NGOs criticize Doha conference and Finland’s climate policy

Melting ice in Greenland. Image: Nick Cobbing / Greenpeace. Yle.fiEnvironmental organisations in Finland have issued a joint statement criticising the Doha Climate Change Conference for putting off difficult decisions. Finland’s climate policy is also poorly rated by the NGOs.

Kepa, a platform for Finnish non-governmental organisations, as well as Greenpeace Finland, the nature organisation Luonto-Liitto, and Friends of the Earth Finland, were among the NGOs that expressed dismay over lack of political will at the Doha conference.

According to the NGOs, the nations of the world once again postponed critical decisions that could help to limit global warming to under two degrees Celsius. The environmental NGOs warn that time is running out for such measures.

In their joint statement, issued as the Climate Change Conference drew to a close, the organisations said that the severity of climate change would become evident over the next ten years.

No more time to waste

Countries are not setting national emission reduction targets citing a lack of a binding international treaty, claim the NGOs. However, once the international community actually manages to commit to such a treaty, it may already be too late to stop global warming.

“Refusing all measures and commitments by appealing to the primacy of an international treaty is political self-deception,” writes Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen from the Finnish branch of Greenpeace.

Environmental groups see the EU target of reducing emissions by 20 percent as insufficient, and are demanding the Union raises the target to achieve reductions of 30 percent by 2020.

Greenpeace also admonishes Finland over failing to set even sufficient national emission targets to combat climate change.

“The transition into a carbon-neutral society will be made on a local level, so Helsinki, for example, needs to give up using coal for energy,” noted Leo Stranius from the Luonto-Liitto NGO.

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