COP17: The Great Escape III, by Pablo Solon

by Pablo Solon (*)

After 9 days of negotiations there is no doubt that we saw this movie before. It is the third remake of Copenhagen and Cancun. Same actors. Same script. The documents are produced outside the formal negotiating scenario . In private meetings, dinners which the 193 member states do not attend. The result of these meetings is known only on the last day. Continue reading

From Copenhagen to Cancun to Durban:Behind the politics of climate change

by Hewa Nzuri

This year is a critical one for the global climate change negotiations. Durban, South Africa will play host to the UN Conference of Parties (COP 17) later this year.

One of the challenges in the run-up to Durban is understanding the politics of climate change arising from the Copenhagen meeting and the subsequent Cancun conference, the outcomes of those meetings, and how these outcomes relate to Durban and, therefore, what civil society demands can and should be. Continue reading

The climate justice approach and the politics of climate change

by Lim Li Lin

The climate change talks have been going on for a long time. Since Rio in 1992, when the Climate Convention was adopted, there have been 16 Conference of the Parties (COPs). Then in 2007, a new round of negotiations was launched in Bali.

Many thought Parties were going to arrive at a deal in Copenhagen, COP 15, but that proved a mirage. And then there was Cancun, and now Durban, where it is clear that negotiations will not conclude. What is perhaps unclear is what will happen after Durban. Continue reading





1. Highlights and key decisions

2. Vision statement

3. Consolidated demands for COP15

4. Next steps for CJN!

Annex 1: Agenda

Annex 2: Participant list


The “vision statement” statement “What is CJN!” was adopted (see point 2 below)

The meeting agreed to the following proposals:

–         CJN! members to co-organise with Climate Justice Action (CJA) the 16 December “Reclaim Power: Push for Climate Justice”

–         CJN! to form a common bloc with CJA and anyone else who cares to join at the 12 December global day of action in Copenhagen under the banner “System change not climate change”

–         CJN! to organise a common day of events at the Klimaforum on 13 December

–         CJN! to support the “Pre-session of the Peoples Tribunal on Ecological Debt”

Three working groups were established: facilitation, communication, mobilisation and action (see point 4 below)


What is CJN!

This statement is the result of small working group and plenary discussions. It was adopted at the afternoon plenary on 5 October and it was agreed that it should be preceded by the CJN! principles:

What is CJN?

–         CJN is a loose network of like-minded organisations and movements coming together on the basis of the CJN principles

–         CJN is based in the politics and structures of movements and community organisations

–         CJN is a platform for community struggles and alternatives

What is CJN! doing?

–         building a wider awareness of climate justice issues and perspectives

–         building national, transborder and regional coalitions

–         linking communities, issues and sectors

–         supporting communities and their struggles

–         reaching out to other movements and networks to be part of the growing climate justice movement

–         campaigning to promote the demands in the CJN principles and alternatives

How is CJN doing this?

–         developing a strong, radical, gender and rights-based concept of climate justice

–         bringing the climate justice critique into the heart of the climate negotiations, the G8, the G20 and other sites of power

–         sharing information and analysis in different languages

–         ensuring that all regions and territories are part of CJN

–         engaging in a permanent “outside” strategy beyond the UNFCCC

–         bringing community and marginalized voices and views into the UNFCCC

–         coordinating actions and strategies outside and inside the UNFCCC

–         debating the positions of other networks whose positions are not based in a climate justice framework

–         pushing governments at the national level to adopt climate justice policies


This is a compilation of the demands from small working groups. The final text was not debated.

Change the current development paradigm – No to neo-liberal policies, no to trade liberalisation, demand for a just transition for a ‘renewably powered planet’.

Promote and support alternatives based on a peoples’ agenda: – food sovereignty, energy sovereignty, agrarian reform, small-scale sustainable agriculture

Recognition, respect and promotion of the rights of women and of indigenous, traditional populations and campesina/os over their territories and resources based on harmony with nature, respecting the rights of mother earth.

Respect the rights of those populations and other activists to resist and struggle against climate change.

Support an alternative funding mechanism under UNFCCC

Full reparations for ecological and climate debt – reparations must be made in the form of deep and drastic GHG emission cuts in the North domestically & transfer of financing and technology to the South. There should be strong penalties for countries that do not follow targets. Reparations also means that funds for mitigation and adaptation cannot be based on debt creating loans or grants.

IFIs out of climate – out of climate negotiations, climate funds, and projects that exacerbate climate change!

Keep fossil fuels in the ground – keep oil in the soil, tar in the sand, coal in the hole. This includes stopping all public subsidies for fossil fuel extraction, & other projects that aggravate climate crisis

Create an international entity to judge ecological crimes and recognize climate-displaced populations under international law for refugees

No to false solutions!

–     nuclear energy

–     carbon offsets

–     techno-fixes like geo-engineering

–     “clean” coal

–     agro-fuels

–     large scale hydro-electric dams

Demands related to REDD might need further discussion: some groups advocated supporting the position of the indigenous peoples caucus, whereas others felt that CJN! could take a clearer “no carbon market” position.

The various positions aired were:

No to REDD in any form (1, 2, – + or whatever)!

REDD is a false solution to climate change. It violates the rights of indigenous peoples, traditional populations and campesina/os over their territories.

Need to follow and respect International Indigenous Peoples Forum position (not for or against REDD – but bottom line of Indigenous Rights)

REDD – full land rights to IP and forest peoples before any talk of REDD

No carbon markets including REDD

CJN! Final Statement in Copenhagen

Statement of Climate Justice Now! on the COP 15

Call for “system change not climate change” unites global movement

Corrupt Copenhagen ‘accord’ exposes gulf between peoples demands and elite interests

The highly anticipated UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen ended with a fraudulent agreement, engineered by the United States and dropped into the conference at the last moment. The “agreement” was not adopted. Instead, it was “noted” in an absurd parliamentary invention designed to accommodate the United States and permit Ban Ki-moon to utter the ridiculous pronouncement “We have a deal.”

The UN conference was unable to deliver solutions to the climate crisis, or even minimal progress toward them. Instead, the talks were a complete betrayal of impoverished nations and island states, producing embarrassment for the United Nations and the Danish government. In a conference designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions there was very little talk of emission reductions. Rich, developed countries continued to delay any talk of deep and binding cuts, instead shifting the burden to less developed countries and showing no willingness to make reparations for the damage they have caused.

The Climate Justice Now! coalition, alongside other networks, was united here at COP15 in the call for System Change, Not Climate Change. In contrast, the Copenhagen climate conference itself demonstrated that real solutions, as opposed to false, market-based solutions, will not be adopted until we overcome the existing unjust political and economic system.

Government and corporate elites here in Copenhagen made no attempt to satisfy the expectations of the world. False solutions and corporations completely co-opted the United Nations process. The global elite would like to privatize the atmosphere through carbon markets; carve up the remaining forests, bush and grasslands of the world through the violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and land-grabbing; promote high-risk technologies to restructure the climate; convert real forests into monoculture tree plantations and agricultural soils into carbon sinks; and complete the enclosure and privatisation of the commons. Virtually every proposal discussed in Copenhagen was based on a desire to create opportunities for profit rather than to reduce emissions, and even the small amounts of financing promised could end up paying for the transfer of risky technologies.

The only discussions of real solutions in Copenhagen took place in social movements. Climate Justice Now!, Climate Justice Action and Klimaforum09 articulated many creative ideas and attempted to deliver those ideas to the UN Climate Change Conference through the Klimaforum09 People’s Declaration and the Reclaim Power People’s Assembly. Among nations, the ALBA countries, many African nations and AOSIS often echoed the messages of the climate justice movement, speaking of the need to repay climate debt, create mitigation and adaptation funds outside of neoliberal institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and keep global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.

The UN and the Danish government served the interests of the rich, industrialized countries, excluding our voices and the voices of the least powerful throughout the world, and attempting to silence our demands to talk about real solutions. Nevertheless, our voices grew stronger and more united day by day during the two-week conference. As we grew stronger, the mechanisms implemented by the UN and the Danish authorities for the participation of civil society grew more dysfunctional, repressive and undemocratic, very much like the WTO and Davos.

Social movement participation was limited throughout the conference, drastically curtailed in week two, and several civil society organizations even had their admission credentials revoked midway through the second week. At the same time, corporations continued lobbying inside the Bella Center.

Outside the conference,the Danish police extended the repressive framework, launching a massive clampdown on the right to free expression and arresting and beating thousands, including civil society delegates to the climate conference. Our movement overcame this repression to raise our voices in protest over and over again. Our demonstrations, organised together with Danish trade unions, movements and NGOs, mobilized more than 100,000 people in Denmark to press for climate justice, while social movements around the world mobilized hundreds of thousands more in local climate justice demonstrations. In spite of repression by the Danish government and exclusion by the United Nations, the movement for system change not climate change is now stronger than when we arrived in Denmark.

While Copenhagen has been a disaster for just and equitable climate solutions, it has been an inspiring watershed moment in the battle for climate justice. The governments of the elite have no solutions to offer, but the climate justice movement has provided strong vision and clear alternatives. Copenhagen will be remembered as an historic event for global social movements. It will be remembered, along with Seattle and Cancun, as a critical moment when the diverse agendas of many social movements coalesced and became stronger, asking in one voice for system change, not climate change.

The Climate Justice Now! coalition calls for social movements around the world to mobilize in support of climate justice.

We will take our struggle forward not just in climate talks, but on the ground and in the streets, to promote genuine solutions that include:

  • leaving fossil fuels in the ground and investing instead in appropriate energy-efficiency and safe, clean and community-led renewable energy
  • radically reducing wasteful consumption, first and foremost in the North, but also by Southern elites
  • huge financial transfers from North to South, based on reparations for climate debts and subject to democratic control. The costs of adaptation and mitigation should be paid for by redirecting military budgets, progressive and innovative taxes, and debt cancellation
  • rights-based resource conservation that enforces Indigenous land rights and promotes peoples’ sovereignty over energy, forests, land and water
  • sustainable family farming and fishing, and peoples’ food sovereignty.

We are committed to building a diverse movement – locally and globally – for a better world.

Climate Justice Now!


19 December 2009

and supported by the following organisations and individuals, as of  1 March 2010


Supported by the following organisations and individuals, 14 January 2010


Afrika Kontact, Denmark

Aitec-IPAM, France

Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos-AMAP, Mexico

Alternatives International

Anti Debt Coalition (KAU), Indonesia

ARCI, Italy

Asamblea de Huehuetenango por la defensa de los recursos naturales, Guatemala

Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development/Jubilee South

Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN)

ATTAC Germany Working Group on Energy, Climate and Environment, Germany

Attac Malmö, Sweden

ATTAC, France

ATTAC, Germany

ATTAC, Japan

ATTAC, Switzerland

Balochistan Climate Change Alliance, Pakistan.

Belarusian Social Forum, Belarus

Camp for Climate Action, UK

Campaign Against Climate Change (CCC) Trade Union Group, UK

Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Canada

Carbon Trade Watch

Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Centre for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka

Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI), Nicaragua

Climat 37, France

Climat et justice sociale, Belgium

Climate-change-trade-union-network, UK

Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM)

Confederazione dei Comitati di Base (COBAS),  Italy

Consejo de los pueblos del occidente de Guatemala por la defensa del territorio, Guatemala

Convergencia de Movimientos de los Pueblos de las Américas (COMPA)

Corner House, UK

Corporate Europe Observatory

DICE Foundation, India

Down To Earth, Indonesia/UK

Energy and Climate Policy Institute (ECPI), Korea

Enhedslisten/the Red-Green Alliance, Denmark

Escuela de Pensamiento Ecologista, Guatemala

ESK Sindikatua, Basque Country

Euromarches/Marches européennes

Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France

Fair, Italy

Family Farm Defenders, USA

FelS-Klima AG (Für eine linke Strömung), Germany


FOCO Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos, Argentina

Focus on the Global South, Thailand, Philippines and India

Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, USA

Friends of the Earth International

Friends of the Earth Sydney Collective, Australia

Friends of the Earth, Flanders & Brussels, Belgium

Friends of the Earth, Sweden

Galiza Non Se Vende

gegenstromberlin, Germany

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

Global Exchange, USA

Global Forest Coalition and Friends of the Siberian Forests, Russia

Global Justice Ecology Project, USA

Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace (UJP), USA

Green Party, UK

Hacktivist News Service,

Hemispheric Social Alliance, the Americas

HOPE, Pakistan

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India

Indonesia Fisherfolk Union/ Serikat Nelayan Imdonesia (SNI), Indonesia

Institute for Social Ecology, USA

Internationale Socialister, Denmark

Jubilee South – International

Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD)

Klimabevægelsen (Climate Movement), Denmark

KlimaX, Denmark

La Via Campesina

Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre, Nigeria

Les Amis de la Terre, France

Links Ecologisch Forum, Belgium

Linksjugend[‘solid], Germany

Living Seas, Denmark

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, USA

Massachusetts Forest Watch, USA

Mémoire des luttes, France

Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project, USA

Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Represas (MAPDER), Mexico

National Fishers Solidarity Movement, Sri Lanka

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), USA

Otros Mindos Chiapas, Mexico

Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition

Peoples Movement on Climate Change (PMCC)

Plymouth Trades Union Council, UK

Polaris Institute, Canada

projecto270, Portugal

Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Mexico

Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (REMA), Mexico

REDES/Friends of the Earth, Uruguay

Renewable Energy Centre (REC), South Africa

Rising Tide North America

SmartMeme, USA

Socialist Workers Party, Britain

Steering Committee of Green Left, UK

Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Institute for Policy Studies, USA

Texas Climate Emergency Campaign, USA

Thai Working Group for Climate Justice, Thailand

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, UK

The Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA)/Red Latinoamericana contra los Monocultivos de Arboles (RECOMA)

The Respect Party, UK

Timberwatch Coalition, South Africa

Transform! Europe

Transnational Institute (TNI)

Union de Comunidades Indigenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo-UCIZONI, Mexico

United for Justice and Peace, Greater Boston, USA

Urgence Climat 13, France

Utopia, France

VOICE, Bangladesh

Walhi, Friends of the Earth, Indonesia

World Development Movement, UK

Zukunftskonvent, Germany


Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies, Kings College London, UK

Bente Hessellund Andersen, Denmark

Beth Adams, Massachusetts, USA

Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services union, Britain

Clive Searle, National Secretary, The Respect Party, UK

Corinna Genschel, Committee of Basic Rights and Democracy, Germany

Dave Bleakney, national union representative, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canada

David Hallowes, Durban, South Africa

Dr Isabelle Fremeaux, Birkbeck College, UK

Elana Bulman, UK

Francine Mestrum, Global Social Justice, Belgium

Graham Petersen, National Environment Officer, University and College Union, UK

Inger V. Johansen, Enhedslisten/the Red-Green Alliance, Denmark

Jeroen Robbe, Young Friends of the Earth, Europe

Jessica Bell, People for Climate Justice, Canada

John Jordan, UK

Jonathan Neale, UK

Jurgen Kraus, coordination of the caravan from WTO to COP15

Kirsten Gamst-Nielsen, Denmark

Laura Grainger, Young Friends of the Earth

Marie-France Astegiani-Merrain, vice/Présidente d’ADEN, France

Matthew Firth, staff representative, environmental issues, Canadian Union of Public Employees.

MK Dorsey, Dartmouth University, USA

Nicola Bullard, Australia

Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu Natal

Pete Sirois, Maine, USA

Professor Andrew Dobson, Keele University, UK

Rebecca Sommer, Representative of the NGO Society for Threatened Peoples International, in consultative status to the United Nations ECOSOC and in participatory status with the Council of Europe. Indigenous Peoples Department,  USA

Richard Greeman (socialist scholar)

Roger Leisner, Radio Free Maine, USA

Ruth Reitan, University of Miami, USA

Tony Staunton, UK