Dr. Margaret Flowers: "I join the Global Greens in their collective call for nations to take responsibility for the climate crisis. It is here. We can no longer prevent it, but we can work to make it less severe and take steps to adapt to it.
Here are a few facts to make this clear:
According to the Footprint Network, the US has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world and alone generates 15% of the world's carbon footprint. Our carbon footprint is getting larger over time.
The United States has only 5% of the world's population, but burns 25% of the world's fossil fuels.
The United States military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world. In particular, the military consumes billions of gallons of oil each year, much of it for the Air Force.
The United States, through its domination of global entities such as the World Trade Organization, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and its influence over the United Nations, especially the Council of Parties (or COP) process, has successfully pushed for non-binding resolutions that allow countries to not comply with commitments and for market-solutions such as cap and trade that have made profits for a few without beneficial effects for the planet or climate crisis.
The world will reach the limits of its carbon budget by 2018. After that time, there can be no new fossil fuel power plants, no new cars and all new buildings must be carbon neutral.
Therefore, in addition to the demands put forth by the Global Greens, I call for immediate steps to ban any new fossil fuel infrastructure and incentives for community-controlled renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal. We can move off fossil fuels and nuclear energy by 2030. The US must also invest in clean and affordable sources of mass transit. And the US must take steps to lower per capita consumption, move to more localized sources of foods and goods and increase efficiency of all buildings.
The good news is that by taking the above steps, we can create more jobs, increase our energy security (which decreases the need for wars), clean up the environment and save money in the long run due to decreased health costs. Failure is not an option. We must work for a livable future for everyone by taking action now."
Statement from the Global Greens:
Global Greens has published a statement calling on governments around the world to "fulfill their collective responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change" at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
The text of the statement is appended below and is posted online here.
Global Greens is a partnership of the world’s Green parties and political movements. The Green Party of the United States is one of more than 90 members of Global Greens.
U.S. Greens attending the summit in Paris include Sanda Everette, co-chair of the national party, Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry, and Jill Stein. Ms. Curry and Dr. Stein are two of several candidates running for the 2016 Green presidential nomination.
The Green Party of the U.S. endorsed the Global Climate March, which took place on Nov. 29, the day before the U.N. summit opened.
Global Greens Declaration
"Failure Is Not An Option"
Posted 27 November, 2015
Global Greens call for unity and resolve
The Global Greens call upon the governments of the world, assembled at Paris next week, to fulfill their collective responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change.
Unity and resolve are vital, not least as a counter to the fear and disunity that horrific terrorist attacks, like those recently in Mali, Paris and Beirut, aim to inspire. Failure is not an option.
We call on all the peoples of the world, marching this weekend, to demand this of their governments and hold them electorally to account.
Specifically, the Global Greens call on governments in Paris to negotiate a legally binding agreement that demonstrates:
1. Ambition. Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) fall well short of preventing dangerous climate change (if implemented they may hold global warming to 2.7℃ above pre-industrial levels). The Global Greens re-affirm our commitment to limit global warming to no more than 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels and call for a rigorous transparent process to review and tighten INDCs every year at the UNFCCC annual conference of parties.
2. Justice. The developed world must honour its pledge to mobilise $USD100 billion per annum climate finance from 2020. This is a precondition for the success of the Paris climate summit. Climate finance must be complemented with a ‘loss and damage’ mechanism to compensate and support the most vulnerable countries already being disastrously impacted by climate change.
3. Clean energy commitment. The world’s energy supplies should be ‘decarbonised’ no later than 2050, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, and providing clean affordable energy for all. Nuclear power is not an alternative because it is unsafe, expensive and a terrorism risk.
4. Forest protection commitment. Climate finance must be available for the protection of biodiverse natural forests and ecosystems which are a vital buffer against climate change. There must be full respect for the rights of local communities and Indigenous peoples in this process.
The climate crisis is both the greatest challenge facing the global community and the greatest opportunity for humanity to rethink how we live, in a way that is socially just and within the Earth’s ecological limits.
We look to the 21st meeting of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to boost dramatically the momentum of global climate action and set the world on the path to a safe climate.