Society must change to address climate crisis, say scientists

imageAvoiding dangerous climate change will require not just rapid reductions in fossil fuel use but also a revolution in the structures of our economies and societies, according to a momentous UN scientific report on climate change to be released on April 13 in Berlin. [1]

“Scientists tell us that to avoid a rapid deterioration of the climate crisis we must immediately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and invest massively in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Governments must act quickly following this warning. Investment in community-owned renewable energy is urgently needed,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator.

“So far, world leaders have sorely lacked the political will to make the shift to low-carbon societies, for example by reducing fossil fuel use, and investing in community power,” she added.

This third installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fifth Assessment Report will illustrate the very significant socio-economic changes that are needed to cut our carbon emissions.

“Scientists confirm that we must take urgent steps to avoid triggering catastrophic climate change and its irreversible impacts on humans and ecosystems. Real solutions to the climate crisis are already available. We need community-based energy solutions, energy efficiency and reduced consumption levels, not dangerous energy sources like fossil fuels or nuclear power,” said Inga Roemer of Friends of the Earth Germany / BUND.

The IPCC report is likely to suggest that energy efficiency and renewable power, but also nuclear, have a role to play in addressing the climate crisis.


The IPCC stated on March 31, 2014 that using biofuels to reduce fossil fuel use has caused food price rises, “risk of increased food insecurity”, and “further marginalizing smallholders and indigenous peoples,” whilst causing additional carbon emissions. [2]

“False solutions like biofuels may make money for big business but they do little to solve the climate crisis. They increase food prices, deforestation, land grabs and carbon emissions,” said Robbie Blake, biofuels campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe.

Biofuels have been promoted as a supposed solution to rising emissions from transport and, in the past decade, their use has increased five-fold.


The report may also, for the first time, identify the importance of sustainable diets to reducing greenhouse gas, for example diets with significantly less meat than is the norm in developed countries.

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator:
email: or skype: nimadichai

Inga Roemer, Friends of the Earth Germany / BUND
+ 49 30 275 86 468 or

Robbie Blake, Friends of the Earth Europe Biofuels campaigner:
+32 2893 1017 or


[1] The IPCC’s WG3 report will have 16 chapters produced by 272 authors. The summary report will be agreed line by line by up to 195 countries and published in Berlin on the 13th April

The report can therefore be considered very robust and, because of the nature of the process, is likely to be conservative in its conclusions.
The report will outline possible policies and technology pathways but it will not be prescriptive.

A briefing about the WG3 produced by Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland is online at:

[2] See Chapter 19 and 13 respectively of IPCC WG2 report released March 31, 2014.

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