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Special report: Friends of the Earth at the UNFCCC climate talks Warsaw, 2013

by admin — last modified Dec 01, 2013 12:05 PM

Friends of the Earth (FoE) groups were busy at the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw last November. We bring you a special report on our work at the talks. We staged numerous colorful high-impact actions, we lobbied and put pressure wherever we could, and we took every opportunity to remind the media of our perspectives and our solutions on behalf of all of the many diverse parts of our federation.

Read this inspiring overview by Friends of the Earth International Chair Jagoda Munic.

We hope you enjoy the read.

In solidarity,
Friends of the Earth

Note: We usually shorten Friends of the Earth to FoE, so FoEE is 'Friends of the Earth Europe,' YFoEE 'Young Friends of the Earth Europe', etc.

Action highlights

Sunday November 10

Day of action to support people who face persecution and brutalization for defending the environment. Actions took place around the world including at FoEI delegation meeting.

 

Monday November 11

Action outside of the COP venue in the morning, where YFoEE members handed out Reclaim Power leaflets to the delegates as they arrived and thus delivered the message of the Reclaim Power Global Month of Action.
YFoEE members Maruska Mileta and Silje Lundberg delivered opening statements on behalf of the Climate Justice Now network at the opening sessions of the COP (Conference of Parties) and the CMP (Meeting of the Parties of Kyoto Protocol) respectively.

FoE Europe together with Greenpeace International, WWF International, Oxfam International, Action Aid International and Christian Aid wrote a public letter to Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC urging her not to attend the Coal Summit on November 18.
YFoEE members helped Yeb Sano, climate commissioner for the Philippines, organize a solidarity walk after opening plenary of UNFCCC. One member along with two other youth activists were removed from the venue and then banned from the COP for the action.

Tuesday November 12

At an informal press conference on typhoon Hayian with Philippines climate commisioner Jeb Sano, YFoEE member Silje Lundberg announced a Solidarity Fast.

Wednesday November 13

YFoEE activists were among the groups that organized actions to expose the dirty energy corporations sponsoring the COP in the streets of Warsaw and at the conference venue, 'auctioning the climate to the highest bidder.'

Saturday November 16

FoEI, FoEE and YFoEE campaigners participated in the Climate March in the streets of Warsaw. Read FoEE news article 'Climate justice not corporate power. System change not climate change march.'
FoEE set up a ‘fossil dinosaur’ at the end of the march. Watch the video.
FoEE led a delegation of environmental and development groups in a face to face meeting with Christiana Figueres to demand that she not attend the Coal Summit and that if she did that the ‘Peoples Communique on Coal’ also be officially included in the official negotiations.

Monday November 18

On 18 and 19 November, Poland hosted the World Coal Summit in parallel with the COP, convening the world's leading coal-producing companies.

FoEI, FoEE and YFoEE campaigners joined the 'Cough 4 Coal' action organized by allies including HEAL, Bankwatch and 350.org at the summit venue early in the morning, and organized the  'There is no clean coal' action there, and the action 'Kicking coal out of the climate talks' at the climate conference.
Launch of the People's Communique on Coal, a declaration that comes out of Reclaim Power - a global month of action on energy, which occurred throughout October and highlighted resistance against dirty energy that is driving climate change and proposed clean, people-controlled solutions.

Tuesday November 19 + Wednesday November 20

YFoEE/FoEE participated in an anti-nuclear action together with other local and international anti-nuclear campaigners.
Anti-shale gas action with local anti-fracking activists outside of the COP.

Thursday November 21

"Polluters talk, we walk. Volveremos!"

FoEI delegation amongst 800 people including youth, NGOs, social movements, gender groups and trade unions who walked out of the COP.

Press conferences and side events

FoEI press conference: State of play in Warsaw: Will Poland's corporate COP halt the climate crisis? - November 13th

FoEI Press conference: COP19 set to fail - who is to blame? - November 20th

Handover of more than 700,000 signatures from an Avaaz petition to express solidarity with the Phillipines at a press conference with Silje Lundberg from YFoEE speaking alongside Philippines climate commisioner Yeb Sano on November 19.

From 15 - 16 November the European Greens organized the conference "Citizens' energy for a good climate: A participatory debate about Poland and its future". FoEI chair Jagoda Munic and FoEE campaigner Susann Scherbarth participated in panel discussions at the conference

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FoEI member groups in action

Many FoEI member groups joined our actions and the walk out of the COP from back home. Here are some highlights:

FoE South Africa organized a People's Climate Camp in Durban with its own Twitter account. On Saturday 16 November a live video link up was established between the Warsaw convergence space outside the COP and the Camp in Durban.
FoE Austria achieved a lot of media coverage for their framing of the walk out, and also organized their office to take action.
FoE England Wales and Northern Ireland organized an action outside the Australian High Commission and carried an update from FoE Australia and also wrote to the Japanese Embassy and carried an update from FoE Japan.


Calling climate change 'the Berlin Wall of our times', activists from Young Friends of the Earth Germany gathered at the remains of that wall to call on the negotiators at the UN climate conference in Warsaw to overcome their wall of inaction.


FoE Papua New Guinea spread the message online and also organized a small protest march to the Australian High Commission. FoE Cyprus also organized an action, as did FoE Switzerland, FoE Ukraine, FoE Netherlands, FoE Denmark, FoE Spain, FoE US, and FoE France.

Read more

Publications

Issue briefs from some FoE member groups and other climate justice groups on: Markets, Equity,
Loss and Damage, Globally funded Feed in Tariffs

Blogs

Interview with Urszula Stefanowicz, climate campaigner with FoE Poland, November 6

Stop colluding with corporate climate culprits! Blog by FoEI chair Jagoda Munic in New Internationalist, November 20

Loss and Damage, blog by Gita Parihar of FoE EWNI explaining what loss and damage is, why the
stakes are so high, and what’s going on right now at the talks

International press coverage

Photo galleries

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