People’s COP27 gives a voice to the unheard
For immediate release, Wednesday 26th October, London:
The People’s COP27, taking place on the 1st of November, is a new alternative to the UN’s COP27 climate talks, challenging the governments meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh to take the urgent action necessary to effectively address the climate crisis. The organiser, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), says it will be representative of those most impacted by climate change, unlike the official version of the conference, and will highlight the true extent of the actions that must be taken to roll-back global heating and deliver climate justice.
Globally, we are failing to meet the 1.5C emissions target of the Paris climate agreement. This has had devastating impacts on people around the globe, ranging from extreme weather disasters to the slow loss of livelihoods, heritage and culture. In response, ahead of the next round of climate talks at COP27 in Egypt, EJF is coordinating The People’s COP27.
Arguing that previous COPs have given an extensive platform to fossil fuel interests and other polluters and failed to turn promises into action, EJF says that there is an urgent need to hear from people on the frontlines of our warming world, ensuring that their voices are heard in the negotiating room, not just those of big businesses and powerful vested interests. In light of the cancellation of civil society events at COP27 by Egypt’s government, this is even more pressing, EJF claims.
Steve Trent, CEO and Co-Founder of EJF, said: “As the world continues to rapidly heat up, the voices of those first and worst affected by the climate crisis are not being heard in the air-conditioned halls of the COP conferences. What we see instead is the same old story: lobbyists and big polluters get access, while those who have contributed the least to heating our world and benefited the least from our addiction to carbon are shut out. All too often these are communities on the front lines of the climate crisis, who are subject to a climate apartheid.
That’s why we are launching the People’s COP27: to give a platform to those on the front lines of the climate crisis to share their stories. Together, we will prepare a set of demands for the climate action we so urgently need.”
Rose Kobusinge, a Ugandan climate justice campaigner, said: “The overwhelming narrative of the futuristic danger of climate collapse is one of fear for the future in the global North, but this hides the fact that for the global South, the climate crisis is already here. Floods, droughts, heatwaves and cyclones are affecting millions of vulnerable people today. At the same time, those same people contribute the least to the climate crisis and are systematically excluded from climate talks and decision-making.
The voices of those affected by the climate crisis today must no longer go unheard. These overlapping injustices must be tackled head-on. At COP27, it’s time for world leaders to finally wake up and take action: proactively cut emissions, support adaptation, address inequalities and provide meaningful compensation to avoid and address loss and damage now.”
Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said: “Climate change is fundamentally a moral issue. The most polluting countries and individuals are not the ones suffering its worst effects. The need for equitable climate solutions has never been more pressing.
After years of delay, inaction and failure, it’s time for world leaders to step up at COP27. We will make sure they hear the urgent call to act now. Through the People’s COP27, we will give them a manifesto for a sustainable future. It will be their responsibility to make it a reality.”
Ayisha Siddiqa, co-founder of Polluters Out and the Executive Director of Student Affairs at Fossil Free University, said: “Nature keeps a record of how we treat it. Catastrophic natural disasters like the flooding in my home country of Pakistan are a direct result of polluters and wealthy nations’ exploitation of our earth and its people.
Too often international negotiations have failed to bring meaningful change to the world, particularly for countries in the global South that have been suffering. A conference bankrolled by the fossil fuel industry will not create a liveable world, nor will compromise. What we need is imaginative solutions, climate reparations, and a global movement away from fossil fuels.”
Notes for editors
The Environmental Justice Foundation is an international non-governmental organisation working to protect the environment and defend human rights. EJF is a charity registered in England and Wales (1088128). www.ejfoundation.org
The People’s COP27 is a project coordinated by the Environmental Justice Foundation, and registration is freely available to anyone. For more information, a full agenda, and to view the “Voices Gallery” of testimonies from the front lines of the climate crisis, visit https://www.peoplescop.org/
Featuring panel discussions, video testimonies, and expert speakers, the People’s COP27 will redress the historic imbalance at COP climate talks, providing a roadmap for meaningful climate action to delegates at COP27.
For more information, for access to films, photographs and written testimonies from those affected by climate change, or to request interview access to our expert speakers and panellists, contact the EJF Press Office at email@example.com.