COPENHAGEN — Members of Friends of the Earth groups from around the world who arrived at the Bella Center this morning to take part as official observers in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations taking place here were told that their badges were no longer valid.

Friends of the Earth representatives from countries ranging from Nigeria to Japan to Denmark have been taking part in the negotiations over the past two weeks, but when they arrived today all were denied access, despite the fact that they were holding official UN badges as well as secondary admission passes.

Friends of the Earth International Chair Nnimmo Bassey had the following statement:

“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 on behalf of climate justice inside the UN. We are currently attempting to discuss the situation with the UNFCCC to understand and resolve the situation.”

As of 09:30 am Friends of the Earth representatives were in the main entry lobby near the conference registration desks and available for interviews.