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Weak Draft Deal Sparks 'People Power' Protest at Paris Climate Conference

Issued in news on December 10, 2015 at 02:29:00.

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Friends of the Earth
For immediate release
10 December 2015

Draft Paris Climate Deal Sparks 'People Power' Protest

*** High-res images of yesterday's mass sit-in at COP21 are available here and here ***

PARIS, FRANCE, December 10, 2015– After politicians tabled a weak draft agreement at the climate talks in Paris yesterday, hundreds of protestors including Friends of the Earth activists staged a loud protest inside the climate summit to expose the fact that politicians are failing to provide a fair and just climate deal in Paris.

At least 500 people staged a spontaneous sit-in at the talks. The loud protest was organised by Friends of the Earth International and civil society organisations, trade unions, and grassroots movements.

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The Fault Lines Emerge

Issued in the blog on December 10, 2015 at 02:13:00.

Paris Committee Wed 9 - The
The "Paris Committee" of all 194 countries at COP21 meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the draft text produced by France. Photo: Cara Augustenborg

By this stage in the second week, COPs usually enter a crucial stage where the negotiations hit a wall. The issues are always the same, namely how the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) is handled.Essentially, how much mitigation by the Developed Countries will occur and how much climate finance will they guarantee to the Developing World to aid their sustainable development and climate adaptation strategies. How should rapidly developing countries such as China, Brazil and South Africa be accommodated in a new world order of climate governance? Positive sentiments often give way to hard realities at this stage, and so it was today (Wednesday).

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En Route to COP21- A personal reflection

Issued in the blog on December 09, 2015 at 15:45:00.

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Is it normal to be this excited about going to United Nations Conference of Parties (COP)? Last night, I was like a child on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep with the anticipation of today’s journey. I’ve heard from colleagues that the COPs can be awful, frustrating events and that I didn’t miss anything in Lima last year at COP20, but I’m cautiously optimistic that COP21 will be worth the effort to attend.

Change is in the air

Part of my optimism is borne from a growing sense I’ve had lately that public opinion and acceptance of the climate crisis has shifted considerably in the last few years. There are a number of possible reasons for this:

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Enda let us down in Paris - tell him it's time to lead.

Issued in the blog on December 04, 2015 at 17:28:00.

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Enda Kenny let us down in Paris.

Tell the Taoiseach it's time to lead.

I was in Paris on Monday to hear the Taoiseach address the opening of the UN Climate Conference. In the plenary hall he told the assembled world leaders "this requires action by everyone, Ireland is determined to play its part".

But he told the Irish media that he wanted special treatment, that the recession meant we couldn't hit our emissions targets and that climate change wasn't a priority.

It was deeply disappointing doublespeak.

We've joined with Trócaire and Uplift for this petition to tell Enda we want a climate leader not a special pleader.

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Landmark climate law increases transparency, expert advice and parliamentary accountability

Issued in news on December 03, 2015 at 16:53:00.

Climate Bill Passed

But climate legislation no substitute for political leadership

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the final passing of the Climate Bill in the Dáil but noted that legislation alone will not overcome the “failure of leadership” shown by the Taoiseach at the Paris Climate Conference earlier in the week. Friends of the Earth launched the campaign for a climate law in April 2007.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan, said:

“Friends of the Earth welcomes the passing of the Climate Bill. It is a landmark in Irish climate policy.

“It hardwires increased transparency, timely planning, expert advice and parliamentary accountability into Irish climate policy-making.

“Without legislation we know these things have been largely absent.

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Taoiseach's unscripted remarks reveal Ireland's untenable position on climate change

Issued in news on December 01, 2015 at 20:26:00.

Would the real Enda Kenny please stand up

Friends of the Earth concludes Ireland no longer even trying to meet 2020 targets

Commenting on the escalating row over Enda Kenny's two speeches at the climate talks in Paris, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan said:

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Taoiseach offers litte more than 'fudge and dodge' in Paris

Issued in news on November 30, 2015 at 20:12:00.

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Taoiseach calls for global climate action but offers mostly 'fudge and dodge' from Ireland

Reacting from Paris to the Taoiseach's address to the UN Climate Confernence, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

"Beyond the opening aspirations the Taoiseach's speech offered fudge and dodge rather than firm action to make those aspirations a reality.

"He devoted a chunk of his speech to trying to dodge pollution targets that would place any future limit on the agri-industry's voracious expansion plans.

''And on climate finance what sounded like an increase was actually a fudge. The €175 million promised over the next 5 years is no more than exisiting Irish Aid spending repeated into the future.

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Special pleader or a climate leader? Enda Kenny’s choice in Paris.

Issued in news on November 30, 2015 at 09:30:00.

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"Ireland's good international standing is at risk"

A growing reputation for “special pleading” on climate action has put Ireland’s good international standing at risk, according to Friends of the Earth. As a result, the environmental organisation says, the Taoiseach has a lot of ground to make up when he addresses the opening day of the landmark UN Climate Conference in Paris.

Commenting from Paris, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan said

The Taoiseach faces a clear choice today. Does he cement Ireland’s growing reputation for special pleading or does he move to position us as a climate leader.

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New SEAI figures show big decisions still needed to get Ireland off fossil fuels

Issued in news on November 26, 2015 at 16:58:00.

Tug of War - Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the
Activists outside Leinster House illustrate the "tug-of-war" between fossil fuels and renewables for the future of Irish energy policy

Ireland still only just over half way to meeting the EU 2020 renewable energy targets

Today the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland released figures on the state of Ireland’s energy in 2014 [1]. The analysis shows our overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels, which still account for over 90% of our energy use. Despite recent progress we are still only half way to our EU 2020 renewable energy targets. Worryingly, last week's European Commission analysis confirmed that current policy will not do enough to get Ireland to meet these 2020 targets [2] which would result in heavy fines for Ireland. Friends of  the Earth campaigners staged a ‘tug of war’ today with fossil fuels vs renewables to represent the struggle for the future of our energy system.

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March for Paris, now more than ever

Issued in the blog on November 24, 2015 at 21:23:00.

We need you now more than ever.

The French Government has cancelled the People's Climate March in Paris on Sunday, amid ongoing security fears. The people of Paris may not be able to march for climate justice but we can.

This movement is bigger than any one march, and we need everyone now more than ever. The Global Climate March -- which already consists of thousands of events, small and large, all around the world -- goes on. From London to Los Angeles, Quito to Quizon City, people are still taking to the streets. Join us in Dublin on Sunday at 2pm on Custom House Quay. There are also events in Belfast, Galway and Cork.

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