At UN Climate Talks, End Coal and Commit to People-centred Energy System

Tomorrow, ahead of the UN climate talks (6-17 November) – hosted by Fiji but opening next week in Bonn, Germany – Friends of the Earth International will join Friends of the Earth Germany and thousands of activists in a demonstration of ‘people power’ calling for an urgent coal phase out in Germany and globally.

Hubert Weiger, chair of Friends of the Earth Germany said:

“The new German government needs to follow the example of Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, which have announced a coal phase out before 2030. Chancellor Merkel needs to announce a coal phase out here in Bonn and implement it in Berlin. Climate policy starts at home.”

This year’s climate talks are taking place on the doorstep of one of the largest, most polluting coal mining regions in Europe. Worldwide, some 1,600 new coal plants are currently planned in 850 locations, undermining efforts to keep global temperature rise below the Paris Agreement’s stated goal of 1.5 degrees, or even 2 degrees.

Global average temperature rise has already exceeded 1 degree and we are facing a planetary emergency: floods, storms, droughts and rising seas are causing devastation, and hitting the poorest and most vulnerable people hardest.

In Bonn, Friends of the Earth International will call for ending dirty energy, including coal, as a key solution to the climate crisis, and for a new energy system that is clean, fair, community-led and transformative of people’s lives.

The current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and finance from developed countries lack the ambition needed to drive urgent transformation in the global North and a people-centred energy revolution in the global South. According to Friends of the Earth International, this is an injustice, as those most affected by climate change are the ones who did not create the crisis in the first place.

Karin Nansen, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, said:

“Putting a stop to coal and other forms of dirty energy is crucial in addressing the global climate emergency. It is nonsensical to conduct abstract discussions about climate ambition inside a conference centre without addressing the continued pursuit of fossil fuels outside. We urge developed country governments to stop exploiting dirty energy now and to stop financing dirty energy projects at home and in developing countries. Not only are these projects harming the climate, they are harming communities through dangerous pollution and land grabs.”

Friends of the Earth groups around the world are calling for an end to coal and all forms of dirty energy as a solution to the climate crisis.

Nur Hidayati, Director of WALHI, Friends of the Earth Indonesia, said:

“For many Indonesian communities, the forest is life. Coal destroys forests and people’s livelihoods, ignores clean energy alternatives and compromises Indonesia’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement. We must mobilize to stop coal mining, in Indonesia and everywhere.”

Friends of the Earth International stands with communities resisting dirty energy and taking control of their own clean energy futures. Friends of the Earth International stands with those facing the devastating impacts of climate change now.

Nansen concluded:

“From Germany to Indonesia and across the world, people want a renewable, safe, sustainable, just energy future. The transition to this future must be just for workers and communities. The transition to the future cannot involve gas, which is also a dirty energy. We need an energy transformation now. We need climate justice now.”

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