Bianca Jagger, Chair of the World Future Council “urges world leaders of the wealthiest industrialised nations to stop playing Russian roulette with our future”

UNFCCC Bali, 11th December. Today, Bianca Jagger called on the delegates participating in the Bali conference to agree on vital political and financial measures to implement drastic emissions reduction targets and efforts to restore the planet’s ecosystems. The earth is perilously close to dramatic climate change that threatens to spiral out of control. If the rich, industrialised countries want to limit average global temperatures, they will have to commit to a legally binding reduction of 80% in carbon emissions by 2020, whilst working vigorously to restore the earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases. Current pledges of 80% C02 emissions reductions by 2050 are irresponsible given the gravity of the current situation: we have already reached the stage of dangerous climate change. The task now is to prevent catastrophic climate chaos.

Bianca Jagger said:

“We must agree on goals and legally binding measures on climate protection now, not in the future. To make enough of a difference, we must replace a carbon-driven economy with a carbon-absorbing economy.

“Recent studies show that even the most alarming predictions by the IPCC were too conservative. Their suggestion, that we should limit average global temperature rise to 2°C, is a dangerous compromise. We have already experienced a rise of 0.73°C in average global temperature: a rise of 2°C is three times that. Agreeing on a 2°C cap is agreeing to the legitimisation of a potential climate change catastrophe.”

In the fight against climate change, the UNFCCC also has to consider the question of “climate justice”. Developing countries suffer most from the impacts of climate change, even though their economies have not benefited from fossil fuel-driven industrialisation. These countries can only commit to “clean development” if financial support and technology transfer is made available to them.

Bianca Jagger said, “Justice is the litmus test for any measure designed to combat climate change.” That ‘justice’ includes justice between countries, justice within countries, justice between generations and justice for mother earth. Developing countries have a right to modern technologies to help them cope with the impacts of climate change. “Climate justice means giving poorer countries privileged access to renewable energy technologies to help them fight the effects of a carbon driven economy.”

The World Future Council calls on wealthy countries to live up to their responsibilities and set up an international investment fund that guarantees technology transfer from the Global North to the Global South. To finance this, companies should not merely receive carbon trading certificates, but instead, they should be made to purchase them at auction. This reflects the UNFCCC’s “polluter pays” principle, and is, in effect, compensation for those hardest hit by climate change from those most responsible for it.

Changes in energy policy must not be left to the flexible instrument of the Kyoto protocol. Additional policy actions are needed within individual nations and internationally. We urgently need an International Renewable Energy Agency, as has been proposed by the German government. Another step needed is a global reforestation program to reabsorb CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

At the Bali convention, the World Future Council, as the voice of future generations, is drawing special attention to the importance of renewable energy as the basis of a totally new energy system for the planet. We need to initiate appropriate legislation worldwide to install carbon-free, decentralized, efficient, renewable and secure energy systems sufficient for all the earth’s people. This switch needs to start immediately. The World Future Council perceives it as a crime against the future if the gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘acting’ in all the related areas of climate change is not overcome immediately.

Bianca Jagger: “According to many scientists, we have less than a decade left to address the issue of climate change before we reach the earth system’s “tipping point”. It is the responsibility of leaders everywhere to fully understand this problem if they are to meet the challenges before us. Failure to act effectively is likely to precipitate cataclysmic changes in the earth system that could obliterate life on earth”.

Media Contacts

World Future Council

Robert Turner, WFC press officer
Mobile: +49 173 73 20 788

Milo Andreas Wagner, Bianca Jagger’s assistant
Bali Mobile: +62 813 3898 5626

World Future Council

The World Future Council is a global forum of 50 respected personalities who give voice to the shared ethical values of citizens worldwide. The Council works closely with policy-makers, civil societies and business to identify and implement best policies to protect the rights of future generations. Photos and interview partners are available on request.