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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


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.

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