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Reparations for Climate Debt
Statement by Climate Justice Now!
Delivered by Hemantha Withanage of Sri Lanka, December 12, 2009
1. Thank you for the opportunity to address this meeting.
2. We are movements gathered under the Climate Justice Now! Network – many from the South, from developing countries. Thousands of our members are here in Copenhagen, joining thousands of other citizens in a historic march towards Bella Center.
3. We are calling for Reparations for Climate Debt, the debt that is owed by northern countries (Annex 1 countries), multinational corporations, and international financial institutions to the peoples and countries of the South. This debt is owed by the North for using up more than their fair share of the earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, and in the process depriving the peoples of the South of their share, thus creating this climate crisis. Yet it is the people of the South who bear the worst effects.
4. What developed countries have put on the table, however, is nothing less than an insult to the dignity of the peoples of the South. It demonstrates complete disrespect for the value of our lives.
5. 2.4 billion Euros a year until 2012! No long term financing! This a mockery. Where are the reparations by developed countries for the damage they have done so far in the developing world?
6. We are not asking for aid or assistance, but for the North to make good on their climate debt. We are their creditors.
7. We do not require – or want – the existing multilateral financial institutions. They are part of the problem and the plunder. Climate finance must be provided in a democratic manner-at every level- through a multilateral fund under the authority of the COP.
8. Finance must be public, not private. It must not involve carbon markets. Such markets are part of the problem, not the solution!
9. We demand nothing less than climate justice now!