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Global Greens Second Congress 2008 - Climate Change - Time for Transformation Declaration

Global Greens call on the international community to negotiate in good faith to ensure that a binding and equitable regime for global greenhouse gas reductions that is consistent with avoiding dangerous climate change is agreed at COP 17 at Copenhagen in 2009.

Climate Change – Time for Transformation

Climate change and unsustainable use of limited resources have converged in this first decade of the 21st Century to challenge humanity to rethink how we live because we cannot continue to live beyond the Earth's ecological limits and at the same time avoid the collapse of human civilisation because of dangerous climate change and the war, famine, poverty, ecosystem destruction and species extinction that will accompany it.

Therefore , facing the reduction in easily accessible oil and gas reserves together with growing alarm at the speed of climate change and the insufficient action, particularly of those countries that bear the greatest responsibility for emitting greenhouse gases, Global Greens call on the international community to negotiate in good faith to ensure that a binding and equitable regime for global greenhouse gas reductions that is consistent with avoiding dangerous climate change is agreed at COP 17 at Copenhagen in 2009.

Global Greens call for the international community to commit to the Bali mandate by:

· building on key principles and mechanisms of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities;
· setting rigorous short, medium and long-term emission reduction goals consistent with of limiting average global temperature increase to below +2°C above pre-industrial levels, giving due consideration to climate science published since the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;
· requiring the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60% by 2050 compared to the 1990 level;
· applying binding targets for industrialised countries and fair and proportionate targets for developing countries, while still acknowledging the mechanisms causing growth in emissions in emerging economies;
· including effective and predictable financing for adaptation, incentives for ecosystem restoration and to avoid deforestation and forest degradation and reduce land use emissions;
· making significant advances in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and facilitating non-nuclear and non-fossil fuel technology transfer and deployment; and
· including the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices.

Global Greens maintain that reducing global emissions must not lead to other threats such as nuclear risks, including nuclear proliferation, the risk of terrorists getting control over nuclear technology, or the risks posed by the disposal of nuclear waste. Nuclear power must remain excluded from mechanisms aimed at promoting emission reductions under the international climate framework.

Climate change must be recognised as an issue of human rights and global equity, with security implications that might threaten international peace. Global Greens consider that finding an equitable solution is fundamental for success in international climate policy, and support the principle not only of contracting CO2 emissions but also of converging global per capita emissions.

Global Greens are convinced that a world that does not rely on fossil fuels or nuclear energy is possible. To achieve this, it is necessary to set out a binding emission reduction pathway for coming decades to ensure investment in energy-saving, resource-efficient and renewable energy technologies. This sustainable energy shift will also bring an increase in quality of life as people adopt localized food production and consumption, decrease dependency on private vehicles by improving public transport options, implement energy efficient building design and codes, and redesign urban planning to encourage walking and cycling as forms of transport.

Global Greens consider it imperative that global emissions peak no later than 2015, and that greenhouse gas emissions thereafter decline to a level below the natural absorption capacity of natural sinks, recognising the alarming evidence in the latest science that this capacity is decreasing.

Industrialised countries must play a leading role in tackling climate change at world level. Global Greens call for developed countries to commit to domestic reductions of at least 40% by 2020 and reductions of at least 90% by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. To achieve these reductions we need to:

· Place quanitifiable limits on fossil fuel extraction;
· Phase out all government subsidies on coal, oil and natural gas;
· Promote investment in renewable energy, sustainable transport and energy productivity;
· Promote technological innovation;
· Adopt a principle of polluter pays.

Deforestation and forest degradation, in all forests, need to be tackled urgently and rigorously in the international climate policy framework. Global Greens call for urgent agreement to develop effective full carbon accounting measures, in particular to counteract the negative impacts linked to agrofuels and the conversion to monoculture plantations. Measures to address climate change must not damage biodiversity, water and nature but should be designed to enhance them through protection and restoration. They must respect the rights of local communities and be fair to developing countries. Global Greens call for integration of the work of the Convention on Biodiversity and the UNFCCC so as to develop a global system of biodiversity accounting linked to improved carbon accounting systems.

Recognising that even a two degree global average temperature increase (over pre-industrial levels) will cause significant human suffering, Global Greens insist that the international climate policy framework must also provide independent and predictable financing to assist low-income vulnerable countries in adapting to already inevitable climate change. This is particularly important in that it was industrialised countries that largely created the problem and it is developing countries least responsible for climate change that suffer its most significant impacts.

The Global Greens recognise that geological or oceanic sequestration is not a technically feasible option in the short term for decreasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Investment in sequestration and other experimental geo-engineering schemes diverts funding from proven, sustainable, long-term renewable energy solutions.

Global Greens support the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a means of promoting climate-friendly technologies as a supplement and not a replacement for domestic reductions.

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