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December 4, 2018
Climate

RELEASE: Global climate coalition issues COP24 demands, calls for an end to corporate capture

In first action at COP24, People’s Demands chart a path toward 1.5 degree world

KATOWICE — Today, people issued a unified, global call to governments: Listen to people, not polluters at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24).

The People’s Demands, a call from more than a quarter million people and more than 330 organizations from around the globe, has become the rallying cry going into the talks and will be the bar against which progress is measured. The global call will be delivered to the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC later in the week.

“The science is clear: fossil fuels must be kept in the ground if we are going to come anywhere close to staying under 1.5 C,” said Lidy Nacpil of Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development, “People have the solutions, not Big Polluters. It’s time government heed our call and act for people, not the corporate bottomline.”

The demands, supported by people in over 125 countries, features six calls to governments including keeping fossil fuels in the ground and ending corporate capture of the climate talks. If outcomes from COP24 fail to chart a course toward fulfilling the demands they risk failing to adequately address the crisis.

“The realisation of the People’s Demands lies in recognising people’s actions and community solutions as the real climate solutions — not false solutions as peddled by corporates and investment bankers. Climate crisis is not an investment opportunity,” says Souparna Lahiri of Global Forest Coalition.

“Progress will not be possible without addressing the elephant in the room: the influence and infiltration of Big Polluters,” said Nathalie Rengifo from Corporate Accountability. “Fossil fuel corporations are driving the climate crisis and still stalking the halls of the UNFCCC. To achieve climate justice, we must kick Big Polluters out of our climate policymaking.”

“Government leaders can’t dig us out of the climate emergency while they continue to let the fossil fuel industry drill the hole deeper,” said Jean Su, energy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The people and planet demand real climate leadership that phases out dirty fossil fuel extraction and reforms our energy system to be just, clean and democratic.”

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid’s Global Lead on Climate Change, said:

“Rich countries are failing to meet their commitment to mobilise US$100 billion dollars per year to enable developing countries to deal with climate impacts and transition to greener pathways. Worse, we have seen attempts to pass this commitment off in the form of commercial loans, straddling developing countries with more unjust debt.

“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.”

This year, governments are coming up against the deadline to complete the Paris Agreement’s rulebook, which will outline how countries will curb climate change and limit warming to 1.5 degrees. But, the fossil fuel industry’s influence is blocking progress and many Global North countries have blocked vital discussions on finance and other key elements of the agreement. The demands give governments a clear, people-first path toward achieving climate justice and fulfilling the promise of Paris.

A webcast of the press conference held in Katowice today can be found here.

The demands, backed by over 300 organizations globally, are rooted in Global South movements and were convened by:

  • ActionAid International
  • Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Climate Justice Alliance
  • Corporate Accountability
  • Corporate Europe Observatory
  • The Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ)
  • ETC Group
  • Focus on the Global South
  • Friends of the Earth International
  • Global Forest Coalition
  • Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (MOCICC)
  • Platforma Boliviana Frente Al Cambio Climático
  • Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
  • Sanlakas