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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.


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