The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467;

Food & Water Watch Echoes Calls to Allow Peaceful Protests in France During COP 21; U.S. 'All of the Above' Energy Policy Must Be Highlighted in Paris

Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch


" Food & Water Watch supports our French and European allies in calling for the peaceful mobilizations to go forward in Paris around the UN climate talks. Prohibiting public demonstrations undermines the legitimacy of the negotiations, and reduces the chances that meaningful agreements will be made at a time when our climate crisis needs maximum global attention. It is our hope that the French government will reconsider and allow peaceful mobilizations, and that the civil liberties of all participants will be ensured.

"The safety of Parisians, climate activists who would take part in such actions, and participants in the negotiations of course must be taken seriously in light of the tragic events of this past month, but cancelling all demonstrations severely hampers public participation, sends the wrong message.

"While taking some action on climate, President Obama and other global leaders have yet to take even close to strong enough action to stop the Earth's climate from reaching the tipping point. We desperately need swift and bold measures if we are to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate chaos. This needs to be done now, and for this to happen the ability of the global community to make their voices heard in Paris needs to be preserved.

"As a U.S.-based organization, we also feel a duty to attend the UN climate talks, given the role that our government has played in promoting extreme fossil fuel extraction both at home and abroad. This 'all of the above' policy continues, despite our leadership as recently as last week connecting the Paris talks with climate change as a national security threat. We will be there to sound the alarm about the seeming disconnect between the rhetoric around climate change and the pro-fossil fuel agenda that U.S. leaders--from President Obama, to Governor Jerry Brown and others--continues to promote.

"We hope that the French government will reverse its decision, but regardless, Food & Water Watch and our allies will be there, participating in meetings, panel discussions, reaching out to the media, and pressuring our elected leaders to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to ban fracking, and to move beyond dirty energy and towards public policies that require an immediate move to a sustainable energy future, including massive investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies."

This statement can be found online at:

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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