Dec 07, 2009
Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International and Henry Saragih, General Coordinator of Via Campesina speak at a press conference at the Klimaforum - the alternative climate summit - outlining their hopes for the two weeks.
On Sunday 7 December the Friends of the Earth International delegation to the climate negotiations met in person for the first time these two weeks to discuss our strategies and get to know each other.
Attended by campaigners, communicators, coordinators and Young Friends of the Earth Europe it was great to finally have everyone in the same place and put faces to names - over the last year we've had numerous phone conferences and exchanged hundreds of emails.
The day began with an introduction from Nnimmo Bassey the Chair of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) giving one of his motivational speeches that never fails to inspire whilst at the same time putting a smile on every face.
Then it was the turn of some of FoEI's wisest climate minds to give their take on the critical negotiations ahead.
Meena Raman from Friends of the Earth Malaysia talked about the sky grab
that is taking place by developed countries and the Bolivia delegation's recent assertion that there is "little atmospheric space left for developing countries".
We heard about the European Union's position and the various negotiating groups that have formed around the world - the G77, Africa, ALBA, the Umbrella group and AOSIS to name a few.
We also heard about the tactics that some countries are using to divide unified groups by offering bi-lateral deals rather than dealing with a block as a whole.
One of these strong blocks is Africa who, last month in Barcelona, refused to continue formal discussions about offsetting and insisted that the talks focus on real carbon-reduction targets for rich countries.
Finally Kate Horner from Friends of the Earth United States assessed the US position. Asked whether the arrival of President Obama to the talks was a positive step, she expressed concern that in an effort to stay on the right side of the charismatic President some countries may make concessions that would not be in the interests of the kind of agreement developing countries need.
It was a lot to take on board but the overall message was simple, a just agreement will be difficult to secure but is not impossible.
young friends of the earth just keep on going
During lunch, Young Friends of the Earth Europe (YFoEE), never ones to put their feet up, carried out a teaser action in street calling on people to join the Flood for Climate Justice on Saturday 12 December.
In the afternoon we divided into smaller groups: communications,
actions and lobbying, and we discussed how we could best perform the tasks we had been assigned, which for me is communicating to You.
Just after 5pm we were done, a little tired, but raring to go for two weeks of long days and late nights certain in the knowledge that only a just agreement in Copenhagen will do.
Take action with Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland by calling on the UK climate secretary to sign up to the right agreement in Copenhagen.
Call on him to sign up to:
- Emissions cuts of at least 40% by 2020 on 1990 levels for all developed countries.
- A new financial mechanism to support developing countries in tackling climate change.
- Offsetting to be scrapped - including the the use of carbon trading in tackling deforestation. Offsetting is unjust and fundamentally flawed.
Take action now!
Naomi Klein praises the work of the climate justice movement and urges everyone not to leave the climate up to developed countries and corporations.