The People’s Demands for COP24
Background: As negotiators try to make progress in preparation for COP24 in Bangkok, Civil Society Organisations have organised their own events on the sidelines to ensure their voices are heard.
Setting the Scene: This morning, a collection of International NGOs and activists gathered at Nuovo City Hotel for the People’s Hearing on Reparations, Justice, Human Rights, and System Change.
The event was organised under the banner of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ).
Why: “We need a forum where we bring in our people’s voice,” said Shalmali Guttal of Focus on the Global South. She stated that they planned to translate these into a set of People’s Demands for COP24.
Speakers included NGO leaders and activists from Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Bangladesh.
Looking Forward: CSOs have criticised Poland for its approach to civil society participation in COP24. Earlier this year, Poland passed a bill that would deny environment rights campaigners the right to protest. On Tuesday, Michal Kurtya encouraged the participation of CSOs in COP24, but affirmed the Presidency is planning to provide delegates with daily badges.
A Systemic Issue: Many CSOs aren’t just hoping to solve Climate Change with a simple one-off project or big hand-out, they’re looking for systemtemic change.
“Is coal cheap? And it is cheap to who?” asked Mela Chiponda of Zimbabwe’s WOMIN. Mela highlighted the displacement, poverty, and health impacts of communities whose lands were used for coal extraction.
“Climate change is the ultimate crisis of capitalism,” Shalmali stated, “you cannot buy your way out of this. A struggle against climate change is a struggle for systemic change.”
Lidy Nacpil, a prominent activist with APMPP echoed the same message. “We have no choice but to do all things possible in all fronts as fast as possible. That does not exempt any country, or any nation,” she said, highlighting the devastation already caused by a 1 degree increase of temperature past pre-industrial levels.
Breaking it Down: A draft of The People’s Demands for COP24 was passed out during the hearing.
This will allow the climate justice community to demonstrate that we are asking for is actually possible and can be broken down into some specific implementable steps, the draft notes.
What it includes: keeping fossil fuels in the ground, people-first solutions to the climate crisis; ending the corporate capture of climate talks, and reiterating that developed countries must honour their finance obligations to developing countries.
“If we need to address climate change impacts, we need to address wealth inequality and corporate power,” said Martin Vilela of the Bolivian Platform on Climate Change.