on 3rd June 2014

Governments must act now to avoid global climate catastrophe

Heads of State meeting in Brussels, and ministers attending the UN climate talks in Bonn, must act now to avoid a global climate catastrophe by slashing greenhouse gas emissions and helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people deal with the impacts of climate change, aid agency CARE International says.

Countries of the G7 are meeting in Brussels on 4-5 June to discuss energy security and climate change, while a much larger number of governments will convene from 4-15 June at the UN climate change talks in Bonn. In both meetings, governments will help to lay the foundations for the UN ‘COP20’ climate change conference to be held in Peru in December, an important milestone before countries agree a new global climate change deal in Paris in 2015.

Sven Harmeling, CARE’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator said:

“Climate change is here and it is happening now. The latest climate science and increasing global climate disruption worldwide show that we are on a path towards climate catastrophe unless governments act right now. Climate change is also a stark and growing injustice for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people who have done the least to cause the problem yet are already being hit hardest by its impacts. Governments meeting in Brussels and Bonn have a real opportunity to show their citizens they are serious about averting the emerging climate crisis by taking urgent and ambitious climate action now.”

Commenting on the G7 summit Sven Harmeling said: “Heads of State from the powerful G7 countries must show clear commitment to promoting low-emission, renewable energy and energy efficiency to reconcile energy and climate security, and sustainable development. CARE calls on all G7 leaders to attend the upcoming UN climate summit in September, and use the summit to catalyse the ambitious climate action the world needs. This must include increased support for the poorest, helping communities to prepare for and adapt to harmful climate impacts.”

CARE International is calling on ministers and negotiators meeting at the climate talks in Bonn to:

  • Limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees, and use this limit as a basis for future plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Work to secure a fair and ambitious 2015 climate agreement in Paris in 2015 with far better measures to protect the most vulnerable through scaled-up climate change adaptation (including far more money and resources) and effective methods to deal with climate-related ‘loss and damage’;
  • Support a phase-out of dirty fossil fuels and promote clean energy;
  • Promote gender equality and traditional, indigenous and community-led approaches to climate change adaptation.

Sven Harmeling concludes: “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time yet most governments are still not facing up to the magnitude of the climate threat. The good news is that there are many options to help governments respond. The recent agreement to kick-start the Green Climate Fund, plus signals that China, India and Mexico are increasingly investing in renewable energy, show that nations can work together to solve the climate crisis. With the same can-do attitude and real and tangible commitments, the G7 and governments meeting in Bonn can show true leadership and steer us all towards a safer, more equal future.”


To arrange an interview with Sven Harmeling, contact Jo Barrett, Communications Coordinator, Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network on +44 (0)7940 703911 jbarrett@careclimatechange.org

CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. In more than 80 countries around the world, CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. To find out more see: www.careclimatechange.org

G7 Brussels June 2014


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