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Lima climate talks did nothing to stop the climate disaster: It’s time for the people to lead the way

Posted Dec. 14, 2014 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

Friends of the Earth International responds to the UN climate talks

LIMA, PERU – The UN climate talks are drawing to a close in Lima today with a text driven by the interests of rich developed countries and corporations, which does little for people or the planet.[1] This contrasted sharply with the real leadership and inspiration demonstrated by social movements, organisations and the communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.

“We were deeply concerned that these talks would fail to deliver a fair and ambitious outcome as we watched events here in Lima this week,”  said Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International.[2] “Our concerns have proven to be tragically accurate. This text is desperately lacking in ambition, leadership, justice and solidarity for the people worst hit by the climate crisis.”

Rich developed countries came to Lima determined to ensure that the outcome reflected their short term economic interests, as if the climate crisis needs no consideration. The outcome lacks courage, justice and solidarity with the billions of people affected by climate change.

As the Philippines endures more extreme weather and communities around the world pay for the carbon excess of others with their lives and livelihoods, the Lima outcome fails people and the planet at a time when real solutions are needed more urgently than ever before.

The outcome says nothing about the drastic emissions reductions needed before 2020, without which we are at risk of an even greater temperature rise and climate breakdown. The outcome undermines historical responsibility. The urgent obligations of developed countries to provide climate finance is glaringly missing. This text creates an architecture that will set us up for a doomed deal in Paris. This is completely unacceptable. Governments of developed countries need to urgently find the necessary courage and political will to deal with the scale of this planetary emergency.

Away from the negotiating halls, people continue to mobilize and build an enduring movement to implement the real solutions to the climate crisis. The Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change (Cumbre de los Pueblos) -- running parallel to the UN talks -- gathered together social movements and organisations from Peru, Latin America and all over the world.[3] They exchanged experiences and continued to build momentum for the transformation needed to address the roots of the climate crisis and create a better, cleaner and more just world.

“The conviction, solidarity and ambition expressed at the Peoples' Summit makes developed government failure to meet people's needs look even more scandalous,” said José Elosegui of Friends of the Earth Uruguay. “On the one hand we see complacency and rich countries acting in the interests of corporations, and on the other hand we see determination and practical, real solutions coming from the people who have played no part in creating this crisis but are already being impacted.”

Fifteen thousand people marched in a huge protest (the March in Defense of Mother Earth) on December 10 -- international Human Rights Day.[4] Respect for human rights is central to the demands expressed on the streets of Lima. Protesters called for justice and real solutions to the climate crisis, including steep and immediate reductions in carbon emissions, stopping fossil fuels and deforestation, building renewable community-owned energy solutions, and protecting our agroecological food sovereignty systems.

“The movement for real solutions grows bigger and stronger day by day. Implementation of true alternatives to dirty energy and industrial agri-food systems and the demands of the climate justice movement must now be brought to the heart of the climate negotiations,” added José Elosegui.

Friends of the Earth International is contributing to mobilizing people, networks and groups from around the world, with real solutions and people's leadership at its core, on the road to Paris and beyond.

Notes to editors:
[1] More information about the UN climate talks 
[2] More information about Friends of the Earth International's analysis
[3] More information about the Peoples Summit
[4] For more information about the Climate March; Photos available on Friends of the Earth International's Flickr account.

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Contact:
Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator, dipti@foei.org
Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International, jagoda@zelena-akcija.hr
Denis Burke, Friends of the Earth International web & e-communications editor, denis@foei.org
Ricardo Navarro, director of Friends of the Earth El Salvador, foeelsalvador@hotmail.com

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