UN climate talks close with insufficient progress

11 June 2015

As two weeks of UN climate talks come to a close in Bonn today, Friends of the Earth warned that not enough progress was made towards a fair and adequate climate treaty to be finalised in Paris later this year.

While the leaders of seven of the world's biggest industrial powers (G7) stated their intention to phase out fossil fuels by the end of this century, politicians negotiating key issues of the UN treaty failed to make real progress in Bonn. They were unable to agree on a roadmap for public finance for adaptation, the legal form of the treaty, as well as a fair distribution of emission reduction commitments.

Susann Scherbarth, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "G7 countries have signalled their agreement on the importance of tackling climate change eventually, but haven't announced any meaningful action. The emission cuts they've promised are less than half of what climate science recommends and justice requires. We are on the path to a disastrously empty deal in Paris this December, but ordinary people are making the energy transformation that our governments have failed to."

Germany, as the current chair of the G7 and host of the latest round of the UN climate negotiations, came under particular scrutiny.

Ann Kathrin Schneider, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Germany, said: "Angela Merkel has turned from climate chancellor to coal chancellor. While she talks big on climate, she's silent when it comes to supporting a levy on coal power plants, without which Germany will shamefully miss its 2020 emission reduction targets. If Germany does not address the fossil fuel industry in its national climate policy the phrase 'Energiewende' will soon be meaningless."

Today a group of activists from various Friends of the Earth groups protested outside the UN venue in Bonn calling for an energy revolution.

Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, said: "Climate change is upon us, and every increase in temperature causes more heatwaves, droughts and floods, killing thousands of people. If developed country governments continue to bicker and drag their feet at the UN negotiations instead of taking immediate action, millions of people will pay for it with their lives.

"People around the world are already implementing real, proven solutions – community-controlled, renewable energy systems. The energy revolution has come of age, and our politicians must help implement them or fade into obsolescence along with the dirty energy systems they cling to."

Throughout 2015 and beyond people from around the globe and Friends of the Earth groups will keep the pressure on national governments to take urgent and appropriate action in line with what science and justice demand, as well as implementing their own solutions to the climate crisis.