Collision course with catastrophic climate change

4 November 2016

The world is still on a collision course with climate change, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, despite the international climate agreement forged in Paris last year entering into force ahead of schedule today.

197 countries have signed the 'Paris agreement' to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to stay below 1.5°C. However, as representatives of all nations make their way to Marrakesh, Morocco, for the next round of international climate change talks, new research from the UN's environment programme shows we're on track to 3.4 degrees of global warming, with devastating climate impacts worldwide.

Susann Scherbarth, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "One year on and rich industrialised nations are showing no signs of kicking their fossil fuel addiction. Signatures and good-will are not enough – we're on a collision course with climate change and Europe needs to end the exploitation and use of fossil fuels and other dirty energy, now."

The talks in Marrakech will focus on the implementation of the Paris agreement just a few weeks before the EU's new renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for 2030 will be published. The upcoming announcements will likely fall short of both the 2°C and 1.5°C degree targets despite the EU's ratification of the Paris agreement earlier in October.

Susann Scherbarth continued: "If we're to have any chance of limiting dangerous climate change, the EU must do its fair share to keep global warming below 1.5°C. This means binding higher targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy and a true push for a citizen-centred energy transition."

The UN's environment programme shows the key role of energy efficiency in reducing emissions, highlighting the need for higher energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in order to cut emissions in half by 2030.