Ray Cobbett from Friends of the Earth Hampshire tells us about an upcoming environmental talks taking place in Paris
These UN-sponsored talks known as the Conference of Parties is the latest in a series going back to 1995 to set targets for cuts in green house gas emissions.
The good news is that countries responsible for the lion’s share of emissions such as China, India the US will come to the meeting with pledges to produce up to 40 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources.
Provided these pledges are redeemed the world’s temperatures should not, according to scientists, exceed 2.7 per cent above pre-industrial levels.
This is still too high to head off destructive global warming but at least it’s an improvement over no controls at all. Climate change is not an obscure branch of science but a global issue now embraced by leaders from Obama to the Pope, leading academics and chief executive officers of multinational corporations and even the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who described it as ‘a tragedy on the horizon’.
Despite these warnings the UK government continues to send out confusing signals by killing off several green measures.
These include scrapping solar and wind energy subsidies, dumping greener homes regulations, promoting fracking and investing in hugely subsidised and expensive French nuclear technology.
Friends of the Earth members from Hampshire and across Britain will join campaigners throughout the world in Paris to lobby for effective and lasting action to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The evidence of planetary stress is everywhere.
Song birds, small mammals and even insects have suffered significant population reductions while at sea marine life will be cut by half by 2050.
Biologists are deeply worried by the decline in habitat-rich coral caused through warming seas. Estimates show that since 1960 one third of the world’s arable land has been lost through erosion, development and degradation while over the same period world population has doubled.
The message could not be clearer.
Unless we act now our planet will no longer be able to provide sufficient water, clean air, food and safe places to live, leaving future generations facing a very hostile world.
n For more information about Friends of the Earth Hampshire visit hantsfoenet.org.uk or call (023) 9235 1165.