Greenpeace wants R1.2tn

27 November 2011 - 03:31 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER
Rand notes. File picture
Rand notes. File picture
Image: Russell Roberts

GREENPEACE'S executive director has called on governments to pledge more than R1.2-trillion to finance policies to fight climate change. The call came ahead of the COP17 summit, which starts tomorrow.

South African-born Kumi Naidoo has headed the world's largest environmental group since 2009 and will again be at the forefront of civil society activities during the conference.

On Saturday, December 3, he will join the Global Day of Action march in Durban. On Thursday, speaking from the organisation's offices in Amsterdam before flying to SA, Naidoo said: "We will shed light on the urgency needed to take action to battle climate change in many forms."

At the Durban summit Greenpeace will renew a call it made two years ago for a "fair, ambitious and legally binding deal".

The organisation wants governments to identify "specific innovative sources of finance", such as a financial transaction tax and the auctioning of emissions allowances.

"The level of finance must be scaled up ... keeping in mind that developed countries have committed to mobilising $100-billion a year by 2020 and acknowledging the key role of public sources of finance," Naidoo said.

Greenpeace is asking governments to agree on how to help developing countries raise funds for fighting climate change.

Naidoo said it was important governments "listen to the people", citing an unnamed 2009 global poll showing that 73% of respondents were extremely concerned about climate change.

He said another recent poll had confirmed that "climate change has risen slightly since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, despite the global financial and economic crisis".

While he was not entirely optimistic about the outcome of the Durban talks, Naidoo said "real money and support" could help wean the world off its fossil-fuel addiction by investing in renewable energy sources.

"South Africa, as a hosting country, must demonstrate leadership in addressing the threat of climate change and take action now by investing in renewable energy sources and moving away from polluting, dirty energy like coal."