Buenos Aires, Argentina. Legal cases to combat climate change are not on the official agenda of the United Nations (UN) talks on Climate Change in Buenos Aires where ministers representing 189 nations meet on December 15-17. But they are the hottest issue behind the scenes.

Friends of the Earth International
14 December 2004
Media Advisory

Ten legal actions so far have been announced around the world against governments and companies -under several different legal theories- in order to combat climate change. These legal actions are supported by the strong growing scientific consensus on climate change. (1)
“We will see a much longer queue of affected communities using the courts for compensation and justice unless we see deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Catherine Pearce of Friends of the Earth International in Buenos Aires . “European countries must show greater leadership in fighting climate change,” she added.
This meeting is the first Climate Change meeting since Russian ratification of The Kyoto Climate Protocol, the only international treaty aimed at reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.
The treaty will enter into force upon its 128 Parties on 16 February 2005 when thirty industrialised nations will be legally bound to meet quantitative targets for reducing or limiting their greenhouse gas emissions.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world With increasing severity. Despite this, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Friends of the Earth believes the Kyoto Protocol is only the first step in tackling climate change.
There is an urgent need for industrialized countries to move forward With greater emissions cuts and go beyond commitments agreed under the Kyoto treaty.


Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International Climate Change Campaigner (in Buenos Aires Dec 2-17) on +54 911 50040642 (from Buenos Aires dial 15 50040642) or
Niccolo Sarno, Friends of the Earth International Press Officer (in Buenos Aires December 12-17) + 54 911 540 17747 (from Buenos Aires dial 15 540 17747) or
Roque Pedace, Friends of the Earth Argentina (m) +54 911 40 875839 (from Buenos Aires dial 15 40 875839) or
Yuri Onodera, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan (in Buenos Aires December 3-17) +54-911-5378-3058 (from Buenos Aires 15 5378-3058) or
Press Office Friends of the Earth in London +44 (0)20 7566 1723

(1) Science magazine Dec. 3, 2004 vol 306 “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change”