Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Statement of the EaP CSF Working Group 3 calling on the Heads of EaP countries to show climate leadership

Tagged under Working Group 3

Climate change is a problem the world is facing here and now, and it's a problem that every year will bring more and more damage to ecosystems and people across the entire planet. Recent scientific evidence presented in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC showed that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to increase rapidly, and that current global efforts are not enough to keep the temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.

Eastern Partnership countries are affected in different ways by the impacts of climate change. Nevertheless, climate change will affect everyone on the planet, and no country has the right to ignore the overall effort of mitigation and adaptation.

New fair, ambitious and legally binding climate agreement must be adopted by COP21 in Paris in 2015. There are only one and a half years left, but the pace of negotiations suggests it is very likely that the world cannot cope with the task. The results of COP19 in Warsaw showed that negotiators can resolve technical issues, but they cannot move forward to the main question – to the new agreement.

After a disastrous summit in Copenhagen in 2009, climate process within the UNFCCC has lost its momentum – and the implications of this are now apparent. We can no longer afford to repeat this failure; each year will result in damage on multiple fronts, jeopardising our wellbeing and that of future generations.

Climate Summit, under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September 2014 in New York, is a chance to rectify this situation, restore faith in climate action and show a solid level of ambition.

We, the representatives of civil society of six Eastern Partnership countries, call on our Heads of State to attend the Summit in September, to use this opportunity to introduce ambitious commitments of our countries, and to show themselves as true leaders who are concerned about present and future generations of citizens of their countries and around the world.

Climate Summit in New York and negotiations under the UNFCCC are two different things. The technical staff of the ministries have already shown that they may work for years yet never solve the main problem. It is time for Heads of State to show political will at the highest level.

Climate Summit is the summit of domestic actions and we are waiting for concrete solutions, to learn what will be done by our countries to combat climate change, and what kinds of problems our Heads of State are ready to solve here and now.

Lack of energy efficiency and implementation of renewable energy are problems common to the entire region of the Eastern Partnership. Addressing these issues would contribute significantly to the mitigation of climate change in our region, but the actions of our governments are insufficient. The problems of energy efficiency and renewable energy result not from lack of resources but from lack of political will. This behaviour is dictated by those with an interest in keeping our countries on the fossil fuel and nuclear needle.

Ambitious targets for energy efficiency and promotion of renewable energy are what we expect from our leaders, because finding solutions on climate change and ensuring energy security are pledges of prosperity and sustainable development of each country.


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