POZNAN, POLAND – On 1-12 December 2008, the Polish city of Poznan will host crucial United Nations climate talks. The UN reported this week that greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries continue to rise, exposing their lack of ambition to seriously address the climate threat.

A delegation of Friends of the Earth International – the world’s largest grassroots – based environmental federation with more than 70 national member groups – will be at the talks in Poznan lobbying, holding governments to account, and strengthening a diverse civil society movement to achieve climate justice.

Local communities, especially in the world’s most impoverished countries, face devastating climate impacts caused mostly by industrialised countries, who bear historical responsibility for current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Will Poznan fail or succeed?
Friends of the Earth International will assess the Poznan outcome and the actions taken there based on the following points:

Will the industrialised world demonstrate its commitment and leadership to reducing emissions? Industrialised (Annex I) countries must commit to emissions reduction targets of at least 40% reductions on 1990 levels by 2020.

Will industrialised countries commit to this target without buying their way out of emission reduction obligations through damaging initiatives such as ‘carbon offsetting’? . Friends of the Earth International rejects offsetting as it wards off real measures to tackle climate change. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has well-documented devastating social, environmental and human rights impacts in the South.

Will Parties in Poznan commit to a timetable of work that will ensure a strong post 2012 agreement finalised in Copenhagen in December 2009?

Will Parties in Poznan agree to develop a suite of financial mechanisms that will provide reliable and consistent funds through means other than carbon offsetting? These funds are needed for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries as incentive to move away from a carbon-dependent development model (used by industrialised nations) towards low-carbon economies.

Will Parties focus on clean renewable energy and energy efficiency, and reject false solutions such as carbon capture and storage, large dams, nuclear energy and agrofuels?

Will Parties reject proposals for carbon trading mechanisms for forest conservation and instead support community based-forest governance that upholds the rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Friends of the Earth International Climate Coordinator Stephanie Long said: “Industrialised countries have committed under the UN climate convention to finance the just transition to low carbon economies and climate change adaptation programmes in developing countries. We expect them to act on their promises. In addition, industrialised countries must live up to their historical and current responsibilities and commit to steep, immediate binding emission reduction targets without deflecting attention on to major developing countries.”

Friends of the Earth International Climate Coordinator Joseph Zacune added: “Friends of the Earth International is working with social movements, local communities, and other organisations to strengthen a diverse, effective and global climate justice movement. At these talks, there is particular concern about new, dangerous forest carbon trading proposals that could create the climate regime’s greatest loophole, sanction the replacement of natural forests with plantations and trigger a land grab that would imperil Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities.”

60 million Indigenous Peoples are entirely dependent upon forests and some 1.6 billion people are heavily reliant on forests and other trees. Global deforestation is responsible for roughly 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. The root causes of deforestation are our consumption of biofuels, meat and timber products.


Stephanie Long, Friends of the Earth International Climate Coordinator,
tel: + 61 414 136 461 (Australian mobile number)

Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International Climate Coordinator,
tel: +44 79 67877593 (UK mobile number)

Friends of the Earth International media line : +31 6 5100 5630 (Dutch mobile number)

A complete list of spokespeople and their mobile numbers will be circulated closer to the talks.