NGOs push for ‘vital’ global agreement on climate change

Prime Minister David Cameron is being urged to push for a global countdown to zero emissions ahead of his expected attendance at the New York climate summit later this month.

A coalition of five leading environmental groups – Greenpeace, Christian Aid, Green Alliance, RSPB and WWF – have set out their hopes and expectations for a successful climate package to be delivered by the end of next year, with other global leaders including Barack Obama confirmed to attend the major international climate talks on 23 September.

WWF-UK’s chief executive David Nussbaum said: “The UK has historically played a critical role in spurring global cooperation on addressing climate change, and was the first to adopt legislation aimed at addressing the issue.

“So it’s vital that neither we, nor the EU, lower our ambition now. The US and China are moving faster than expected, and the prospects for an ambitious global agreement are currently looking better. The UN summit this month is the first of many steps on the road to Paris in 2015, where history must be made.”

The coalition have produced a report – Paris 2015: Getting a global agreement on climate change – which argues why the New York Climate Summit will be the next step towards 196 countries signing a new climate change agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2015, and what that agreement should contain.

The report argues that not only is an agreement possible but, with the right political leadership, it can lead to ambitious outcomes that will have a real impact on tackling climate change.

Key points

It states that the right kind of agreement would include the following: –


  • Ambitious action before and after 2020 
  • A strong legal framework and clear rules 
  • A central role for equity 
  • A long term approach 
  • Public finance for adaptation and the low carbon transit 
  • A framework for action on deforestation and land use 
  • Clear links to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals 

Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven said: “Never has a generation of world leaders stood a better chance of clinching a global climate deal. This time there’s enough momentum to aim for something better than just another sticking-plaster deal with a short shelf life.

“The UK has blazed a trail by committing to legally-binding, rolling carbon targets. David Cameron now has the opportunity to argue for a similar system that can drive a global countdown towards zero emissions – he should seize it with both hands.”

Strong agreement

Green Alliance’s director Matthew Spencer added: “There is a fashionable pessimism about multilateralism which shields people from disappointment but does nothing to protect us from the insecurity that climate change is bringing.

“Only a strong international agreement can avoid that and give nation states the confidence that they will not be alone as they decarbonise their energy systems.”

Yesterday (6 September), edie reported that a number of renewable energy industry trade bodies have united to launch a series of ‘key tests’ for the UK political parties ahead of the next General Election. Read the six key tests here.

Luke Nicholls

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie