PARIS, FRANCE, 7 December 2015 – Less than a week before the end of the Paris UN climate talks, Friends of the Earth International warned that civil society observers have been prevented from witnessing key parts of the negotiations, and demanded total transparency at the Summit.

A chaotic first week of the Summit saw many climate negotiations taking place across multiple in “informal-informals” and spinoff group meetings to the great detriment of many developing country parties, whose delegations are too small to cover all the key meetings at the same time. Many developing countries said that civil society organisations are a vital source of expertise for smaller delegations.

But civil society observers of the talks, including Friends of the Earth International, were shut out of all but the main forum where parties reported back on the lack of progress at the negotiations.

“Negotiations should take place in a transparent manner without discriminating against small countries delegations, and with the full presence of civil society. We stand with the 135 developing countries which criticized many developed nations for obstructing progress at the talks and for refusing to discuss many of their proposals,” said Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International. “Rich nations should not bully the rest of the world behind closed doors into an agreement that suits them and not developing nations”, she added.

“Instead of leading with urgent emission cuts, developed countries, which are most responsible for the climate crisis, are trying to shift the burden to developing countries. Led by the United States, the countries that produced most of the carbon in the atmosphere today are abdicating their responsibility to act. Politicians are letting the richest countries off the hook.
This is a massive injustice to the poorest and least responsible for the climate crisis,” said Dipti Bhatnager, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy programe coordinator.

Millions are already paying with their lives for our governments’ continued inaction. The climate crisis disproportionately affects the poorer nations and the poorest people, who are not responsible for this crisis. The richest nations have taken up much more than their fair share of atmospheric space, and must urgently make the deepest emission cuts and completely transform their economies and societies, according to Friends of the Earth International.

“We need civil society pressure in Paris and beyond. We can’t count on the goodwill of our governments to address the climate crisis. The transformation to socially-controlled, renewable energy, is underway, led by the real leaders – the people. If people’s solutions are embraced universally, and not further held back by decision-makers, we can make huge strides along the path to climate-safe societies,” said Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy programme coordinator at Friends of the Earth International.

Young Friends of the Earth Europe activists staged a protest at the UN climate talks today demanding transparency and asking “what are you hiding ?”.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International: +33 6 07 10 42 13 (until 12 Dec) or email jagoda@zelena-akcija.hr

Dipti Bhatnagar,  Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator: + 33 6  07 10 17 28 (until 12 Dec) or email dipti@foei.org

Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy coordinator, Friends of the Earth International, +44 7580 270129 or +33 6 07103962 (until 12 Dec) or lucy.cadena@foe.co.uk

Friends of the Earth International media line: +31 6 51 00 56 30 or +33 6 07 10 45 09 (until 12 Dec) or email media@foei.org

 

Image: Friends of the Earth Europe / Andreas Link