#COP21: Friends of the Earth Scotland, Proposed Paris Agreement Should Be Rejected

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As the Paris climate change conference was presented a final proposed agreement with the aim of being signed off later today, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Despite the hype, if this proposal is agreed, the Paris climate talks will have failed to tackle the climate crisis and the needs of those most vulnerable to its impacts.

“Using bullying tactics and throwing in some vague pledges, rich countries have created an agreement that spells bad news for people and the planet. This proposal should be rejected so a better version can be developed overnight.

“By delaying critical action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and failing to put sufficient finance on the table leaders have effectively signed a death warrant for millions of the poorest people around the world.”

Key problems in the draft agreement:

– The agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2 degree but only a very weak “to pursue efforts” to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree

– Instead of percentage reductions or a date to end the use of fossil fuels we have only a peak in global emissions “as soon as possible” and net zero emissions by 2100.

– A very weak facilitative dialogue on critical pre-2020 action, no obligation to actually improve these plans

– There is no legally binding way forward to address the problem of lack of ambition of current national contributions towards post-2020 action. At the earliest in 2018 there will be a stocktaking but without the obligation to increase efforts and without taking into account support for developing countries. A global stocktake will be done by 2023 and then every 5 years

– A very weak mechanism on Loss and Damage – the recognition that some of the impacts of climate change are irreparable – is in the draft Agreement. However, the text specifically excludes compensation and liability for people who suffer these impacts.

– The only legally binding obligation on finance in the draft Agreement is for developed countries to report on the finance they provide – there is no obligation to actually provide it.

“While world leaders remain at loggerheads over the key issues, tens of thousands of people all over the world have been taking to the streets to demonstrate their commitment to the climate movement. It’s clear that the fight for climate justice does not end in Paris. Communities around the world are already taking action to put an end to the dirty energy sources that are polluting our planet and building a better future around clean, community owned renewables.

“We always knew that this conference would not do enough and we’ll be working with others across Europe to make up for the lack of will from world leaders.  Friends of the Earth Scotland will be fighting fossil fuels, including fracking, promoting community renewables and campaigning to shift investment out of fossil fuels.  Yesterday we launched our new Fossil Free Scotland campaign which aims to make Scotland fossil free within a generation.”