough. The emissions targets outlined in this agreement are simply not big enough to get us to where we need to be.

Friday, December 11, 2015

#COP21: '1.5 to stay alive', historic climate deal but not good for the Pacific

A creative Fijian response to COP21 ... "no more Facebook. No more rugby ... and we're no more!'

From Pacific Media Watch:

By Makereta Komai, editor of Pacnews, in Paris

THE three major oil and gas economies - Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela - have emerged as the main stumbling block to the push by Pacific and Small Island Developing States to limit global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius at the climate negotiations in Paris.

Climate Action Network, an association of more than 100 powerful civil society groups around the world that follow the negotiations, said the three countries refused to shift their positions, citing their own vulnerabilities.
 BREAKING NEWS: Historic deal praised – but criticised by Pacific commentators
    Pacific commentators were quick to criticise the 31-page pact dubbed the “Paris Agreement” with Fiji-based Islands Business editor Samisoni Pareti tweeting from Paris: “Not a good deal ... 2 watered down, no below 1.5, no loss n (sic) damage, God save the Pacific!"

“As you can understand the economies of Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia are dependent on fossils. Clearly what the small islands are asking for – to phase out oil and gas will affect their economies big time," said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace.

Saudi Arabia argued that, like the small islands, it is also faced with extreme weather events like flooding, heat waves and drought.

“The small and vulnerable nations have stood their ground of 1.5 degrees in the negotiations despite the attacks by Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela," said Kaiser.

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