Sierra Club
For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2011
Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384
Sierra Club statement on the Durban Climate Talks

Durban, South Africa -- The UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa today approved a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and launched negotiations to adopt a new agreement with legal force covering all countries by 2015.  The Durban package was agreed to by all countries participating, including the United States.

In response, Steve Herz, Senior Attorney at the Sierra Club, issued the following statment:
"Today's decision in Durban takes welcome, necessary steps, but is still far from sufficient.

"We need urgent action to keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius and address the increasing risks posed by extreme weather and other climate change effects.

"The climate crisis requires a swift transition beyond coal and oil to a clean energy economy. The outcome in Durban supports that transition with the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which will grow over time to become the primary means for financing the clean energy future globally.

"Now the ball is squarely in America's court to step up and help conclude a fair, ambitious and binding global climate agreement, and to deliver on our promises in the coming decade to reduce our carbon emissions and help the rest of the world. That will require much greater commitment to emissions reduction, protection of forests and other lands, as well as adaptation to a rapidly changing climate.

"Even at its best, the international process is slow. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, it is critical that aggressive action be taken now to move the U.S. and the world beyond coal and oil and toward a new clean energy economy."

Carl Pope became Chairman of the Sierra Club in 2010, after serving for more than seventeen years as Executive Director. A veteran leader in the environmental movement, Mr. Pope has been with the Sierra Club for more than thirty years.

Connect with the Sierra Club: