BANGKOK, THAILAND, 9 October 2009 — At the close of the Bangkok UN climate change negotiations tensions between the world’s rich nations and developing countries were at an all-time high, according to Friends of the Earth International campaigners observing the talks to demand climate justice.

In order to serve their short term domestic interests, and to accomodate the US administration, many developed countries are now abandoning their legal obligations to take the lead in cutting emissions and to provide financial support for developing countries.

Stephanie Long from Friends of the Earth International said:

“At this late stage in the negotiations towards Copenhagen, attempts by developed countries to evade their historical responsibility by crashing the Kyoto Protocol is a recipe for disaster. The Kyoto Protocol is the only international legally binding treaty aimed at reducing emissions and contains a stringent penalty system for non-compliance.”

“On the streets of Bangkok there were thousands of demonstrators calling for immediate action from developed countries. But climate negotiators remain deaf to these calls for climate justice,” she added.

Meena Raman from Friends of the Earth Malaysia said:

“So far it looks like the Copenhagen talks could deliver a toothless agreement based on vague pledges that cannot deliver the deep greenhouse cuts that science and justice demand of rich nations.”

“Other countries are using the US’s position as an opportunity to try and avoid stringent legally binding emissions cuts which they should implement at home.”

In another shocking development, the UK – speaking on behalf of the EU – insisted on deleting a safeguard aimed at preventing that forests be converted into damaging plantations.

Tom Picken from Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland said:

“The UK’s scramble to put forests in the global carbon market is blurring their vision of what negotiations on the protection of forests are meant to do. The UK seems more interested in securing the supply of cheap offset credits rather than promoting exactly the kinds of safeguards needed to prevent deforestation.”


For more information contact in Bangkok

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

Meena Raman, Honorary Secretary of Friends of the Earth Malaysia: _+ 60 12 43 00 042 (Malaysian mobile number)

Tom Picken, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland Tel: +44 7810 55 82 47 (UK mobile number)

Kate Horner, Friends of the Earth US: Tel: +1 360 319 9444 (US mobile number)

Linda IJmker, Friends of the Earth Netherlands +66 870 921 738 (Thai mobile valid until Oct.11 only) or Friends of the Earth Netherlands Press office +31 20 5507 333

Makoto Ehara, Friends of the Earth Japan +66 848 807 328 (Thai mobile valid until Oct.10 only) or +81 806 647 1333 (Japanese mobile)