PARIS, FRANCE, December 5 – The United Nations climate talks have made little concrete progress on the most critical aspects of a just deal to respond to the climate crisis, said Friends of the Earth International at the mid-point of the talks.  

The Chairs of the Advanced Durban Platform for Action, who are responsible for getting a draft agreement in place for Ministers to negotiate next week, have just handed over documents to the French Presidency of the summit, formally closing this section of the negotiations. [1]


At the end of a frustrating first week, only reassurances by the French hosts that negotiations on all key issues will continue, and that developed countries would begin to engage with the negotiations in good faith, prevented the process derailing altogether. The high level segment of the talks, attended by ministers, will begin work on Monday on the final ‘Paris text’.


Lucy Cadena, Climate Justice and Energy programme coordinator at Friends of the Earth International, said:

“It is still unclear whether the warm words and half promises we’ve heard this week will yet lead to firm commitments. Will we really see a commitment to a more ambitious temperature threshold? There have been piecemeal pledges for finance for vulnerable countries to adapt, but nothing consistent or in line with rich nations’ fair share of effort. Nor is there clarity on support to enable the poorest to recover from unavoidable impacts of climate change. 

Those who grew rich through a dirty climate-changing system and addiction to carbon pollution are leaving poorer countries to foot the bill as if they carry equal responsibility. The lack of progress in the halls is in complete contrast with the vibrancy and creativity of people on the streets and in alternative gatherings throughout Paris.” [2]


Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International, said:

“Rich, developed countries, led by the United States are negotiating in bad faith here in Paris – they are refusing to even discuss proposals brought by developing countries. The poorest, most vulnerable nations are being bullied behind closed doors and their issues are being railroaded out of this process. It is simply unacceptable that the USA won’t live up to its legal and moral responsibilities. 
At the same time civil society observers, the eyes and ears of global citizens, are being shut out of negotiating rooms. Not only are we seeing an ambition deficit, but we are seeing a fundamental lack of justice.”


Contacts in Paris:

Friends of the Earth Scotland are represented in Paris by our Director Dr Richard Dixon, our Head of Campaigns Mary Church and our Press Office. Contact us


Notes to Editors


[1] 'Draft Paris agreement', a bridging note Annex I, and 'a reflections note Annex II': http://unfccc.int/files/bodies/awg/application/pdf/draft_paris_agreement_5dec15.pdf


[2] The 'Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs' report, from climate justice organisations, social movements, faith groups, trade unions, environmental and development organisations, shows that many developing countries are pledging to do more than their 'fair share' to cut emissions while rich countries are dangerously failing to pull their weight: http://civilsocietyreview.org

[3] First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will attend the Paris Climate summit on Monday 7th December. She will participate in a FOEI/ CIDSE side event entitled Deal with it: People, Rights, Justice. More info: http://www.cidse.org/articles/climate-justice/cop21-paris/deal-with-it-p… 


[4]Friends of the Earth Scotland will take fifty people from to the culmination of the talks on Thursday 10/12/15  They will participate in a FOEI event featuring a day of inspiring speakers, music, discussion, networking and solidarity. 

On Saturday 12/12/15 the contingent will join thousands of others from the French Coalition Climat 21 and Friends of the Earth France. Together, in small groups, they will legally and peacefully map a giant message of Climate Justice and Peace across the streets of Paris.

Find out more about their plans

 [5] Friends of the Earth Scotland is:

* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk

Negotiations update from Friends of the Earth International


The negotiations are reaching the mid-point with a very long text and almost all options still on the table.


None of the most controversial points have yet been agreed.

·           References to both 1.5 and 2 degrees are included, recognising that 2 degrees is a dangerous level of warming.

·           Debates continue about the inclusion of language about human rights.

·           The concept of ‘net zero’ (which means a reliance upon Carbon Capture and Storage and offsetting) has been removed from the text about mitigation (emissions reductions), however climate neutrality, in effect the same thing, remains in the text. ‘Decarbonisation’ has been maintained. However, the timescales for decarbonisation have been weakened, with the emphasis on the end of the century.

Equitable distribution of a global carbon budget based on historical responsibilities and climate justice also remains in the text

·           A legally binding emissions target remains on the table despite continued push back from the US. It is not impossible we will finish the talks with a legally binding target.

·           Mitigation is being prioritised – above all the principles designed to help poorer, developing countries adapt to and recover from the impacts of climate change.

·           Finance (from developed countries to developing countries) remains controversial (and is one of the drivers for some developed countries wanting to focus on mitigation over other issues as it costs them less).

·           Loss and damage remains in the text but without strict definitions and clarifications there is a risk it will be weakened.