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Civil society organisations warn governments: ‘Stand with us or step aside’

civil society organisations

100s of protesters met in Bonn today to tell governments to “stand with us or step aside”. Courtesy of: volveremos.org

Protesters at the UN climate negotiations in Bonn are calling on governments to “stand with us or step aside” and ensure strong climate action in the run up to the Paris conference in 2015.

More than 100 people joined the demonstration in Bonn today, where ministers are meeting for the latest round of climate negotiations.

The event saw organisations from every continent – including trade unions, social movements, environmental groups, gender and youth groups, indigenous groups and NGOs – join together to fight for climate justice and protect “our families, our communities and our peoples across the world”.

They warn that current levels of action shown by governments are dangerously off track in addressing the climate emergency.

Lidy Nacpil, Director of Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, from the Philippines said:

These negotiations are a matter of life and death for many who live in vulnerable countries – where worse typhoons and droughts mean much more suffering. We will continue to take action against those who claim to be leaders, calling on them to take up our solutions and beat back the vested interests that want business as usual and dress it up as progress.

Today’s protest follows a walk-out at the climate conference in Warsaw last December, where civil society groups demonstrated their rising dissatisfaction with the direction of the negotiations.

Anabella Rosemberg, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) climate advisor said:

In Warsaw, we left because governments were not taking their responsibilities to tackle climate change seriously. We came together again here in Bonn, across very diverse groups to tell them we’ll not surrender until we build the strong climate movement we need, one that pushes for a just world, for the jobs of the future, and for a planet that is preserved for future generations.

The latest demonstration intended to grow the growing public support for climate action and a just energy transformation.

The groups banners read:

We choose: Renewable Energy. People’s Power now!

The groups handed a Declaration to the Minister for the Environment of Peru, Pulgar-Vidal; Laurence Tubiana, recently nominated as special envoy for the French Foreign Affairs Ministers; and Venezuela’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Claudia Salerno Caldera.

The Declaration lists key demands for climate action in the run up to the Paris conference and concludes that “those who claim to represent us” must “either act in our interests or step aside”.

The Declaration lists 7 specific of the groups, and then concludes:

The global climate movement is building its strength and power in every country of the world. We call on those who claim to represent us to either act in our interests or step aside.

Climate Action International have used the Bonn conference to call on governments to take action to completely phase out fossil fuels and phase in 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Meanwhile the youth climate movement has launched a new project to encourage young people to be engaged in the international climate process in the run-up to 2015 and ensure maximum pressure is placed on decision makers.

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