Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friends of the Earth & Avaaz Excluded from COP15

Friends of the Earth & Avaaz have been excluded from COP15.

Nick Berning from FOE US posted this from inside the Bella Center earlier:

We've been sitting here for two hours now, about 50 Friends of the Earth representatives, all with accreditation and secondary badges, who have been refused admission to the conference. We are sitting in the registration area, between the registration/credentials desks and the photo desks.

UN climate chief Yvo de Boer came out and spoke to us awhile ago and said he wanted to resolve the situation. A few of our representatives have gone to talk to UN officials while we sit here, but our lack of access remains unresolved.

Initially there were a lot of reporters, but the UN has now cordoned us off and closed access to media.

The UN still has yet to give us a coherent reason for our having been denied access. We have been given different explanations by different officials: (1) we are a security threat or (2) there was no more room inside. It's hard to see how the "no room" explanation makes sense, as they continued to allow other NGO observers to enter even as we were denied access. And as for the security threat, we're a bunch of policy wonks and youth activists who have been participating in the negotiations every day for two weeks.

We've had both a member of the Norweigan and a member of the Canadian parliament come speak to us to lend us their support while we've been sitting here

One of the key roles Friends of the Earth has played at the conference has been to advocate for climate justice and the interests of the poor countries that have done the least to cause the climate crisis but will feel some of its strongest impacts. Negotiators from those countries are tremendously under-resourced here. For example, I've worked with negotiators who have no media officers (I do media work) to help them communicate their position. They are totally outgunned by the massive delegations of the rich countries, and now thanks to the UN's decision to exclude us, they will have even less support inside the Bella Center to fight for a fair agreement. It's really shameful.

Also --

Re the entry way more generally: appears that access to the conference has been almost completely shut down. We have a very clear view of the front doors and the security area, and people come through only very sporadically.'
Meanwhile direct action is taking place as part of Reclaim Power Now and Burn the Badge protests:
A crowd of youth, activists, indigenous peoples, and perhaps some delegates, burst in chants of “Climate Justice Now!” and “Reclaim Power!” in the middle of the Bella Center where the Copenhagen Climate Talks are being held. Instantly surrounded by cameras and media, the group began a march out of the center towards the gates of the building where as many as 10,000 people are planning to meet them in what organizers are calling the Reclaim Power action.

Reclaim Power Action Begins inside Copenhagen Climate Talks

Things are hotting up in Denmark as world leaders start to assemble in Copenhagen. Time for some leadership. The conflict is the easy part.

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1 comment:

CuriousCat said...

12 Dec, Copenhagen

Community leaders from across Asia, Africa and Latin America launched their protest in the early hours of the morning outside the Bella Center at Copenhagen to protest arbitrary move by the UN and Conference organizers to restrict the participation of accredited civil society delegates in a UN Conference.

Mobilizing crowds of supporters with their chants of "No Legitimacy Without Communities" and "We Don't Need a Badge to Be Heard", over 30 grassroots leaders burnt their badges in a symbolic action of 'Satyagraha' or civil disobedience.

"We want to register our strongest protest against the shutting out of our voices from the Climate Convention you are holding here in Copenhagen," says a statement released by Coalition of Climate Communities on the same day. "Unlike you, it is the community leaders of the world who have shown real courage and vision by organizing people across their own countries to come out together to share, talk and engage with the global climate debate."

The full statement is available on

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