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On the Road to Copenhagen: New Voices on Climate Change Must be Heard
BERKELEY, CA - July 29 - When
the United Nations meets in Copenhagen, Denmark this December to hash
out a new climate protocol, whose voices will they listen to? In the
past, the UN has been successful at shutting out the voices of those
who are most impacted by the climate. This needs to change.
As Fiu Mata'ese Elisara-Laula of the O Le Siosiomaga Society of Samoa, pointed out during the 2007 UN Climate Convention in Bali, Indonesia, "This [international climate negotiation] process has become nothing but developed countries avoiding their responsibilities to cut emissions and pushing the responsibility onto developing countries. [False solutions] sound very nice but they are trashing our indigenous lands. People are being relocated and even killed; my own people will soon be under water. The money from these projects is blood money."
Fiu's voice needs to be heard. And that is one of the reasons why Global Justice Ecology Project launched the New Voices on Climate Change initiative last December at the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland. Since that launch hundreds of interviews have succeeded in reaching thousands of people in North America and globally.
As fall approaches New Voices on Climate Change is moving forward in its attempt to reach a larger audience with the goal of broadening the climate debate by amplifying the voices of peoples around the world who are already being impacted by climate change. Some of the upcoming activities include:
--Speaking tours across North America throughout the fall and early winter in collaboration with the Mobilization for Climate Justice.
--Presence at the G-20 meetings this September in Pittsburgh, PA; International Day in Defense of Mother Earth and Indigenous Peoples on 12 October 2009; 24 October 2009 day of action; climate actions on 30 November 2009 (10th Anniversary of the historic WTO Shut-down in Seattle, WA); and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark in December.
--A continual aggressive media campaign to ensure that new voices that promote climate justice are heard and not drowned out by corporate or governmental interests.
"We launched New Voices on Climate Change specifically to highlight the voices of those people most impacted by climate change, the fossil fuels industry and corporate-driven false solutions to climate
change," stated Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project's Executive Director. "Especially in the U.S. the climate change debate is dominated and focused almost exclusively on climate science. We launched New Voices to expose the true costs of climate change so that we can all start having the critically important conversation about what we really need to do to solve the climate problem in a truly just and ecologically appropriate way," she added.