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UN climate talks 2011: take action

by PhilLee — last modified Nov 24, 2011 06:30 PM
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Please put pressure on international delegations and lobbyists at the UN climate talks by taking one of our cyberactions.

Call one of South Africa's largest polluters to get out of the climate change negotiations

Sasol protestA protestor making ironic use of Sasol’s slogan. South African energy company Sasol is the world’s leader in coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology - the most carbon-intensive way of making petrol and diesel. Sasol's Secunda plant produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other single source in the world.

According to Sasol's own figures, for the year ended June 2011 the company's direct carbon dioxide emissions for its operations in South Africa amounted to 11 per cent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

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Despite all of this Sasol has close ties with the South African government and is part of South Africa's negotiating team.

Sasol bears no mandate from the people to represent their interests in the climate negotiations. It is simply seeking to exert influence so it can continue to profit from pollution and climate change whilst protecting its dirty energy operations. 

Please join Friends of the Earth International and Friends of the Earth South Africa in calling on Sasol to get out of the climate negotiations and stop promoting false solutions to the climate crisis.
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stop land grabbing for palm oil in Uganda

land grabbing in kalangala, ugandaA man stands on the land he has farmed all his life, now taken from him to make way for a palm oil plantation. Kalangala, Uganda. Credit: Jason TaylorLarge scale agrofuels plantations are being promoted as a solution to the climate crisis at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Yet millions of people are already facing the impacts of land grabs and evictions caused by agrofuels.

Take action now to stop land grabbing for palm oil in Uganda

The Ugandan government, backed with money from the World Bank and other international finance institutions, is grabbing land from communities to plant palm oil for food and fuel in unique islands off the coast of Lake Victoria.

So far, 10,000 hectares have been taken from local communities and indigenous people in Kalangala, many of whom have farmed and fished on their territories for years with customary ownership.

These communities have preserved their communal resources, including natural forests and lakes, for fuel, food and culture for many generations. They are now being driven off their land with little warning or compensation.

Many become casual workers paid less than one dollar a day. Families who used to harvest timber sustainably for their own use from local forests are now forced to enter forests illegally and harvest large amounts of wood to sell in order to survive.

The island which used to have abundant food now faces severe food insecurity and poverty. Communities speak of changes to the micro-climate which is resulting in droughts and human rights' violations over conflicts for resources - with the oil palm company blocking access to wells and grazing land.

The plantation has destroyed forests and the local Government has ordered the mass killing of monkey populations in the area to protect palm oil trees.

The Ugandan government has promised a further 30,000 hectares for oil palm with more funding from international institutions.

Tell the Ugandan government to respect the rights of its communities and its forest policy rather than promoting plantations at the expense of people and the environment.

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Keep corporations out of the Green Climate Fund

jubilee south people at green climate fund rallyHemantha Withanage, FoE Sri Lanka, and others take part in the Green Climate Fund rally in Durban today.

Throughout the developing world, people are paying a terrible price for a climate crisis not of their making.

The worst droughts in over 60 years in East Africa have pushed parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somaliland to near the point of collapse, threatening the lives and livelihoods of more than 10 million people.

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In some countries in Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020 as a result of climate change. This will mean increased hunger and famines across an already food insecure continent.

Rich industrialised countries – responsible for bulk of historic greenhouse gas emissions – have a legal and moral obligation to cut their emissions first and fastest and provide finance to developing countries so they can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change and embark on ecologically sustainable development pathways.

The international climate negotiations have established a Green Climate Fund as a channel for this much-needed climate finance.

But now several developed countries - the UK top among them - are threatening to turn the Green Climate Fund into a Greedy Corporate Fund that would serve the interests of the corporate and financial sectors, instead of financing activities to save the planet and protect the poor in developing countries.

The UK government is pushing for a “private sector facility” to be set up in the Green Climate Fund that could allow multinational corporations to directly access financing for activities in developing countries, bypassing those countries’ governments.

Tell Chris Huhne, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change that, the purpose of the Green Climate Fund is to support people in developing countries to fight against climate change and secure their lives and livelihoods.

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Call on the European Union to be real climate leaders in Durban

EU Act NowYoung Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland call on EU leaders to act now in Durban. Photo credit: Adela Nistora

All around the world millions of the poorest people are already facing the impacts of climate change, including floods, famine and severe weather conditions.


We are facing a planetary emergency and have very little time left to avoid catastrophic climate change.


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The next series of UN climate talks kick off in Durban, South Africa, in a few days.   We have nearly run-out of time to cut emissions back to safe levels before we reach dangerous tipping points which would lead to climate catastrophe and the loss of millions of lives.


To do this we need developed countries – who are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere – to deliver on their moral and legal obligations to cut their emissions first and fastest and deliver on much-needed climate finance to developing countries.


But the US, Japan and other rich developed countries are trying to dismantle the only existing legally binding climate framework for rich country emissions reductions – the Kyoto Protocol - in favour of a weak and ineffective ‘pledge and review’ system.    Europe is wavering.  It is painting itself as a climate leader but is not standing up against this destructive push from other countries in the developed world.


It’s crucial that Europe takes a strong and fair stance in the climate talks to save the planet and its people. 


Help us ask Tomasz Chruszczow, Europe’s lead negotiator in Durban, to make sure that the EU commits to unconditionally supporting a 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol  with strong targets for legally binding emissions reductions for developed countries based on science and equity and no carbon trading or other loopholes.


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