Danish PM tries to derail UN climate talks; Friends of the Earth suspended from the conference
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, December 16, 2009 – Friends of the Earth International denounced today an attempt by the Danish Prime Minister to derail the U.N negotiations in favour of rich countries and condemned the exclusion of critical civil society voices -including Friends of the Earth- from the UN Climate conference.
“The Danish Prime Minister is trying to push an illegitimate process which is opposed by many developing countries as well as civil society. This untrasparent Danish initiative must be abandoned and the legitimate UN process restored. The last draft we saw from the Danish Prime minister favored US positions and undermined binding mitigation targets for developed countries, said Lars Haltbrekken from Friends of the Earth Norway.
The UN negotiations process is also criticized by civil society observers, many of which have been progressively excluded from the talks during the past week. Today, members of Friends of the Earth groups from around the world who arrived at the U.N. Bella Center to take part as official observers in the negotiations were told that their badges were no longer valid.
The Friends of the Earth delegation has been taking part in the negotiations over the past two weeks. When the delegation arrived today, all campaigners were denied access despite the fact that they were holding all the official UN badges as well as secondary admission passes needed today.
“We are surprised and shocked that Friends of the Earth member groups from around the world and other non-governmental organizations have been denied access to the negotiations this morning.
“Our organizations represent millions of people around the world and provide a critical voice promoting climate justice inside the UN. On the inside and the outside, all the rules have gone out the window – organizations such as Friends of the Earth that support peaceful action are being barred while developing countries concerns are being trampled in the plenary.
“Solving climate change needs participation from all of us, not just the rich and powerful,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International.
From 8 am until 1 pm Friends of the Earth representatives held a sit-in in the main entry lobby near the conference registration desks.
Images of Friends of the Earth members displaying their badges are available at www.flickr.com/foei