21st UN Conference on Climate Change

Dear friends,
The 21st UN Conference on Climate Change will take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. This conference will be of great importance, as a new international climate protection agreement is to be adopted to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

There is an urgent need for such an agreement. In its report in 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that current efforts will not be sufficient to achieve the “two-degree target”, i.e., limiting global warming to no more than 2°C. The consequences of climate change are already disastrous; throughout the world, millions of people already suffer from droughts, storms or inundations.

On 29 November and on 12 December, major public demonstrations will take place in Paris and Naturefriends should participate in these rallies. Naturefriends France will take over the coordination so that Naturefriends will be able to participate all together in one block.

During the NFI Board meeting on 19 August, we decided on the following measures to prepare a joint campaign on the Climate Conference and we would like to ask you for your support and participation:

1.    Five central requests for fair and effective protection of the climate, signed/supported by the chairpersons of NFI member organisations
2.    Preparation of NFI’s international Climate Fund  as adopted by the Congress in Olomouc
3.    Publication of the five central requests and a short article in our member magazines  together with information on the Climate Fund and an invitation to join demonstrations and events on the climate conference
4.    Organisation of an international seminar “Climate change and climate justice  a social issue” with Naturefriends representatives in Vienna (on the condition that an external sponsor can be found  more information on this shortly)
5.    Active participation in local demonstrations and rallies in Paris on the subject of the climate conference (It will not be reasonable for Naturefriends to travel all across the continent to take part in these events in Paris, but NF in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and south-west Germany will hopefully call on their members to attend these events in Paris.)

The Board’s idea was that our strength is in mobilising our members via member magazines and local groups. If we manage to raise awareness for the necessity of climate protection within our 500,000 members and to motivate them to be active (e.g. by donating to our Climate Fund or to joint projects of Naturefriends in Africa), we have achieved the maximum of what Naturefriends can contribute. In order to get our members’ attention, our central requests need to be simple and concise:

The Board’s suggestion for these five central requests:

Five Naturefriends requests regarding the climate negotiations:

•    Protection of the climate needs to be enhanced immediately: unless there are massive investments into climate protection over the next five years, the two-degree target cannot be achieved and the consequences in many parts of the world will be disastrous. Until 2050, the worldwide emission of carbon dioxide needs to be reduced to zero!
•    Protection of the climate needs to be fair: the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide have to make the biggest contributions to climate protection, regardless of whether they are industrial nations or emerging countries. No economic sector can be excepted  air, road and ship traffic, the main emitters, also have to assume their responsibility.
•    Measures for the protection of the climate need to be financed in a socially just manner.
•    The consequences of climate change have to be fought on an equal footing: countries and people which have been exposed to climatic stress for decades without emitting considerable amounts of carbon dioxide need to receive massive support in alleviating the consequences within their countries  preferably by an international climate fund to which all countries contribute according to the extent of their emissions. Development aid, which only serves national economic interests, is no longer suitable.
•    The protection of the climate is also an opportunity: we need more innovation and research in order to create a low-emission transport system, energy self-sufficient buildings or sustainable energy generation from renewable resources.

We would be delighted if you as chairpersons of your member organisation supported this activity, please let us know of your approval until 30 September. The campaign’s worth is in the joint action of all our members. Suggestions for improvements of the central requests are very welcome, too.

Kind regards and “Berg frei!”

Manfred Pils


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