Helsinki, 27 May 2009
My name is Leo Stranius. I’m working as a Climate Specialist at The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation which is the biggest environmental NGO here in Finland. Our organisation is a member of Climate Action Network International, which groups 450 environmental NGOs worldwide and actively participates in the UNFCCC process.
We must find a common understanding on an ambitious and binding global climate agreement this December in Copenhagen. However, the indications so far are worrying. Emissions are growing much faster than foreseen even in IPCC’s worst-case scenarios.
Mr. Secretary-General, we need dedicated climate leaders. Let me give you some examples.
The city of Copenhagen, which will host the Climate Summit in December, has pledged to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital. The Swedish government has promised to reduce emissions by 40 % by 2020. And Norway should become carbon neutral by 2030.
How about Finland? Unfortunately, Finland does not seem to be among the Nordic climate leaders. Our government has proposed to reduce emissions only from 5 to 10 % below 1990 levels by 2020. This is not enough.
What should the international climate agreement look like?
– It must be based on climate science to keep global warming well below 2 C.
– This means that industrial countries should reduce emissions by at least -40% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
– In developing countries emission deviation from BAU should be at least -30% by 2020.
– We have to achieve gross-zero deforestation by 2020.
– We must build a robust framework to support climate change adaptation in developing countries.
The question is: Are we the first generation which will take responsibility for action needed to combat climate change or are we the last one that pretends that nothing has changed?
Mr. Secretary-General, we will stand together with you. We are looking for more than words from UN high-level climate summit in the autumn. We are sure that you will do your best to create a better climate for all.
Climate Specialist Leo Stranius, email@example.com, tel. +358 40 754 7371