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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government delegation at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany will hold an official event promoting fossil fuels on Monday, November 13. The presentation comes as Donald Trump wraps up his five-nation tour of Asia, where he has pushed a wide array of fossil fuel deals.
Karen Orenstein, Deputy Director of Economic Policy at Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement in response:
Donald Trump has spent the past week and a half traipsing around Asia peddling climate pollution. At the same time, U.S. government representatives are extolling the virtues of fossil fuels at the year’s most important international climate talks. This is a slap in the face to countries that are party to the Paris Agreement — literally every nation on Earth except the United States. Worse still, Trump’s actions demonstrate callous disregard — and possibly even genuine malevolence — toward people in poor countries whose lives and livelihoods have been threatened, diminished, and in some cases destroyed by the devastating effects of climate change. The Trump Administration should be held criminally accountable for what they are doing in the U.S. and around the world on climate change.
As COP23 enters its high-level segment, Friends of the Earth International has urged developed countries to stop blocking progress on pre-2020 finance and emissions reductions, and to commit to taking action on the ground.
It added that calls for action during the people’s climate march in Germany last week, where 20,000 people mobilized to call for an end to dirty energy, must be matched at the negotiations.
Meena Raman of Friends of the Earth Malaysia said:
“We come every year to the COP feeling like a broken record. Instead of showing real ambition, developed countries including those in the EU are blocking pre-2020 action – they are in bed with the US to screw the planet. We in civil society are calling on these governments to honour their commitments. They are failing even to honour their weak but legally binding Kyoto Protocol targets. What hope is there that they will fulfill their unambitious non-legally binding Paris commitments?”
Sara Shaw of Friends of the Earth International added:
“We only have a few years left to keep global temperature rise under 1.5 degrees and avoid even more devastating climate impacts for the poorest and most vulnerable people. We urgently need an end to dirty energy in the North, and we need massive financing for sustainable renewable energy in the South. Those who call themselves ‘climate leaders’ like the EU are actually expanding fossil fuels within their own borders, funding dirty energy overseas, and failing to deliver finance for energy transformation in the South. This is not leadership.”
During the first week of COP23, Friends of the Earth Europe issued a report showing that the EU cannot expand gas infrastructure and stay within its fair share of the global carbon budget.
Mary Church from Friends of the Earth Scotland said:
“People are frustrated with the lack of urgency on climate change in the EU and other developed countries. We have seen this on the streets of Bonn with the biggest ever climate protest in Germany, and the direct action that closed a nearby coal pit. People’s movements are growing in strength and starting to bring about the real change that’s needed to respond to the climate crisis.”
“Developed countries, who bear historic responsibility for climate change, are seeking to rewrite the terms of the Paris Agreement shifting responsibility onto developing countries. This is unethical, unfair and immoral. We need real climate action on the ground and to hold all governments to account to ensure real transformation away from dirty energy, and towards a clean energy system that benefits people.”
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