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Dec 07, 2009

Danish Government Slammed for Bias and Secrecy in Role As President of UN Climate Conference

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 07, 2009 06:42 PM

Copenhagen – As climate negotiations open in Copenhagen, civil society organizations around the world issued the following statement strongly criticizing the Danish government for acting in a biased, manipulative and nontransparent manner in its role as President of the Conference of the Parties:

We, the undersigned civil society groups, express our concern over the actions of the Danish government in its role as President of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.

The historic Copenhagen Climate Conference has yet to begin and a lengthening list of concerns is being raised by governments and by members of civil society:

  • We criticize the undemocratic practices adopted by the Danish Prime Minister of convening small and exclusive groups of countries before the Copenhagen meeting, excluding the vast majority of countries whose futures are at stake in the negotiations.

  • We criticize the Danish Prime Minister’s decision to produce draft “Copenhagen Accords” before the meeting has even started. These have been circulated to a select few governments, excluding others. They have been produced in spite of on-going negotiations under the UNFCCC and prejudge the outcome of good-faith negotiations among all Parties.

  • We further criticize the texts on the basis that they systematically ignore the demands of developing countries and overwhelmingly reflect the position of Denmark and other developed countries on key issues. They seek to shift the burden of addressing climate change from those who caused it to those who suffer its worst effects.

  • We criticize the Danish Prime Minister’s consistent disregard for the concerns of developing countries by downgrading expectations for Copenhagen to a “political agreement” and by falsely stating that the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.


These actions are inconsistent with the duty of the Danish Government in its neutral role as President of the Conference of Parties. They are an attack on the democratic processes of UN negotiations. And they are an affront to the interest of small and poor countries in the negotiations.

Further actions of this kind threaten the trust that is the very foundation of a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen. They undermine the capacity of the Danish Government to play a constructive role in the negotiations. Left unchecked, they threaten a Copenhagen collapse.

Copenhagen must mark an historic turning point. Parties have placed their trust in Denmark’s good reputation as a fair and impartial player.

 

We therefore call for:

  • The COP President to serve in an even-handed and unbiased manner;
  • A fair, open and transparent process; and
  • The full participation of all countries in an inclusive manner.


The imperative in Copenhagen is not to seal a deal at any costs – but to provide the opportunity for the nations of the world to work together to secure one that is fair and effective.

We call on Denmark to support such a process. The world is watching.

Quotations from representatives of organizations signing the statement


Raman Mehta from Action Aid India said:

“The global community trusted the Danish government to host a fair and transparent process but they have betrayed that trust. Most importantly, they are betraying those who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and whose voices are not being heard. This unfair behaviour strikes a blow to all efforts to achieve justice and equity in the climate change negotiations process.”

Meena Raman from the Third World Network said:

“The Danish government’s biased actions threaten the trust that is the very foundation of a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen and, left unchecked, these actions will cause the collapse of the Copenhagen process. The whole world is watching.”

Palle Bendsen from NOAH/Friends of the Earth Denmark said:

“Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen is betraying the long-held and sacred tradition of Danish hospitality and decency. Danes cannot expect to be crowned a hero of the climate negotiations with this unfair behaviour. There’s more at stake than the Danish government’s public image – the lives of millions and the future of our planet are on the line.”

Signatory Organizations:


ActionAid, India
Asia Indigenous Women’s Network
Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, South Africa
Center for Encluntes and Active Non-Violence, Austria
Concerned Citizens Against Climate Change
ETC Group
Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of Siberian Forest, Russia
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Phillipines
Global Forest Coalition
Indigenous Environmental Network, North America
International Forum on Globalization, USA
International Rivers, USA
National Forum for Advocacy, Nepal
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, India
Presencia Ciudadana Mexicana A.C., Mexico
Rainforest Foundation UK, United Kingdom
Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Mexico
Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Mineria (REMA), Mexico
Society for New Initiatives and Activities, Italy
Tibet Justice Center, USA
Third World Network
Union de Grupos Ambientalistas, Mexico
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
World Development Movement, UK

Dec 02, 2009

New Report Shows EU Can Double its Emissions Targets

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:01 PM

A new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Friends of the Earth Europe shows that Europe can and must cut its emissions by 40% in 2020 and 90% in 2050.

40 percentJust a week ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, a new study released Tuesday, December 2nd by the Stockholm Environment Institute in partnership with Friends of the Earth Europe proves for the first time that Europe could double its greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2020.

 

The report, titled ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge: Domestic Actions and International Obligations to Protect the Planet,' shows how Europe can cut its emissions by 40% in 2020, and by 90% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels.  Europe is currently only aiming for half of those reductions.

 

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This study proves that it is possible for Europe to deliver its fair share of necessary global emission cuts. A 40% cut by 2020 in Europe is feasible and affordable, and it can be done without resorting to dangerous or unproven solutions.  The EU can make these cuts in a way which not only improves the quality of life for people in Europe, but also ensures the rights of poorer parts of the world to develop sustainably.”

 

The study also shows that drastic cuts by the EU will not be enough and that the EU and other countries must support the developing world's climate challenge.  It suggests that the EU should contribute between €150 and €450 billion per year to developing countries, or less than €3 per person per day.  Only the combination of a reduction in emissions by the EU as well as the provision of adequate finances for the EU will be enough to fight climate change.

 

Dr. Charles Heaps of the Stockholm Environment Institute, lead author of the report and a senior scientist in SEI’s climate and energy program, said: “Our analysis shows that deep cuts in emissions can be achieved in Europe at reasonable cost between now and 2050.  The scale and speed of changes required may seem daunting...but the potential costs of inaction are so large that doing nothing presents a far more implausible and dangerous future pathway for Europe.”

 

Read the full report here.

Letter from Australia

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:00 PM

Eastern Australia recently experienced a heatwave which smashed temperature records for November. I live in a bushfire prone area. I used to think my house was pretty safe from bushfires, but no longer.  Without strong and immediate action on climate change the Blue Mountains will experience frequent days of Extreme and Catastrophic bushfire danger (these are the official fire danger ratings - not alarmist rhetoric). Not only would catastrophic bushfires destroy many homes (including those previously considered safe from bushfires), but they would devastate the unique and diverse ecosystems which resulted in World Heritage listing for the Greater Blue Mountains.

When you are deciding on climate change action at Copenhagen, I want you to think of my four children who pack their "fire bags" every time the fire danger rating reaches Extreme. Will they need to leave their bags permanently packed in 2020, 2030, 2050.... or will they feel secure in the knowledge that global leaders have done everything in their power to avert climate catastrophe?

Sue Morrison
Blue Mountains, Australia


Yakuts of Siberia and Climate Change

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:06 PM

Video by Sanna Liinamaa

 

Dec 01, 2009

UN climate talks 2009: copenhagen

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 12:40 PM

As world leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss efforts to tackle global warming, Friends of the Earth International called on the rich industrialised countries, which have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, to agree to urgent and dramatic cuts in their emissions starting NOW.

Flood-2We called on developed countries to tackle climate change by urgently making real changes at home. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

 

We believe in Climate justice which means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

 

 

 

reports/publications

Financing Climate Justice: Ensuring a just agreement in Copenhagen.
Download our position paper [pdf] and summary [pdf]

 

REDD myths: A comprehensive critique of a new scheme intended to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. Download:  Full report  [pdf] | Executive Summary [pdf]

 

Climate Justice Times: Newspaper released by FoEI during the UN climate talks in Copenhagen highlighting our positions on issues such as carbon offsetting and agrofuels. Download [pdf]


press releases

Read our daily releases on the negotiations


blog

Read our posts from the UN conference and the Klimaforum - the alternative climate summit.

 

Radio

Listen to the coverage on Real World Radio

 

video and photos

Watch videos from Copenhagen

View the photos on Flickr

Our climate demands

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 10:35 AM

Friends of the Earth International are calling for a strong and just climate change agreement at the next climate talks. Such an agreement will only be achieved if the following demands are met:

Developed countries must make urgent and deep emission cuts - at home. Offsetting is a false solution.

redd-myths-tn2Developed countries must tackle climate change by urgently making real change at home. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

 

Governments of developed countries know that offsetting is ineffective in combating climate change but are attempting to deceive the public that by investing in offsetting they are taking real action against climate change.

Carbon offsetting has no benefits for the climate or for developing countries – it only benefits developed countries, private investors and major polluters who want to continue business as usual.


Climate justice means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

 

EU energy flagClimate justice will be achieved when the countries that have the most historical responsibility for causing climate change do the most to prevent further damage and substantially reduce their own emissions at home.


Developing countries, and impoverished communities and people, have contributed least to the causes of climate change, yet they are most affected. 

Rich, developed countries are liable for the vast majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, and are thus the most responsible for climate change.

Developed countries should finance the transition to low carbon economies in developing countries and support their adaptation to the impacts of climate change, while recognising their rights to develop as sustainable societies.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives is damaging and diverts attention from the real solutions to climate change and deforestation.


ricardo-redd-tnTrading in forests has no part to play in a just international agreement to tackle climate change.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives does not work: it diverts attention from real measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and threatens Indigenous Peoples who depend on them for survival.




Public money to fight climate change must go through the United Nations, not the World Bank.


World Bank meetings in Washington in October 2008Public money to fight climate change must go through the UNFCCC, not the World Bank, because that is the wrong institution to control financing for climate change.

The World Bank is the largest multi-lateral lender for oil and gas projects and a major actor in deforestation It has failed to accept its own internal recommendations to stop funding destructive and poverty-strickening coal, oil and gas extraction.

The World Bank is not a transparent or democratic institution with decision making dominated by 'donor' countries. It is also the world's largest carbon broker and it would be a perverse conflict of interest to become the world's largest climate financier.

Any funding outside of the UNFCCC -including the World Bank’s climate investment funds- should not be regarded as fulfilment of developed country commitments. 


Developed countries have a climate debt and must repay it.


tn-climate-justiceThe climate debt is the debt that rich nations have to repay to developing ones because they emitted the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, far more than their ‘fair share’.

Developed countries must repay the climate debt owed to developing countries taking into account historical responsibility. This encompasses immediate and rapid emissions reductions, just and effective financial flows, appropriate technology transfer and reparation of damages done.

All climate finance must contribute to community-based solutions that are truly sustainable, particularly those initiated by Indigenous Peoples, women and small-scale farmers.

 

Climate finance must exclude false solutions, such as plantations, agrofuels, nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

 

Any agreements must be consistent with existing international human rights treaties and obligations, particularly the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

Our demands in Cancun

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 10:35 AM

Friends of the Earth International is calling for a strong and just climate agreement in Cancun. Such an agreement will only be achieved if the following demands are met:

Developed countries must make urgent and deep emission cuts - at home. Offsetting is a false solution.

offsetting trick hpDeveloped countries must tackle climate change by urgently cutting domestic emissions. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

Governments of developed countries know that offsetting is ineffective in combating climate change but are attempting to deceive the public by promoting investment in offsetting as real action against climate change.

 

Carbon offsetting has no benefits for the climate or for developing countries – it only benefits developed countries, private investors and major polluters who want to continue business as usual.


Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives is damaging and diverts attention from the real solutions to climate change and deforestation.


redd-ricardo-tnTrading in forests has no part to play in a just international agreement to tackle climate change.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives does not work: it diverts attention from real measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and threatens Indigenous Peoples who depend on them for survival.

 

all Public money to fight climate change must go through the United Nations, not the World Bank.

Brussels against WB and its lending to ESKOM-2The World Bank is the largest multi-lateral lender for oil and gas projects and a major actor in deforestation. It has failed to accept its own internal recommendations to stop funding destructive coal, oil and gas extraction.

The World Bank is not a transparent or democratic institution and its decision-making is dominated by 'donor' countries. It is also the world's largest carbon broker and it would be a conflict of interest to become the world's largest conduit for climate change mitigation funding.

In addition, any funding outside of the UNFCCC - including the World Bank’s climate investment funds - should not be regarded as fulfilment of developed country commitments.

 

The people's agreement is an important counter-balance to the negative proposals at the UN climate talks

cochabamba-br11.jpg

Friends of the Earth International sees the People’s Agreement that came out of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia as a counter-balance to the overwhelmingly negative proposals on the table in the UN climate talks.

 

We reject any attempts to blame Bolivia and other ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) that are championing certain key demands such as the rejection of carbon markets and promotion of community rights. Bolivia is sensitively listening to the demands of the environmentalists, trade unions, social movements, peasant farmers and Indigenous Peoples and we call on other governments to follow its strong lead.

 

We and our allies have engaged with the People’s Agreement and accompanying process post-Cochabamba as a progressive development in the climate debate. We seek to use it in order to promote referenda and tribunals (popular and legal), community rights, and to highlight its legitimacy as a progressive proposal in the UNFCCC negotiations to provide a counter-balance to other negative proposals.

 

Find out more about the People's Agreement

 

Climate justice means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

minimum 40%, no offsettingClimate justice will be achieved when the countries that have the most historical responsibility for causing climate change do the most to prevent further damage and substantially reduce their own emissions at home.


Developing countries, and impoverished communities and people, have contributed least to the causes of climate change, yet they are most affected. 

Rich, developed countries are liable for the vast majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, and are thus the most responsible for climate change.

Developed countries should finance the transition to low carbon economies in developing countries and support their adaptation to the impacts of climate change, while recognising their rights to develop as sustainable societies.

 

Developed countries have a climate debt and must repay it.


Flood for Climate Justice 1The climate debt is the debt that rich nations have to repay to developing ones because they emitted the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, far more than their ‘fair share’.

Developed countries must repay the climate debt owed to developing countries taking into account historical responsibility. This encompasses immediate and rapid emissions reductions, just and effective financial flows, appropriate technology transfer and reparation of damages done.

All climate finance must contribute to community-based solutions that are truly sustainable, particularly those initiated by Indigenous Peoples, women and small-scale farmers.

 

Climate finance must exclude false solutions, such as plantations, agrofuels, nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

 

Any agreements must be consistent with existing international human rights treaties and obligations, particularly the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.