The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

DENMARK: Rikke Rasmussen, Friends of the Earth Denmark press officer: email
BELGIUM: Francesca Gater, Friends of the Earth Europe communications officer, email
UNITED STATES: Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth US media director, Tel: +1 202 222 0748 (US office number) or email
UNITED KINGDOM: Henry Rummins, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland communications and media officer, Tel: +44 776 16 01 666 or email

Two Million Want Climate Justice in Copenhagen


More than two million
supporters of Friends of the Earth International worldwide want the
United Nations (UN) climate talks talking place from 7 to 18 December to
become a milestone towards 'Climate Justice', but the chances of
achieving a just and effective UN agreement in Copenhagen are extremely
slim. [1]

"Rich countries are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere today and must immediately commit to steep and
legally binding reductions of their emissions. These reductions must
take place without offsetting and without other false solutions such as
agrofuels, nuclear energy or so-called 'clean coal'," said Friends of
the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria.

Negotiators at the Copenhagen talks are expected to agree to binding
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the second phase of the UN
Kyoto Protocol, which starts in 2013. This Protocol is the only treaty
that enforces emissions reductions on industrialized, developed countries.

Greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change and
impoverished people and communities -who have contributed least to these
emissions- are the most affected by climate change, according to the UN.

Meena Raman from Friends of the Earth Malaysia said:
"The divide-and-rule tactics of rich countries have cast a dark shadow
over the run-up to Copenhagen, which has led to legitimate and strong
opposition by developing countries. If Copenhagen is to be any different
developed countries must change their mindsets or potentially face more
delays, walk-outs or a collapse of the talks."

"Climate justice will be achieved when the countries that have the most
historical responsibility for causing climate change do the most to
prevent further damage, and substantially reduce their own emissions at
home," added Meena Raman.

To demonstrate their desire for climate justice, thousands of people are
expected to 'flood' the streets of Copenhagen in the morning of December
12 in a march organized by FoEI to demand climate justice and an end to
carbon offsetting, which is a false solution to climate change. [2]

"Carbon offsetting - when developed countries buy carbon credits from
developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves - has no part
to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.
Developed countries must tackle climate change by making immediate and
real change at home," said Ricardo Navarro from Friends of the Earth El

During the Copenhagen talks Friends of the Earth International
campaigners will lobby negotiators and deliver a petition signed by more
than 30,000 people urging world leaders to do the right thing in
Copenhagen by effectively protecting our climate and people all over the
world. [3]

Campaigners will also strengthen the climate justice movement through
mobilizations, debates and activities at the alternative civil society
summit known as 'Klimaforum' [4] with allied organisations such as La
Via Campesina and the World March of Women. Thousands of voices
demanding climate justice will also be presented in a 'climate capsule'
exhibition at the Klimaforum and Bella Center.

Friends of the Earth International believes that:

- Rich, developed countries should cut their greenhouse gas emissions by
at least 40% in comparison with 1990 levels by 2020. These cuts should
be made at home - with no offsetting. Offsetting, including through the
'Clean Development Mechanism', is a false solution and should be rejected.

- Rich, developed countries owe to developing countries a climate debt
that is the result of decades of pollution. This debt must be recognised
and repayed, for example through massive emission reductions and through
the provision of sufficient public funds democratically through the UN
to fight climate change.

- The World Bank and its climate funds must be rejected as they are set
to increase developing country debt and promote dirty energy such as
"clean" coal.

- Major corporations and polluters are lobbying to undermine a just
climate agreement and are advancing their own economic interests at the
expense of people and the planet.

- Including forests in 'carbon offsetting initiatives' does not help to
combat climate change. Instead, it diverts attention from the real
solutions to climate change and deforestation. Plantations are not
forests. Monoculture tree plantations must be excluded from the UN
climate negotiations.


Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International, Tel: +234 80 37 27 43
95 (Nigerian mobile number) or email
Meena Raman, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, Tel: + 60 12 43 00 042
(Malaysian mobile number) or email
Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth El Salvador, Tel: + 503 78 88 75
67 (El Salvador mobile number) or email

For more spokespeople contact details in Copenhagen (from December 7)
please send a request for our 'spokespeople contact sheet' to
Friends of the Earth International media line: +31-6-51 00 56 30 (Dutch
mobile number)

[1] For more information about the Copenhagen UN talks please send a
request for our Copenhagen media briefing to
[2] For more information about the Copenhagen Flood please send a
request for our 'Flood briefing' to
[3] For more information about the petition signed by more than 30,000
people see
[4] For more information about the Klimaforum see

Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 74 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FOEI campaigns on today's most urgent environmental and social issues.