The decision by the Polish government to host the world
coal summit at the same time as the international climate negotiations was met
with protest today in Warsaw. Activists and campaigners from the European,
International and youth networks of Friends of the Earth participated in a day
of action against coal – telling decision-makers to kick coal and other dirty
energy out of the climate talks in Warsaw.
A broad coalition of civil society groups, including
Friends of the Earth Europe, released a people's declaration on coal, which
called for a just transition away from coal in order to tackle the climate
crisis. Friends of the Earth Europe highlighted the incompatibility of coal
with the emissions reductions needed to avoid climate catastrophe, and
challenged the corporate capture of the climate talks.
Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy
campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The
Polish government is abusing its position to bring in unwanted guests to these
climate talks. Dirty fuels, like coal, can't be allowed to pollute the fight
against climate change – they're a death sentence for people and planet.
Instead we need real climate solutions such as clean renewable energy that puts
communities at its heart."
Young Friends of the Earth Europe, dressed as Polish
politicians and Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, tried to
'clean coal' outside the coal summit. They challenged industry greenwash on
'clean' coal and false solutions to the climate crisis like carbon capture and
storage. Christiana Figueres spoke at the coal summit, rejecting calls from
Friends of the Earth not to legitimise corporate-controlled dirty energy
through her attendance.
Maruška Mileta, from Young Friends of the
Earth Europe said: "The youth of
today do not see coal playing any part in our future. Its hugely destructive
impacts on climate, health and the environment mean that no amount of corporate
sponsorship or lobbying can clean its image. We demand clean and renewable
energy systems owned by people and communities."
The European Union needs to push for a robust mechanism
to compensate those communities and countries that will suffer irreversible
losses due to climate breakdown. This needs to be
complimented with commitments to dedicated financial assistance to developing
countries, so they can adapt to the impacts of climate change and tackle urgent
development needs, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Solidarity continues for victims and survivors of the
typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Members of the Friends of the Earth
International delegation continue to fast alongside Yeb Sano, climate
commissioner for the Philippines.