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Climate talks: Community energy, not corporate power.
 11.11.2013 23:08:40
Climate talks Community energy not corporate power

As international climate talks begin today in Warsaw, Poland, Friends of the Earth Europe calls on European politicians to work towards an equitable, ambitious and people-centred solution to the climate crisis.

The impacts of climate change are becoming more frequent and devastating [1], and the world's leading scientists have issued stark warnings about the scale of the planetary emergency. This year's conference needs focus on fast and fair emission cuts, and a renewable energy future that is community-orientated, according to the organisation.

Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe said: "To have any hope of tackling our climate crisis, we need to see urgent and ambitious action, led by those who caused the problem. The EU must commit to binding climate and energy targets for 2030, a 60% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and ambitious energy efficiency and renewables targets."

On the eve of the climate talks, more than 150 people formed the shape of a giant wind turbine in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, to call for more support for community renewable energy projects. The colourful 'People's windmill' sent the message that citizen and community-controlled renewables should be at the centre of Europe's energy policy.

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "People need to take power into their own hands and get involved in producing the energy they need. Community energy is a real solution to the energy and climate crisis. In the next two weeks we need to see movement away from an energy system based on dirty energy controlled by corporates to a system that works for people and planet."

This coincided with a new report from Friends of the Earth International, 'Good Energy, Bad Energy: Transforming the Energy System for People and the Planet'. The report sets out a vision of a climate-safe, just and sustainable energy system, which can be achieved by challenging corporate power and exerting real democratic control over energy giving priority to people and planet instead of corporate profit.

Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International said: "Our task is to challenge corporate power and exert real democratic control over our energy policies so that we can lend real muscle to grassroots initiatives and accelerate the transition to a just, climate-safe, people-centred climate system."

According to Friends of the Earth Europe, the conference commences with concerns over increasing corporate influence: with large multinational corporations pushing for short-term economic interests over environment and citizen protection, and high-profile sponsorship from some of the most polluting industries.



[1] Reacting to Friday's super-typhoon in the Philippines, Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Our thoughts are with the victims and survivors of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. What has happened there shows the dangers of climate change. We need to act urgently and vigorously to tackle climate change and defend the rights of the most vulnerable."


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