Something amazing happened Tuesday morning at the international climate talks known as COP24: As government delegates filed into the conference hall for the third day of the global climate talks they were confronted by people representing communities from all around the world demanding true climate justice.
The action brought together key members of the global climate justice movement centered around the People’s Demands for Climate Justice, our collective worldwide call for real, just climate solutions. And you just have to see it to believe it:
Later that day, our team also held an official an UNFCCC press conference to unveil the People’s Demands for Climate Justice. We called on all governments to put the People’s Demands at the heart of their climate negotiations and ensure that the roadmap for implementing the Paris Climate Accords delivers real, just solutions that put people first.
We think that the People’s Demands — which more than 250,000 people including many thousands of 198 methods supports signed onto — are a great place to start. Together, we’ll make sure policymakers reject the dangerous schemes peddled by Big Polluters and the Trump administration.
The panel of experts came from many parts of the world – and you can read a whole account of their actions at the panel and elsewhere from our partners at Corporate Accountability International. Each spoke to the importance of the demands. Here are some comments of note from our panelists:
“We fight fossil fuels not just because it causes climate change, but because it also wrecks lives on the ground, and that’s what it’s done for centuries.”
— Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International.
“Through the climate crisis, our nature, land, and forests have become business opportunities for bankers and corporations. 1.5 or 2 degrees are mere dangling carrots. The ongoing negotiations and ministerial declarations are shifting the focus away from the pathways to real solutions.
The lands, territories, and forests where indigenous people, communities, and women are in the front lines, vulnerable to climate shocks, but resilient enough to respond with their own actions, using their customary practices, traditional wisdom, and knowledge. However, our rights, governance, conservation and restorations practices are not recognized and supported, since they neither bring credits, nor profits.
Real solutions need real support. If you can’t ensure our rights, our governance, and our initiatives, keep your hands off our territories and our forests. REDD+ is not conservation. Bioenergy is not alternative energy. Plantations are not forests. We will resist such false solutions, and struggle to advance real solutions will continue.”
— Souparna Lahiri, Global Forest Coalition.
“Without real money for real action, the urgent transition the world needs to make will be impossible to achieve. The alternative was set out recently by the world’s leading scientists: rising temperatures that will leave many low-lying countries and cities to disappear under the sea, and threaten life for people in countries all over the world.”
— Harjeet Singh, ActionAid International
“I don’t think any of these demands will be possible if we do not address the elephant in the room: The influence and participation that corporations have in this place. […] Governments must live up to their responsibility to serve people, not corporations, but they are not. […] We see this because there are no rules in this space [at the UNFCCC climate talks] to limit the participation of corporations.”
— Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Corporate Accountability
“People have the solutions, not Big Polluters. It’s time government heed our call and act for people, not the corporate bottom line.”
— Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development
Day 3 at #COP24 starts with the launch of the #peoplesdemands for #climatejustice
🚫 Keep fossil fuels in the ground
❌Reject false solutions
✔ Just, people centred solutions
💰 Pay climate finance
🚫 No polluters in climate talks
🌍 Developed countries do their fair share pic.twitter.com/HPeOhNqtZA
— Caroline Rance (@CaroRance) December 4, 2018