No REDD in Africa Network and Global protest in solidarity with the communities threatened by REDD. 8 December 2015 COP21 Paris WEB

2 December 2019, Madrid, Spain

As the international climate talks open today in Madrid, Spain, the world faces the re-emergence of a threat that could derail urgent action on the climate crisis: Carbon Markets are back on the table as a proposed ‘solution’ to reduce emissions.

Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy Programme Coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, from Mozambique, said:

“Big polluters must be rubbing their hands in glee that carbon market mechanisms, which further dilute the already weak and inadequate Paris emissions targets, are back on the agenda. We will fight them tooth and nail. The climate crisis is already devastating lives. Emissions are still rising. Now is not the time to offer an escape route to polluting Northern country governments and big oil.”

Tackling the climate crisis requires a total, radical and immediate shift away from fossil fuels and a huge flow of finance from the global North to the global South. This is needed to repay the ecological debt, for a just transition and for loss and damage. We need an economic and political system which serves the needs of people, not profit – nothing less than radical system change.

Bhatnagar continued: 

“Carbon markets fail to deliver emissions reductions or adequate climate action and impact horrifically on Indigenous Peoples and local communities. They only serve to strengthen corporate power and impunity, deflect responsibility from rich historical polluters and prevent urgent and equitable action on climate change.”

With an abrupt change of location a month ago, COP25 becomes the third of four consecutive UN climate conferences to be held in Europe. As a result, Southern participation continues to be undermined. Northern governments and corporations will be hoping for less scrutiny from communities in the South so they can try and push through dangerous false solutions. Friends of the Earth International and our allies in the climate justice movement will be watching.

Meanwhile, the world’s attention will likely focus on European concerns and not on the repression experienced in Chile and across Latin America. While talks are underway in  Madrid, civil society movements are meeting in Chile to march against neoliberal policies and climate injustice – their concerns must not be forgotten.

Karin Nansen, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, from Uruguay, commented:

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Chile in their struggle against neoliberalism, inequality and violent repression. This COP must not allow President Piñera’s government to build a positive reputation abroad while oppressing his people at home. Chile should not be the COP Presidency.”

COP25 talks come hard on the heels of massive global mobilisations on 29 November. Greater numbers are expected on 6 December in Madrid as well as Chile. 

Blanca Ruibal from Friends of the Earth Spain said:

“Peoples are rising up across the world, from Spain to Chile and beyond. We say to governments and political decision makers: ignore this wave of people power at your peril. The future of our planet is at stake. We will continue fighting for it and stand with the peoples who are most affected.”

Press contacts:

dipti bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy programme co-coordinator, Friends of the Earth International / dipti[at] / @diptimoz

Sara Shaw, Climate Justice and Energy programme co-coordinator, Friends of the Earth International / sara[at] / @climatemouse

Blanca Ruibal González, Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Spain / coordinacion[at] / @BlancaRuibal

Key publications

Climate Fair Shares explained (webpage, 2019)
People Power Now! An Energy Manifesto (2018)
Decade Zero: Demanding rapid and bold action to address the root causes of climate change (2016)

Image: Global protest in solidarity with the communities threatened by REDD+ at COP21 in Paris, France. December, 2015.