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.

The Scottish demand for climate justice will be voiced at ‘The Wave’ in Glasgow on 5 December, where thousands of people from across Scotland will demonstrate their support for a safe climate future for all.

Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive, said: “Friends of the Earth Scotland is proud to be part of the largest ever international mobilisation for climate justice. Our campaigns have helped put Scotland at the forefront of policy and ambition with a legal commitment to cut emissions by 42% by 2020. Now it’s time for other rich nations to match Scotland’s goal.”

Friends of the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria visited Scotland a week ago to speak about human rights and climate justice at a Scottish Government conference. Mr Bassey said:  “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 or nuclear energy.”

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.

To demonstrate their desire for climate justice, thousands of people including activists from Friends of the Earth Scotland, will ‘flood’ the streets of Copenhagen in the morning of 12 December to demand climate justice and an end to carbon offsetting, which is a false solution to climate change.

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.

Friends of the Earth Scotland 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.

– 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.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2715

Notes to editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk

The Wave in Scotland: www.stopclimatechaos.org/thewavescotland

For more information about the petition signed by more than 30,000 people see www.demandclimatejustice.org

For more information about the Klimaforum see www.Klimaforum09.org