Happy Holidays to All – What Do You Bring Back Home?

14 December 2018

At the time of writing, we do not yet know the final outcome of the COP in Poland. However, ECO feels confident enough to give Parties a strong reminder of what is at stake and what has to be done in the next year at home to comply collectively with the tasks set by the ratified Paris Agreement.

The recently projected industrial CO2 emissions for 2018 by the Global Carbon Budget project show an increase of 2.7% for this year compared to 2017. Another record year – the highest since mankind discovered fire millennia ago. And arguably the highest ever total increase, at more than 1 billion tons of CO2 in just one year. Fossil fuels for energy and industrial processes, including methane, now constitute about 80% of all global GHG emissions. At the same time CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have reached around 410 ppm, the highest in several million years.

If countries, in particular large and rich climate polluters, continue along our current path, entire nations €“ particularly vulnerable island states – and many fragile ecosystem, like the Arctic and tropical coral reefs, are at risk of survival. We are reaching critical tipping points where terrestrial ice melting might cause irreversible run-away sea level rise continuing well beyond the year 2100, changing the physical map of countries and putting hundreds of millions of people living at the sea shore at risk for evacuation €“ to say the least for the plethora of climate impacts already affecting people across the globe.

ECO urges parties to take the recently agreed IPCC1.5oC Special Report very seriously. And fight the rejection of the report by some of the largest fossil fuel producers of oil, coal and gas like Saudi Arabia, the USA and Russia.

We are not even on track to meet the insufficient climate pledges, NDCs, by most nations. We are on track for global warming of much more than 3oC.

Governments need to start immediately, in a transparent and participatory manner, to enhance their NDC commitments by 2020.The present NDCs are based on outdated pre-2015 numbers. New analyses show much lower investment costs for renewables and energy efficiency, as well as for natural climate solutions focusing on ecological restoration of degraded land and forests.

ECO repeats: we have 12 years to avert disastrous climate change in the future and embark on the necessary deep transformation.

In short, coal has to go speedily – by 2030 at the latest in rich nations, and before 2050 in developing countries. Deforestation has to stop now.

ECO further urges rich and high-polluting Parties to significantly enhance funding and support to vulnerable communities and poor nations €“ for instance for clean energy, adaptation and to secure a functioning Loss and Damage system.

Finally, ECO is happy to see that the multitude of non-state actors, cities, businesses and financial communities etc. are accelerating their efforts to commit to strong targets for decarbonisation, and – changing investments that dwarf present governmental commitments in many countries.
ECO applauds all Civil Society Organisations” (CSO) actions to question and protest activities by the global fossil fuel industry that continue to undermine the health of the planet. ECO expects governments globally to support CSO with domestic legislation and other efforts to save the atmosphere from further carbon pollution.

That all is certainly not too much to ask at Christmas- time from governments – protecting the planet from irreversible global warming and unpredictable impacts on all sectors and regions of society and nature.

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