Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Alternative climate treaty challenges leaders to act

“Klimaforum is not about giving charity to the developing world its about taking responsibility and the industrialized countries cleaning up our own mess.” - Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein.

by Ben O’Halloran
PEOPLE power will play a crucial role in global efforts to save the planet from the impacts of climate change, according to speakers at the alternative Klimaforum09.
The alternative peoples’ forum opened at the DGI-byen sports complex in central Copenhagen last night.
The forum gives international environmental groups and people from all walks of life an opportunity to take a part in the biggest environmental challenge facing developed and developing countries.
“Where politicians fail the people must take over,” Klimaforum09 organisers said. “We can no longer wait for politicians to finish their never-ending negotiations where false solutions, based on economic growth for the rich, continue to be the pivotal point.”
Klimaforum09, which coincides with COP15, provides a venue for people to meet to discuss and develop a constructive response to the climate crisis.
Kilaforum09 will draft a global climate declaration during the COP15 conference. This treaty is not a legally binding document but aims to show COP15 delegates what can be achieved when people mobilise over such an important issue.
“One year ago, a group of Danish organisations decided that when the politicians at COP15 were going to negotiate a politically binding declaration, we decided to find the real solutions,” negotiations coordinator Mathilde Kaalund-Jørgensen said.
“Half a year ago the declaration process started with around 70 organisations from all over the world coming up with the first draft that was finalised one month ago.
“The second draft has also now been released.”
She said the final negotiation of this alternative declaration would take place at Klimaforum09 in the next few days and will show COP15 delegates an alternative way forward.
The opening of the forum included addresses by leading author and environmentalist Naomi Klein and Friends of the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey.
One of the highlights included an unusual performance by Danish percussionist Lisbeth Diers, who played instruments made from Arctic ice fashioned by Swedish ice sculptress Tjåsa Gussfors.
Klimaforum09 will host nearly 200 talks and 50 exhibitions over the two weeks.

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