COPENHAGEN — One month after unprecedented numbers of people took to the streets to demand climate action as part of the Peoples’ Climate Mobilisation, the world’s scientists have issued their clearest call yet for bold action to address the climate crisis.
May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, issued the following statement:
“The scientists have done their job, now it’s the politicians’ turn. World leaders have everything they need to act: clear scientific evidence, a strong economic case, and huge public support. The only thing they lack is the will.”
The report states, with a high degree of confidence, “Substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns.” That conclusion will add momentum to the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign, according to Boeve:
“The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment. It clearly states that the vast majority of coal, oil and gas must remain underground and that investments in the sector must fall by tens of billions of dollars a year. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan and a liveable planet are simply incompatible.”
The report will also help in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700 mile project that would take tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Boeve added:
“This report is another nail in Keystone XL’s coffin. The US played a leading role in shaping this report, which says we must stop developing unconventional fossil fuel reserves like tar sands. It would be deeply hypocritical to turn around and approve a carbon bomb like Keystone XL.”
On September 21, over 400,000 people marched in the streets of New York City as part of the People’s Climate March to demand action on climate change. Hundreds of thousands more marched around the world. Meanwhile, a growing fossil fuel divestment campaign has spread to more than 500 institutions across the planet. Modeled on the anti-apartheid divestment efforts of the 1980s, the campaign is asking institutions to drop their investments in 200 top coal, oil and gas companies.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today is a “synthesis report,” which summarises findings released in working group reports over the past year. The report underscores three major facts about climate change: it’s man-made and already having dangerous impacts across all continents and the ocean; global warming can still be kept below the politically agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius averting the most dangerous impacts if we act now; the choice of securing a safe climate future is not only possible but also economically viable.
Governments now have a clear and urgent choice to make as they re-engage in the climate debate in the run-up to the UN Climate Talks in Paris next year where a global deal to tackle climate change will be agreed: we either continue on a fossil-fuel dependent path, which would lead us further towards a collision course with nature at high economic cost; or we keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground and build a future based on clean energy where economic growth can thrive in a stable environment.
Hoda Baraka (in Copenhagen): 350.org Global Communications Manager, [email protected] +201001840990
Jamie Henn (in New York): 350.org Strategy and Communications Director, [email protected] +14158903350
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.