World Leaders Lack Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis

* This blog was written by our friend, Dipti Bhatnagar and Susann Scherbarth from Friends of the Earth an International, and cross posted from IPS,

“Poor and rural communities are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. It is them – who did the least to create this problem – who are suffering the most from it”

BRUSSELS/MAPUTO, Apr 1 2015 (IPS) - World governments expect to agree to a new global treaty to combat climate change in Paris in December. As the catastrophic impacts of climate change become more evident, so too escalates the urgency to act.

Mar. 31 should have marked a major milestone on the road to Paris, yet only a handful of countries acted on it. Unfortunately, the few plans that were announced before that date show that our leaders lack the ambition to do what it takes to tackle the climate crisis. Read more…

A Green Climate Fund as if people and the planet mattered

What do climate-impacted communities in developing countries need from the GCF negotiations in Bali? A Southern Civil Society Statement issued at a media forum held this evening for the Indonesian press answers just that. 

No more deception! No more excuses! Climate Finance now!
A Green Climate Fund for People and Planet and not Private Profit!  Read more…

Demand A Future

Some new friends of ours were present at the Thursday action, and made a short video about it:

Basta! Rio+20 Walk Out from Permacyclists on Vimeo.

On June 21, 2012, leaders from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro to discuss sustainable development and related issues. Nobody hoped for much but the results were even worse than expected. Some members of civil society who were present decided to take bold action to show their anger at a failed process and that the time has come to unite to demand a future for all. Over a hundred people walked out the conference center, symbolically returning their UN badges on the way out. Here is the story of that day.

Music: 'Polaroid' by Jahzzar: http://www.betterwithmusic.com

U.S. Youth Ejected from Climate Talks While Calling Out Congress’s Failure

cross-posted from SustainUS <http://sustainus.org/component/content/article/115-news-general/628-us-youth-ejected-from-climate-talks>

Durban, South Africa – After nearly two weeks of stalled progress by the United States at the international climate talks, U.S. youth spoke out for a real, science-based climate treaty.  Abigail Borah, a New Jersey resident, interrupted the start of lead U.S. negotiator Todd Stern’s speech to call out members of Congress for impeding global climate progress, delivering a passionate call for an urgent path towards a fair and binding climate treaty. Stern was about to speak to international ministers and high-level negotiators at the closing plenary of the Durban climate change negotiations. Borah was ejected from the talks shortly following her speech.

Borah, a student at Middlebury College, spoke for U.S. negotiators because “they cannot speak on behalf of the United States of America”, highlighting that “the obstructionist Congress has shackled a just agreement and delayed ambition for far too long.” Her delivery was followed by applause from the entire plenary of leaders from around the world.

Since before the climate talks, the United States, blocked by a Congress hostile to climate action, has held the position of holding off on urgent pollution reductions targets until the year 2020. Studies from the International Energy Agency, numerous American scientists, and countless other peer-reviewed scientific papers show that waiting until 2020 to begin aggressive emissions reduction would cause irreversible climate change, including more severe tropical storms, worsening droughts, and devastation affecting communities and businesses across America.  Nevertheless, the United States has held strong to its woefully inadequate and voluntary commitments made in the Copenhagen Accord in 2009 and the Cancun Agreement in 2010.

“2020 is too late to wait,” urged Borah. “We need an urgent path towards a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.”

The U.S. continues to negotiate on time borrowed from future generations, and with every step of inaction forces young people to suffer the quickly worsening climate challenges that previous generations have been unable and unwilling to address.

Canadian Youth Ejected From COP17

 Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation were ejected from COP17 today as Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Just as Kent began his speech, six youth stood and turned away from the Minister revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts.

 

“Our so-called Environment Minister entered these talks by going on record that he would be defending the tar sands. I have yet to hear him say that he’s here to defend my future,” said James Hutt, one of the youth delegates who participated in the action.

The six youth, including Brigette DePape (the “Rogue Page”) received an ovation from the crowd watching the Minister’s address. They were escorted out of the International Convention Center’s plenary hall and removed from the premises at 12:30 p.m local time. Their accreditation was revoked upon their removal.

“This extraction-happy government hasn’t limited their reckless behaviour the climate talks here in Durban,” said Tasha Peters. “Canada has been called out for lobbying to lower EU fuel quality regulations to allow the expansion of  world’s largest and most destructive mega-project – the Alberta tar sands.”

As the negotiations have progressed in Durban, Canada has won 12 ‘Fossil of the Day’ awards due to their action in Durban. Over the past week and a half youth have challenged Canada’s irresponsible Canadian negotiation strategies, indicative of the close relationship between Canada’s climate policy and dirty fossil fuels.

“By stalling international progress, the actions of this government put the future of our country and our generation in danger; we won’t take that sitting down,” said James Hutt. “As long as Canada is at the negotiation table promoting industry over human rights,  we will never see the climate agreement the world needs. It’s time to leave Canada behind.”

-30-

The Canadian Youth Delegation to COP17 is a united front of youth from across Canada tackling the biggest challenge of our generation: the climate crisis. Acting locally, provincially, federally, and internationally, we combine our forces to educate and empower youth. We represent the voice of Canadian youth at the UN Climate Negotiations. For more information, see cyd-djc.org.

High Resolution Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cydcancun/