friends of the earth groups push for results at bali climate talks
Given the crucial nature of the talks, Friends of the Earth climate campaigners from around the world converged in Bali, and Friends of the Earth International carried out many activities to emphasise the need for climate justice. We also highlighted key forest issues related to the climate change agreements, and shed light on the threats posed by the fast-growing biofuel trade. Last but not least, we used this opportunity to build up unity and cooperation within the international civil society movement on climate change.
spotlight on biofuels: On November 29, before the climate talks began, FoEI urged governments not to promote biofuels as a solution to climate change, citing disastrous environmental consequences on all continents. The growing biofuel trade would result in "displacing entire communities and Indigenous Peoples — simply to fill the tanks of cars," according to Hildebrando Velez of FoE Colombia.
solidarity village: Peoples from all over the globe took part in the Solidarity Village for a Cool Planet in Bali from December 7-10. FoEI and other civil society movements organised this initiative to provide a space for affected communities, indigenous peoples, women and peasants to give testimony and build relationships among themselves. People spoke about their direct experiences of climate change and of real solutions. Key issues included enforcement of land rights for forest conservation, food and energy sovereignty, privatisation, trade liberalization and agrofuels. However, an overriding theme running through all these issues was that of corporate globalization taking over the climate agenda, and the need to resist this agenda with an alternative one to realize sustainable societies.
international day of action: On December 8, 2007 people from social organizations and movements around the globe took the fight for social, ecological and gender justice onto the streets for an Global Day of Action. FoE Indonesia were the local hosts of the action in Bali, which saw hundreds of locals join international activists to march in the hot afternoon sun in Bali’s capital of Denpasar. They waved banners, danced and sang for climate justice, sending a strong message to negotiators on the need for urgent action to address climate change. View a video of the action here.
unveiling tricky trade talks: Also on December 8, FoE groups warned that informal trade talks taking place behind "closed doors" on December 9-10 were "deeply worrying" and must not derail progress on tackling climate change. Convened by the Indonesian government, with trade ministers from 30 countries including the US, EU, Brazil, India
and China, the talks will cover "mutual supportiveness" between the WTO and the UNFCCC regimes, among other issues.
world bank: hands off our forests! On December 10th, FoEI coordinated an action and press work urging governments to reject a new World Bank initiative that promotes the inclusion of forests in carbon markets. This carbon trading proposal, called the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, claims to promote forest protection by subsidizing industrial tree plantations. Yet this will happen at the expense of communities, ecosystems and food production, and will actually result in more indigenous peoples being displaced, and more carbon emissions.
Read the statement and a list of endorsing organizations here.
bali movement building – climate justice now!
FoEI took a lead role in initiating “Climate Justice Now!”, a new coalition of many social movements and groups that came together at Bali. Our goal is to enhance information exchange and cooperation, in order to intensify actions to prevent and respond to climate change. We all agree that the fundamental principle of justice must lie at the heart of all measures to tackle climate change, and that this principle must in no way be sacrificed. This new coalition has greatly increased our capacity for movement building and justice-based lobbying for future climate and energy campaign work.
See more here.
other key events with FoEI/WALHI participation included, along with other NGOs, a Financial Institutions and Climate Change conference (December 6-7), and screening of the Friends of the Earth International "Lost in Palm Oil" documentary by Inge Altemeier at the IIED mini film festival.
focus on negotiations: In terms of lobbying and media work, Friends of the Earth International chose to focus on Annex I (global North) obligations relating to emission reductions, technology sharing, deforestation and adaptation. This included a communication on December 4, when FoEI urged all delegates to achieve a clear plan for action and a strong mandate to tackle climate change at the crucial UN climate change talks. Negotiators at Bali did eventually reach a deal to take the Kyoto Protocol forward. However, FoEI expressed deep disappointment at the weak content that followed on from numerous attempts by some delegations to derail the talks. Fortunately the European Union, Australia and developing countries stood their ground in a united front calling for emissions cuts in the range of 25 - 40 percent, as demanded by climate scientists. This provides some indication of ambition but still leaves much work to be done.
An full analysis of the Bali meeting by FoEI can be found here.
with thanks to our funders: the dutch ministry of foreign affairs, the c.s. mott foundation, the wallace global fund, the isvara foundation, hivos, oxfam novib, and the swedish society for nature conservation.