Bonn, Germany. Major civil society and non-party stakeholder groups demand that government’s follow-up the Paris Agreement with increased urgent action to prevent average global warming from rising 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. At an action at the Bonn climate change talks in advance of the closing session of the so-called Talanoa Dialogue, groups highlighted that Parties must reinforce this Paris Agreement goal and commit to enhanced action as a matter of survival for vulnerable countries.

“Today climate change impacts already hit many poor people in developing countries, like in my own country Vietnam. Climate change impacts women and men differently. Often, it is poor and marginalized women and girls who are most affected. However, they are essential agents of change to build resilience against climate change impacts and to achieve the rapid shift to renewable energies necessary for limiting climate disruption to 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. Gender equality and climate action must go hand in hand.”

Luu Thi Thu Giang, Climate Change Specialist, CARE International

“In a world that is already warmer by about 1ºC, people and communities around the world are already facing serious threats to their human rights. The survival of those most exposed to the impacts of climate-related natural disasters is already at risk while the growing temperature undermines the rights to food, water and livelihood of millions. These human rights impacts will only grow in magnitude with the increase of temperatures – undermining the ability of the most vulnerable States to protect their own people. Keeping the increase of temperatures below 1.5ºC is a necessity to protect human rights.”

Sebastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law

“As the earth’s temperature rises, so does the threat of permanent loss of ecologically sensitive places and species. Biodiversity loss at the scale we could be seeing over the coming decades will cause profound changes to the sensitive ecosystems that sustain the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, mainly in vulnerable countries. The best way to protect against this is to keep global temperature rise as low as possible. We need deep cuts to global greenhouse-gas emissions, consistent with, and improving on the pledges already made under the Paris Agreement. We cannot achieve this without a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels – particularly coal, but also oil and gas. The future of biodiversity and sensitive ecosystems is in our hands. What happens next is up to us.”

Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor for Global Climate Adaptation Policy, WWF

“Perception on climate change has changed over years. Though we may differ on what action to take, the consensus across the world is that the climate has changed, and that someone somewhere has caused the problem. Climate change is no longer an isolated scientific and environmental issue. It has dimensions in all human development indicators. Thus, we look at climate change as a poverty issue: it has exacerbated poverty in the world; an equity issue: it disproportionately affects those poor countries and vulnerable sectors of the society; a justice issue: the problem was caused by rich people and the poor are mostly affected; a humanitarian issue: many catastrophes and disasters are caused by climate events; a food security issue, a water issue, forest issue and an economic issue: it has stunted the growth of some economies while big economies fear cutting emissions will affect them; and finally a political issue: currently it’s shaping international diplomatic and political interactions.”

Olivia Adhiambo, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

“Failure to meet the 1.5-degree goal will hurt inhabitants in all human settlements, from poles to islands and from coastal zones to drylands, in particular the urban poor. Climate neutrality is the backbone of the success of Paris Agreement, and it cannot be achieved without climate neutral cities and regions. Through the Talanoa Dialogues in more than 50 cities and regions, ICLEI is working with local, regional and national governments so that we seize together the opportunity of the Urban World to turn the 1.5oC goal into reality.”

Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI

“For the world’s most vulnerable people keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees is not just a ‘nice to have’, it is essential to ensure they can maintain and improve their way of life.  The world warms at different rates and in Africa where I am from a global average rise of 2 degrees equates to much more extreme temperatures. For low-lying island states, a 2-degree rise will mean being wiped from the map as sea level rise threatens to wash them away.   If rich countries are to be believed when it talks about solidarity with the poor then they need make sure we’re on track for a world that these people can live in.”

Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid

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