COP19 set to fail - who is to blame?

20 November 2013

The Friends of the Earth international delegation held a press conference today where they discussed how the climate talks have proceeded so far and what they expect to happen before the conference is due to end this Friday.

This delegation included Silje from Young Friends of the Earth Europe, Jagoda Munic the FoE International chairperson and representatives from FE Poland, Europe and Malaysia.

They called on governments of the developed nations to honour the promises they had made to provide finance to help poorer countries to cut their emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

They also criticized the very low targets for emission reductions proposed by richer nations. Some countries such as Australia and Japan have dramatically reduced their targets and the EU has maintained a very low level of emissions cuts.

Silje Lundberg from Young Friends of the Earth Norway, representing YFoE Europe on the confrence, was the most critical of the governments of rich countries. She said "When we are told that young people are the tomorrow's leaders, that is bullshit. We are the leaders of today. Our politicians in the rich world are failing us. They are more worried about an upcoming election than being worried about one of the biggest challenges that this world is facing."

She continued saying "Young people will no longer be silenced. We will no longer take being brought here as an alibi for this process or to look good on a stage."

"What we need more than ever if for civil society at home to keep pressuring their governments. We need to give them hell back home" 

Susi from Friends of the Earth Europe said that "The longer we wait and the lower emissions reduction targets we have from developing countries, the more finance we will need to put on the table. We don't see any help for people in developing countries for the impacts which are beyond adaptation"

They were also united in their criticism of big businesses for trying to influence the negotiations and slow down the move away from dirty energy sources. Young Friends of the Earth Europe took part in a protest outside the talks [link to video] when they inflated a huge carbon dinosaur to symbolize the fossil fuel based economy that we need to leave behind if we are to tackle the climate crisis.

You can watch the press conference here. Silje's section starts at 14:30

Call to action!

We need a just transition to clean and renewable energy systems owned and operated by people and communities. Developed country governments are lowering their emissions reduction targets, blocking any progress and putting dirty corporations interests in front of people's voices. We need real action on climate now, not tomorrow! We are angry, will are mobilising and we will not be silent anymore.