Global Gathering of Activists in Copenhagen Calls for Action Against Business As Usual at 2009 UN Climate Conference

For Immediate Release

Global Forest Coalition and Global Justice Ecology Project
Contact: 

Anne Petermann, Global Forest Coalition/Global Justice Ecology Project, Copenhagen mobile +45 273 314 76
Orin Langelle, media coordinator GFC, Copenhagen mobile +45 273 314 73
(After 21 September, please contact above +1 802 482 2689)
Dr Miguel Lovera, mobile: +595 971 201957 (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian)

Global Gathering of Activists in Copenhagen Calls for Action Against Business As Usual at 2009 UN Climate Conference

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Nearly 100 activists from 21 countries gathered in Copenhagen over the weekend to begin to lay plans for a massive global mobilization against climate change that will focus on the UN Climate Conference scheduled to take place in Copenhagen in 2009.

The gathering of activists and organizations from around the world ended the weekend by issuing an international call to action against climate change and in support of climate justice.

Anne Petermann, Co-Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and North American representative of the Global Forest Coalition, stated, "The governments of the world have not responded to the looming climate catastrophe. They have come up with nothing more than false market-based solutions and disasters like agrofuels and carbon trading geared toward corporate profit rather than real action on climate change. The group that met in Copenhagen is collectively saying: 'No more! The world can't wait. The time is for real action and climate justice is now'."

The call to action states [1]:

"We stand at a crossroads. The facts are clear. Global climate change, caused by human activities, is happening, threatening the lives and livelihoods of billions of people and the existence of millions of species.

... On the 30th of November, 2009 the governments of the world will come to Copenhagen for the fifteenth UN Climate Conference (COP-15). This will be the biggest summit on climate change ever to have taken place. Yet, previous meetings have produced nothing more than business as usual.

We call on all peoples around the planet to mobilize and take action against the root causes of climate change and the key agents responsible both in Copenhagen and around the world."

The 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen begins on 30 November 2009--the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) shutdown in Seattle, which clearly demonstrated the power of globally coordinated social movements. Corporations and Parties like the European Union will be trying to abuse the Copenhagen climate meetings to sell false solutions to the planet. People around the world are committing to action if the Copenhagen conference becomes another trade summit that, like the WTO, serves mainly corporate interests.

Global Forest Coalition's chairperson, Dr. Miguel Lovera added, "There is a 63% increase in Amazon deforestation rates caused by the agrofuels boom. The European parliament voted against such indirect impacts, but is still pushing wood-based agrofuels; possibly including genetically trees that will have even more dramatic effects on forests and other ecosystems. How can business as usual be allowed to continue?"

[1] The entire text:

A Call to Climate Action

We stand at a crossroads. The facts are clear. Global climate change, caused by human activities, is happening, threatening the lives and livelihoods of billions of people and the existence of millions of species. Social movements, environmental groups, and scientists from all over the world are calling for urgent and radical action on climate change.

On the 30th of November, 2009 the governments of the world will come to Copenhagen for the fifteenth UN Climate Conference (COP-15). This will be the biggest summit on climate change ever to have taken place. Yet, previous meetings have produced nothing more than business as usual.

There are alternatives to the current course that is emphasizing false solutions such as market-based approaches and agrofuels. If we put humanity before profit and solidarity above competition we can live amazing lives without destroying our planet. We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Instead we must invest in community-controlled renewable energy. We must stop over-production for over-consumption. All should have equal access to the global commons through community control and sovereignty over energy, forests, land and water. And of course we must acknowledge the historical responsibility of the global elite and rich Global North for causing this crisis. Equity between North and South is essential.

Climate change is already impacting people, particularly women, indigenous and forest-dependent peoples, small farmers, marginalized communities and impoverished neighborhoods who are also calling for action on climate- and social justice. This call was taken up by activists and organizations from 21 countries that came together in Copenhagen over the weekend of 13-14 September, 2008 to begin discussions for a mobilization in Copenhagen during the UN's 2009 climate conference.

The 30th of November, 2009 is also the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) shutdown in Seattle, which shows the power of globally coordinated social movements.

We call on all peoples around the planet to mobilize and take action against the root causes of climate change and the key agents responsible both in Copenhagen and around the world. This mobilization begins now, until the COP-15 summit, and beyond. The mobilizations in Copenhagen and around the world are still in the planning stages. We have time to collectively decide what these mobilizations will look like, and to begin to visualize what our future can be. Get involved!

We encourage everyone to start mobilizing today in your own neighborhoods and communities. It is time to take the power back. The power is in our hands. Hope is not just a feeling, it is also about taking action.

To get involved in this ongoing and open process, sign up to this email list: climateaction@klimax2009.org

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