Civil society action outside UN Climate talks in Bonn, Friday 6 June 2014

This morning a broad coalition of civil society groups from around the world symbolically walked back in to the UN Climate talks in Bonn. In December, we walked out of the talks – not the process – in Warsaw, in disgust at the shameful lack of ambition, backtracking and stalling of leaders of the countries most responsible for taking the climate to the brink, and the clear influence of dirty energy industries.

We walked out in solidarity with peoples already suffering from the impacts of climate change – a fact that the disastrous impact of typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines brought into sharp relief.

We walked out to reflect, re-group, and remobilise so that we could return to the process stronger than ever. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

We used the Spanish word “Volveremos” when we walked out: and now we are indeed back, stronger, and more determined. We will engage positively in the process – but not rely on it – to take the tough decisions that need to be taken if we are to be within any chance of averting climate catastrophe.

We will demand world leaders act in line with science, and provide people-centred solutions. What that really means is leaving most of the fossil fuels in the ground and rapidly transitioning to renewables, particularly local, resilient, community owned renewables, and providing access to clean energy for the 1.3 billon people who currently don’t have any at all.

After the failure of the much hyped Copenhagen talks in 2009, the climate movement seemed to disperse, dejected. But it re-rooted in communities fighting fracking, coal and nuclear, and those trying to build a more sustainable future around community power.

Although there is already plenty of pressure building up to the crucial meeting in Paris at the end 2015, where the world’s nations are supposed to agree new targets, it’s those fights that are now mobilising to demand climate justice. But we won’t depend on world leaders to do the right thing, we will keep fighting to keep the coal in the hole, the oil in the soil the tarsands in the land, and the gas….UNFRACKED!

*********

The Peoples’ demands:

  • Commit to a global goal of limiting warming that recognises the latest IPCC’s warnings on the threats of tipping points, and to the right to food and food sovereignty, recalling that science suggests that 1.5C of warming would be too much for many vulnerable peoples and countries.
  • Deliver a swift global transformation away from the use of dirty fossil fuel and destructive energy systems driving the crisis, towards a carbon-free and renewable energy economy that, primarily amongst others, is decentralized, community controlled, affordable, accessible to all people for their basic needs and well-being;
  • Urgently scale up targets for emissions cuts in the pre-2020 period, and set emission targets comparable to the scale of the emergency for 2020-2025;
  • Ensure equitable and fair sharing of efforts among all countries based on their historical responsibility, their capacities, and the urgency of the crisis
  • Enable people to deal with climate impacts by protecting the rights of peoples and communities, building resilience, addressing loss and damage, and ensuring a just transition to climate resilient, low carbon, equitable and democratic economy and society.
  • Define and commit to concrete targets for the transfer of finance and technology to make global transformation possible
  • Reject the damaging influence of corporate interests on climate policy  and prevent their promotion of false solutions as the global response to the climate crisis

Full Volveremos declaration here.

*********