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Record high CO2 levels and lack of climate action demand response at UN climate talks – Greenpeace

Amsterdam – WEBWIRE

A strong and shared climate leadership must emerge from the UN climate talks in Bonn next month if the world is to close the 2030 emissions gap and stem the increasing levels of CO2 levels in our atmosphere, Greenpeace International said.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“In the space of just two days we have seen how levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have surged at ‘record-breaking speed’ to new highs in 2016 and how the world’s governments are still not living up to the promises they made in Paris. Time is running out.

“The sooner we act, the better. This year’s spate of climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods and drought will rapidly worsen if we fail to seize our moment. The obligation for all countries meeting in Bonn and going forward must be to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

“Paris was just the starting point. Faster, bolder action is needed. Leaders must emerge in Bonn and use the platform to take stronger action and hold others to account if they fail to live up to their obligations. We can still achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius if we all work together.”

Greenpeace is calling for countries to use the first stocktake of collective climate action (the facilitative dialogue) in 2018 to unveil stronger climate ambition.

The World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin had earlier shown this week that CO2 levels in the atmosphere had reached their highest level last year in 800,000 years.

Rapidly increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can spark unprecedented changes in climate systems, the WMO said.

Today, the UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report 2017 also found current national pledges will only achieve a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet the Paris climate targets. Private sector and sub-national action is not increasing fast enough to close the gap.

“The message is clear: our climate is changing and governments must ramp up their action. But more than that, we must also start talking about the responsibilities of carbon producers,” Morgan added.

“Carbon producers have so far avoided taking responsibility, in any form, for greenhouse gas emissions from their products. That must and will change. The world’s carbon producers have a responsibility to contribute to limiting climate change through investment in mitigation, support for adaptation and compensation for climate damages.”


  1. Greenpeace’s media briefing outlines what we expect governments to do at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to be held in Bonn from November 6 - 17:

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