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

10 Dec 2015

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.

"This draft text is long on asipration but very short on action. The platitudes of the political speeches have not translated into concrete pledges of action back home," said Friends of the Earth Ireland chair, Cara Augustenborg.

“Our governments must not settle for the draft text as it stands. People on the frontline of climate change, who are already suffering as a result of climate change, demand that rich countries to do their fair share of emissions reductions and provide necessary finance for an energy transformation in Southern countries. The draft deal fails these frontline communities,” said Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator Sara Shaw.

Today's text shows no progress on crucial issues, including ambition, differentiation, equity, finance, loss and damage. Many of the most important issues remain in brackets.

Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said: “The deal is going in a dirty direction. The EU came to Paris for a fair, ambitious deal but there is a real risk that it’s going to be responsible for an unfair, unjust outcome. With critical issues on finance, human rights, and support for the most vulnerable still to be fought over, the EU must step up and do its fair share so that the Paris deal doesn’t turn into a raw deal for the poorest.”

The European Union announced the formation of so-called ‘high ambition coalition’ of over 100 countries including the United States, Mexico and many developing countries.

Susann Scherbarth added:The EU can’t hide behind alliances – it must commit to its fair share of emissions cuts and finance.”

A short negotiations update is available below.

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COP21 NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE FROM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL

As of December 9 at 7pm, much of the climate agreement text remains in brackets or options, despite assurances by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is working as chair, that as much as 75% had been removed.

To prevent runaway climate change we need urgent action based on historic responsibility and capacity to act, based on a fair shares approach, according to Friends of the Earth International.

But instead of agreeing ways to implement the existing UN climate convention, we are witnessing attempts to dismantle it by developed countries who are looking for ways to escape their responsibilities by pushing strategies such as “self- differentiating”.

Key demands like reparations for those who suffer irreparable losses and damages because of climate change are still highly contested in this draft. There is no agreement on finance. Developed countries are still planning to use a disproportionally large carbon budget, shirking their responsibilities and pushing the burden onto developing countries.

This draft means that the Paris deal could just pay lip service to the goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees, endangering even more millions of vulnerable people already affected by the climate crisis.

To mention 1.5 degrees maximum average global warming as a possible goal in the draft Paris agreement is just empty words if it not coupled with ambitious pre-2020 action and adequate finance for both adaptation and mitigation in the global South, according to Friends of the Earth International.

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NOTES:

[1] Friends of the Earth will judge the Paris summit outcome by ‘The People’s Test on Climate 2015: http://peoplestestonclimate.org/

This unprecedented statement by social movements of climate-impacted communities from the global South as well as faith, labour, environmental, and anti-poverty groups representing tens of millions of people from around the world sets out the minimum needed from the Paris summit COP21.

[2] The 'Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs' report, from climate justice organisations, social movements, faith groups, trade unions, environmental and development organisations, shows that many developing countries are pledging to do more than their 'fair share' to cut emissions while rich countries are dangerously failing to pull their weight: http://civilsocietyreview.org/

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