News Release

Warsaw Climate “Conference of Polluters”?

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Christiana Figueres

MICHAEL DORSEY, [in Warsaw, 6 hours ahead of U.S. ET, back in the U.S. on Monday] mkdorsey at professordorsey.com, @usclimateplan, @GreenHejira
EVAN WEBER, evan at usclimateplan.org, @evanlweber
Dorsey and Weber are co-authors of the recently released report: “The Plan: How the U.S. Can Help Stabilize the Climate and Create a Clean Energy Future,” available at: usclimateplan.org.

Dorsey said today: “The 19th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties or ‘COP’ meeting flirts dangerously close with being dubbed a ‘Conference of Polluters.’

“The head honcho of the process, Christiana Figueres [executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], offered gentle fig leaves to coal industry CEOs. While she refused to address activists across the street from the conference venue, she told coal industry CEOs and representatives at the concurrent International Coal and Climate Summit in Warsaw that they had ‘the opportunity to be part of the worldwide climate solution.’

“Figueres never once mentioned that social movement organizations especially in the U.S. and increasingly abroad, have actively stopped trying to collaborate with coal. Groups like the the Sierra Club, the United States’ largest environmental organization, shifted strategies almost a decade ago to completely shut the 20th century industry down. Working actively with a litany of activists, public health officials, lawyers and other experts, have closed more than 175 coal fired power plants in 10 years.

“While Figueres suggested to industry representatives that ‘low emission’ coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration might be a significant part of a changing world, there are few proven examples of working CCS today, which is why even many industry representatives have stopped talking about it as a solution. Figueres’ remarks were also out of step with the state of ongoing vast political, economic, and legal sea changes — especially in coal financing.

Weber said: “We can’t rely on the same technologies that are driving us towards climate catastrophe to get us out of it. The clean and safe renewable technologies of the future exist today. We just need to create the political environment where they can flourish.”