Draft Paris agreement sparks 'people power' response

9 December 2015

After politicians tabled a weak draft at the climate talks in Paris today, hundreds of protestors, including Friends of the Earth International activists, staged a loud protest inside the climate summit to expose the fact that politicians are failing to provide a fair and just climate deal in Paris.

At least 500 people staged a spontaneous sit-in at the talks. The loud protest was organised by Friends of the Earth International and civil society organisations, trade unions, and grassroots movements.

Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator, said: 

"Our governments must not settle for the draft text as it stands. People on the frontline of climate change, who are already suffering as a result of climate change, demand that rich countries to do their fair share of emissions reductions and provide necessary finance for an energy transformation in Southern countries. The draft deal fails these frontline communities".

Today's text shows no progress on crucial issues, including ambition, differentiation, equity, finance, loss and damage. Many of the most important issues remain in brackets.

Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said:

"The deal is going in a dirty direction. The EU came to Paris for a fair, ambitious deal but there is a real risk that it's going to be responsible for an unfair, unjust outcome. With critical issues on finance, human rights, and support for the most vulnerable still to be fought over, the EU must step up and do its fair share so that the Paris deal doesn't turn into a raw deal for the poorest."

The European Union announced the formation of so-called 'high ambition coalition' of over 100 countries including the United States, Mexico and many developing countries.

Susann Scherbarth added: "The EU can't hide behind alliances – it must commit to its fair share of emissions cuts and finance."

Images of today’s mass sit-in at COP21 are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foei and https://www.flickr.com/photos/paris-climate-conference/albums/72157662072568461