Danish PM Tries to Derail UN Climate Talks; Friends of the Earth Suspended from the Conference

For Immediate Release

Danish PM Tries to Derail UN Climate Talks; Friends of the Earth Suspended from the Conference

WASHINGTON -  Friends of the Earth International denounced today an attempt by the
Danish Prime Minister to derail the U.N negotiations in favour of rich
countries and condemned the exclusion of critical civil society voices
-- including Friends of the Earth -- from the UN Climate conference.

"The Danish Prime Minister is trying to push an illegitimate process
which is opposed by many developing countries as well as civil society.
This untransparent Danish initiative must be abandoned and the
legitimate UN process restored. The last draft we saw from the Danish
Prime minister favored US positions and undermined binding mitigation
targets for developed countries, said Lars Haltbrekken from Friends of
the Earth Norway.

The UN negotiations process is also criticized by civil society
observers, many of which have been progressively excluded from the
talks during the past week. Today, members of Friends of the Earth
groups from around the world who arrived at the U.N. Bella Center to
take part as official observers in the negotiations were told that
their badges were no longer valid.

The Friends of the Earth delegation has been taking part in the
negotiations over the past two weeks. When the delegation arrived
today, all campaigners were denied access despite the fact that they
were holding all the official UN badges as well as secondary admission
passes needed today.

“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 promoting climate justice inside the UN. On the inside
and the outside, all the rules have gone out the window - organizations
such as Friends of the Earth that support peaceful action are being
barred while developing countries concerns are being trampled in the
plenary. Solving climate change needs participation from all of us, not
just the rich and powerful,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of
the Earth International.

From 8 am until 1 pm Friends of the Earth representatives held a
sit-in in the main entry lobby near the conference registration desks.

Images of Friends of the Earth members displaying their badges are available at www.flickr.com/foei

For more information call Friends of the Earth representatives in
Copenhagen:

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International: +45 61 72 57
01 (Danish cell)

Spokespeople available for interview/comment inside the UN Bella centre:

Manuel Graf, Friends of the Earth Austria: 43 699 14 2 000 41

Lars Haltbrekken, Friends of the Earth Norway: + 47 916 12 191

Media officers:

Nick Berning: +45 30 48 31 73 ( Danish cell)

Henry Rummins: + 45 61 72 0747 (Danish cell)

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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