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Gormley must push Poznan forward

10 Dec 2008


Friends of the Earth highlight justice element to climate talks.

The Irish Minister for the Environment John Gormley arrives in Poznan in Poland this evening for the high level segment of the UN negotiations on climate change. Friends of the Earth are calling on him to agree to deep emissions cuts for Ireland(1).

The horrifyingly weak EU package is undermining these crucial talks. Ireland's poor negotiating position within the EU is expected to be reflected in a very poor outcome from Brussels. At Poznan, Gormley has a chance to turn this around.
These talks in Poznan are considered crucial to getting a final outcome in Copenhagen next year.

Friends of the Earth's Policy Officer in Poznan, Molly Walsh, said "Copenhagen is our last chance to get a strong deal in place that can prevent runaway climate change. We therefore have twelve months left and we need to get serious about this here and now, in Poznan"

"Developed countries like Ireland, and especially those within the EU must agree to make binding domestic targets."

" At the heart of the climate change issue is injustice. Industrialised countries bear historical responsibility for current levels of greenhouse gases. It is those who have contributed least, who are now suffering the most as a result of climate change. Ireland has always been a generous country in terms of overseas aid. This position is completely undermined if we continue to contribute so much(2) to a problem that is affecting the kind of countries we give aid to very harshly."

1.The IPCC reports and more recent science reports clearly show that there is an urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions if we are to attempt to stabilise the climate.
The 2008-2012 emissions reduction targets agreed in the Kyoto Protocol have been widely critiqued as completely inadequate to address the severity of climate change.
Friends of the Earth believes it is necessary to reach a commitment to cut emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels by 2020 in industrialised countries. This commitment must start when the current reduction targets expire in 2012.

2. Average Irish emissions per capita are 17.5 tonnes, twice the European average.

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