Pacific civil society groups are extremely disappointed Australian and New Zealand leaders will not join island neighbours at a global climate summit in New York this week.
Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) convenor Shirley Laban said the decision by Tony Abbott and John Key not to attend the UN Climate Summit, on September 23, was ‘alarming and disheartening’.
Organised by UN chief Ban Ki Moon, the summit is intended to provide momentum for a global pact to tackle climate change, with an agreement expected to be finalised in Paris next year. More than 120 world leaders, including US president Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron, will be attending the climate meeting.
Leaders from almost all Pacific island countries will be attending, and demanding strong commitments from polluting nations. Australian prime minister Tony Abbott will also be in New York this week to attend a special UN security council meeting on terrorism. However he has ruled out attending the Climate Summit.
Ms Laban said Abbott’s decision not to attend the summit sent a strong message to island neighbours that Australia was not serious addressing global climate change.
‘A changing climate presents a clear and present danger for Pacific island countries,’ said Ms Laban. ‘If Australian and New Zealand leaders refuse to do their share to address the issue, they send a very poor signal to the global community. Pacific communities will reap the devastating consequences of their failure to act for generations to come’.
In recent times conservative governments in both Australia and New Zealand have distanced themselves from crucial international climate negotiations, and have rolled back support to help island states adapt to changes that are already understood to be unavoidable.
Pacific island countries are already among the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters. Every year island communities face the threat of droughts, devastating floods and intense cyclones. Climate change looks set to increase the risks.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggests a changing climate is likely to lead to changing rainfall patterns, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching. Coastal communities are also likely to experience stronger storm surges, increased erosion and inundation as sea levels rise, and salination is likely to compromise groundwater resources.
Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said Pacific island states were sounding a warning to the rest of the world.
‘Our experience as the “canaries in the coalmine” must finally be understood by the international community and acted on’, said Mr Malielegaoi.
Ms Laban echoed the call for polluting nations to take action now to curb emissions. She also said wealthy nations needed to do more to help island communities adapt to a changing climate.
‘Funding for adaptation, including from the Green Climate Fund, needs to be accessible to Pacific communities and civil society organisations, said Ms Laban. ‘Because we are at the frontline of climate change, more support must be allocated to community-based adaptation measures’.
She said a global agreement to tackle climate change should include commitments to address the irreversible damage that is likely to occur in Pacific island states.
‘We are not responsible for climate change, yet we will bear the greatest impacts of a changing climate,’ said Ms Laban. ‘Even if drastic action is taken now to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Pacific countries are still likely to experience significant losses, and permanent damage. The countries responsible for emitting greenhouse gases must take responsibility for the impacts of their pollution’.
The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) brings together civil society actors in Pacific island countries advocating for climate justice. PICAN is a regional network of the global Climate Action Network (CAN-International).
Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)
For Media Enquiries please contact:
P: +678 25786. M: +678 7772306
Shirley Laban is available for interview
Tag: Ban Ki Moon Climate Summit
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +1- 917-719-6672
Conservative Crowd Count: 310,000+ Join People’s Climate March in New York City, Over Half A Million Join Rallies Around the World
NEW YORK - September 21, 2014 -- An official count conducted at the People’s Climate March in New York City showed that over 310,000 people participated in the largest climate rally in history--more than tripling pre-march estimates of 100,000. Around the world, over half a million people joined 2800 events in 160 countries.
“We said it would take everyone to change everything -- and everyone showed up,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.
Shattering expectations, this official attendee count makes the People’s Climate March New York City’s largest social demonstration in the last decade. Well above the 80,000 who attended the 2009 march at the Copenhagen climate talks, the 310,000 attendees at today’s demonstration have set world history just days before a UN Summit bringing world leaders together to discuss tangible action on climate change.
“People around the world are tired of waiting for our politicians to act,” said Payal Parekh, Global Managing Director for 350.org, one of the organizations coordinating the global day of events. “From the islands of the Pacific to the streets of New York City, we’re demanding action, not words. We’re showing what real leadership looks like.”
Marches around the world also exceeded expectations with more than 30,000 people taking to the streets in both London and Melbourne and over 25,000 in Paris. Thousands also marched in Delhi, Rio, Paris, Barcelona, Jakarta and beyond. In most places, the People’s Climate march was the largest demonstration on climate change to date.
In addition, at last count, 2,129,060 people around the world had also signed onto a petition calling for world leaders to take bold action at the UN Climate Summit this week.
“With hundreds of thousands marching in over 2,500 protests worldwide, this is by a long way the largest climate mobilization in history. It's a wake up call to politicians that climate change is not a green issue anymore, it's an everybody issue,” said Ricken Patel, the executive director of Avaaz, who delivered the petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 1:00pm this afternoon on the march route.
Learn more at www.peoplesclimate.org.
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability will take part in the People's Climate March on 21 September 2014. A delegation of mayors from pioneering cities will be participating to the march in New York and in cities globally.
[BONN, 19 September 2014] Happening on 21 September in New York and globally, the People's Climate March is on its way to becoming the largest and most diverse mobilization for climate action in history. To show their commitment to protecting people’s climate, a number of Mayors will join the march under the banner, “People’s Climate, Mayors Commit”. This is in line with the vision laid out in the global advocacy of the Local Government Climate Roadmap.
The march is set two days before world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Summit called by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit is critical to lay the foundations for a new climate treaty that countries are expected to sign in 2015. With the impacts of climate change being felt around the world, with the solutions on the table and with growing momentum behind internationally-coordinated action to fix the crisis, the moment has come to put this issue back on top of the political agenda.
Home to half of the world’s population, cities are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 40-50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are playing a pivotal role in combating climate change by slashing these GHG emissions, building resilience and promoting sustainable alternatives to transport and energy. They will be central in ensuring that adverse effects of climate change will affect their citizens as little as possible.
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s leading cities network, will participate in the People's March along with other 750 organizations, sharing its vision of local sustainability. It will mobilize mayors from around the world who will bring to New York the voices of their citizens. Mayors George Ferguson (Bristol, UK), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City, Philippines), Jürgen Nimptsch (Bonn, Germany), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, USA), Ronan Dantec (Nantes) have confirmed their attendance to the march. Many other local governments support the march. Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter and New York City Council already announced their endorsements supporting the March. Meanwhile, Mayor Gustavo Petro will lead one of the biggest marches in his city of Bogotá, capital of Colombia.
Everywhere Mayors are showing their strong commitment to tackle climate change and protect their citizens from its adverse effects. With his clear vision of energy justice and citizen participation, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson led his city to become the European Green Capital for 2015. In Bogotá, the Bus Rapid Transport system called TransMilenio is sparing the city 350,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, reducing air pollution and energy dependence. Seoul, South Korea has reduced its power needs by the equivalent of an average nuclear power plant and is investing in renewables. Its Mayor actively promoted #OccupySeoul, encouraging citizens to take active part in re-shaping the face of Korea's capital. In Bonn, the city is progressing with its plans to cut emissions by 40% and become the cycling capital of its region.
On its new online platform, CityTalk, ICLEI tells some of the challenges and stories of success of these cities, showing how mayors are spearheading a diverse movement of local governments with high ambitions, engaging their citizens to be part of a sustainable revolution. Mayors are the closest level of government to citizens. They are deeply grounded in their reality, and are committed to uphold their citizen’s safety, justice and sustainability.
CityTalk also features ICLEI’s agenda in New York. Besides engaging in the march, ICLEI is actively involved in nine action-oriented initiatives linked to the upcoming UN summit: Compact of Mayors, City Climate Finance Alliance, CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, Resilient Cities Accelerator Initiative, Carbon Pricing, Buildings Efficiency Accelerator Initiative, District Energy Accelerator Initiative, and Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles.
Only when you move, you can move the world. I am excited to be part of a Mayors Delegation joining todays People Climate March and thereby to join a global pro climate movement. On Tuesday, we will attend the Secretary Generals Climate Summit and demonstrate our commitment and engagement – via the Compact of Mayors and by carbonn, the Bonn based international reporting platform compiling initiatives and achievements of the local level worldwide." - Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn, Germany
"Changing the way energy is produced and used means more jobs and more equality. I want to make quite sure that everybody feels they belong to this great project and that they're welcome with their ideas about how they can actually improve their lives." - George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, UK
“When I look at the big wins of the environmental and social justice movement, local authority leadership has been needed to drive national action. So having cities leading this just transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy is necessary to secure adequate global climate action - which can deliver a world safe from the ravages of climate change with good jobs, clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. That's why it gives me great hope to see the leaders of our cities realize their place in this growing movement which counts parents, workers, health experts, inter-faith groups, the business community and grassroots activists as its members.” - Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network
“Ambitious and pioneering local governments, as governmental stakeholders of the global climate regime and the closest level of administration to citizens reiterate their commitment to serve for low-carbon, low-emissions, climate-resilient sustainable urban development worldwide. This is their best contribution to the sustainability of People´s Climate and their livelihoods.” - David Cadman, ICLEI President
For press inquiries, contact:
Katrina Borromeo, Head of Communications, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, email@example.com, +491738682298
Ria Vorhaar, Head of International Communications Coordination, Climate Action Network firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 157 3173 5568
On 4 September, experts from the two largest international climate change networks will brief media on political expectations for the upcoming Climate Summit in New York. Hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, government leaders from around the world will gather on 23 September to accelerate the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies, as part of a global effort to tackle dangerous climate change and secure the new jobs, clean air and economic benefits their electorates demand.
Our panellists will also brief reporters on the People's Climate March in New York two days before the Summit, related mobilization efforts taking place around the world on the same day, and messages from leading economists, business alliances, medical professionals, youth networks, faith-based organizations and indigenous groups who are all calling for climate action. Organizers are expecting hundreds of thousands to take to the streets of New York, making it the biggest climate march in history.
- What: Civil society experts outline political expectations for the Climate Leaders Summit in light of mass mobilization for climate action around the world.
- When: This Thursday, 4 September
Call 1: 8am GMT
Call 2: 15pm GMT
- Call 1:
- Jennifer Morgan, Director of the Climate and Energy Program, WRI
- Will Bates, Global Campaigns Director and Co-Founder, 350.org
- Mareike Britten, Global Campaign Coordinator, Climate Action Network.
- Li Shuo, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace China
- Call 2:
- Liz Gallagher, Climate Diplomacy Programme Leader, E3G
- May Boeve, Executive Director and Co-Founder, 350.org
- Mareike Britten, Global Campaign Coordinator, Climate Action Network.
- Li Shuo, Campaigner, Greenpeace China
- Call 1:
To join the teleconference, please join online here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number: 855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested. A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here: https://www.uberconference.com/international
If your country is not listed, and you cannot join via internet browser, please contact us.
Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: email@example.com, phone: +49 157 3173 5568
Christian Teriete, GCCA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +49 176 8050 7753
Additional Media Briefings Around the Climate Summit
Climate Summit Press Briefing with UNSG’s Climate Summit Team, The World Bank and WRI.
Monday September 8, 11:30am ET.
Climate Week NYC - We Mean Business press conference call: The business case for climate action.
Tuesday 9 September, 10am ET
Sylvain Biville, The Climate Group, email@example.com
New Climate Economy Embargoed Press Briefing.
Thursday 11 September, 10am ET
Lauren Zelin, WRI, LZelin@wri.org
About CAN and GCCA
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org
The Global Call for Climate Action is an international network of diverse non-proﬁt organizations working to mobilize civil society and galvanize public opinion in support of climate action. More at: www.tcktcktck.org
As the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit approaches, we are sure Parties, investors and businesses are wondering how to pack their bags and appropriately prepare for New York this September.
ECO would like to help. We know that Parties sometimes struggle with long lists of things they need to prepare. There is a regrettable tendency for some Parties to forget what they have already packed interventions in their bags already, or to wear old items of clothing in the hope that we don’t notice that it’s just the same old thing refashioned.
However, without any kind of a list to work from, ECO is concerned that Parties will arrive in New York completely not dressed appropriately for the occasion. Hot air and vague promises are not going to provide the cover needed at the summit. So here is what ECO recommends that Parties should pack for the Climate Summit:
1) New measures to scale up investment in, and deployment of, renewable energy and energy efficiency. This will to help fill the pre-2020 mitigation gap, but will also help you to pledge your support for a just transition to a fossil-free and 100% renewable future by 2050.
2) Then, if you are committed to a just transition, you will want to come to New York with substantial pledges for the Green Climate Fund and a commitment to increase the overall scale of climate finance.
3) And obviously, becoming fossil free means sending a strong signal that the age of coal is over. That means announcements from the US and China (inter alia) on domestic limits to coal use (going beyond current plans), the phase out of export credit and development bank finance for coal infrastructure from OECD countries, and coal divestment announcements by private sector actors.
If you arrive at the Summit with all of this in your suitcase, then you will be the talk of the town as all your clothing choices will make a climate fashion statement that the world will applaud about your determination to achieve a strong climate agreement in Paris and stop climate change.
Thanks in advance from ECO. We can’t wait!