“Reject the Texts” Campaigners occupy UN Climate talks in Doha and demand governments turn down inadequate proposal

[DOHA, QATAR] – December 7, 2012,  in the dying hours of UN climate negotiations (COP18), hundreds of campaigners occupied the conference centre halls to call on countries to “Reject the Text”.

After two weeks of negotiations, final “Ministers'” texts are emerging that are, according to civil society insiders “A million miles from where we need to be to even have a small chance of preventing runaway climate change.”

“As civil society movements, we are saying that this is not acceptable. We cannot go back to our countries and tell them that we allowed this to happen, that we condemned our own future.  We cannot go back to the Philippines, to our dead, to our homeless, to our outrage, and tell them that we accepted this.”  Lidy Nacpil who is based in the Philippines which is currently experiencing devastation as a result of Typhoon Bopha said.

The campaigners put the blame for failure squarely on the shoulders rich industrialised countries, such as the US, Canada and Japan, who have refused to sign up to deep climate climate pollution cuts and outright rejected a new commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Asad Rehman, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International also dismissed the proposals advocated by the European Union  on ‘Kyoto2.

“It’s an empty shell, an insult to our futures.  There is literally no point in countries signing up to this sham of a deal, which will lock the planet in to many more years of inaction.” Mr Rehman said.

“What the world and its people need is more urgent action on cutting climate pollution, more help to those transforming their economies and more help to those already facing climate impacts. This text fails on every count”. Mr Rehman said.

Analysis of the proposed texts reveals that the ‘deal’ on the table:

  • Fails to cut emissions. No countries have increased their emission cut targets. Many developing countries are demanding cuts of 40-50% by 2020 to have a chance of limiting temperature rise to no higher than 1.5C.  Without this, we face runaway climate change and far greater global temperature rises.
  • Rich countries have failed to make any collective financial commitments to enable developing countries to adapt to climate change and make the transition to a low emissions future.
  • Instead of strengthening the regulations and rules for reducing emissions, the texts promote business interests and false solutions such as more carbon markets, despite the evidence of the failure of the existing ones.

“Things have got so bad that the negotiations are impossible to rescue.  We cannot accept what is on the table. We call on countries to stand strong and reject the texts,” said Kwesi W. Obeng of the Campaign to Demand Climate Justice.

“Our message to the world is build the transformation of our food and energy systems in every country, deliver real national emissions cuts and build a global climate justice movement that will hold world leaders accountable to their citizens and not the polluters,” said Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Alliance.
Negotiations will continue in the coming hours with all countries given the opportunity to accept or reject the Ministers’ proposals. Observers are unsure if agreement will be possible.

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