Independent Charity Calls For Commitments on Climate Change

A call to governments, businesses and civil society to make commitments to combating climate change is made by The Sibthorp Trust an independent UK charity.

Calling on world leaders at their meetings in Cancùn Mexico and all those who influence them the chairman, Roger Crofts said:

“Without leadership from our politicians, from business heads and from society we will not make the changes necessary to combat climate change and improve our chances of reducing its effects over the longer term. I call on all interests to pledge commitments to a new international treaty and tough targets, and to aid those poorer countries which are the unwitting ‘victims’ of climate change. The time has come to stop arguing whether the science is perfect: the message is loud and clear that change is occurring and that if we do nothing about it the position will become much worse and threaten the future survival of our world – natural and human.”

The Sibthorp Trust is releasing today a series of independent views on the problems and solutions needed and sets out a series of essential commitments. The outcome of the Copenhagen meeting of the signatories of the Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2009 was widely regarded as a missed opportunity and action needs to be taken. The report identifies 6 critical next steps recognising that there is no quick fix or silver bullet given the complexity of the climate change issues, and their variable effects on the world’s people over time and across the globe.

  1. Recognition of the immediacy of the problem
  2. Leadership by politicians and civil society
  3. Urgent action by governments
  4. New indicators of the quality of life
  5. Improved communication
  6. Changing the energy fuel balance

Call for Action to address climate change: the Five Commitments

The consensus of our reviewers is that the case has already been made that climate change is occurring, despite the scepticism of some politicians, economists and commentators. There is disappointment that progress at FCCC CoP 15 was so limited, but some consider that the gathering of world leaders and the attention given to the debates by global media has heightened the profile of the need to take action on climate change. There is a general recognition that there are no ‘silver bullets’ or single, simple solutions as the position is very naturally complex and the effect of human activities on global climate adds to the complexity. One contributor neatly put it ‘nature makes the rules not humans’, so that understanding of the complexities of natural systems and the effects of human activities is essential.
Doing nothing is not an option for our contributors, or for me. I call on all parts of society to make commitments to reducing emissions and to helping those most in need and most affected by climate change.

Commitment 1: Leaders of G8, G20 and the EU nations to commit now to new a climate change treaty and meaningful targets to reduce GHG emissions and to funding poorer countries to withstand the effects of climate change.
Narrow, national interests have to be set aside to achieve changes which will benefit all the world’s people, especially the poorest, and allow nature to operate naturally using novel mechanisms such as REDD+.

Commitment 2: Leaders of national and local governments (especially the USA and China) to commit now to climate change legislation with testing emissions reduction targets.
Action by and within countries is crucial to achieving reduction in GHG emissions as demonstrated in the UK, in Scotland and some USA states.

Commitment 3: Business leaders to commit to develop and utilise new strategies and technologies for a low carbon world.
Businesses to survive and remain profitable need to lobby for new governmental frameworks and appropriate regulatory regimes, develop new business strategies with climate change and sustainable development at the core, and embrace new technologies to reduce uncertainty, develop markets and retain reputation.

Commitment 4: Civil society throughout the world to commit to lobby for international and national treaties and targets for reducing emissions.
Civil society is a powerful force arguing for changes by political leaders through the ballot box, through concerted advocacy, and through practical demonstrations of a low carbon society. Civil society should also champion the cause of ‘climate victims’.

Commitment 5: All energy providers and energy users worldwide to commit now to switch from fossil fuel to low carbon energy sources.
Governments, scientific and business interests need to invest more in developing renewable energy technologies and methods for reducing energy use. All users should reduce energy use without diminishing quality of life and levels of output.

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