WASHINGTON DC (US) / TIANJIN (CHINA), October 1st, 2010 – On the eve of a new round of UN climate talks due to start on Monday in China, Friends of the Earth International called on developed countries to stop stalling on deep emission cuts and to collaborate with developing nations to produce a strong, just climate agreement.

Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in Tianjin, China, from October 4-9. This is the final UNFCCC intersessional meeting this year prior to the annual Conference of the Parties, which will take place in Cancun, Mexico, November 29-10 December.

Control of climate finance is at the centre of negotiations. Friends of the Earth International is calling for the establishment of a Global Climate Fund under the UNFCCC – with no role for existing multilateral development banks.

Rich countries, led by the United States, are attempting to place control of climate funds with the World Bank.

Asad Rehman, of Friends of the Earth-England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who will observe the Tianjin UN talks, said:

“The U.S. and other developed countries want the World Bank to control climate finance. This is unacceptable. The World Bank is an undemocratic discredited institution that is far more adept at causing climate change than preventing it. The World Bank is the number one lender to environmentally and socially destructive projects around the globe, and heavily influenced by major corporations and polluters. It is time for political leaders to stop listening to the Bank and these corporate interests and start acting on behalf of people and the planet. There is the potential for real progress to be made in Tianjin if developed countries do their part. Citizens of developed countries should urge their leaders to take bold action that advances the cause of climate justice.”

Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth-U.S., who will observe the Tianjin UN talks, said:

“It is clear that domestic politics at this time will not allow the United States to lead global efforts to tackle climate change. The Obama administration must stop pretending it can lead. It must cease its efforts to drag the rest of the world down to its very low level of ambition, when what the climate crisis demands is far higher ambition from all developed countries. The European Union, rather than continuing its strategy of catering to the U.S., could reemerge as a climate leader and take up the cause of binding, equitable, and science-based emissions targets.”

In addition to calling for a strong and just agreement that deeply cuts emissions and includes commitments by developed countries to meet their responsibility to provide adaptation and mitigation support to developing countries, Friends of the Earth International calls for an agreement to:

  • Avoid carbon offsetting schemes, which are loopholes that prevent necessary emission reductions from being made
  • Avoid carbon trading, which is unjust and makes bankers wealthy but prevents needed emission cuts in developed countries
  • Address deforestation in a way that stops deforestation while respecting communities’ and indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Establish a global climate fund under the authority of the UNFCCC with no role for the World Bank and other multilateral development banks
  • Protect human rights and be consistent with existing human rights treaties and obligations, including the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Ensure that rich countries reaffirm their commitment to their legally binding obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, where rich countries accept their responsibility for causing climate change by agreeing to cut their emissions first and fastest. New Kyoto targets for a second commitment period for industrialised countries of at least 40 per cent reductions – without offsetting – is the minimum requirement to provide any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.


Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth US, Tel: +1 703 587 4454, or email nberning@foe.org, Skype: nick.berning

Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth US, Tel: +1 202-640-8679, or email korenstein@foe.org, Skype: ponizarga

Asad Rehman, International Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland: +44 77201 47280 (UK Mobile) or email asad.rehman@foe.co.uk