YFoEE tell ministers to "stand with us or step aside"

5 June 2014

Today is the second day of the latest round of UN climate talks that are taking place in Bonn, Germany from 4-15th June. YFoEE is there, and will be delivering an intervention to the plenary of Ministers today, on behalf of the youth constituency! Here's the speech Max will be making... 

Chairperson, ministers, delegates, thank you for the floor. My name is Maximilian Ramezani from Young Friends of the Earth Europe and I speak on behalf of the youth non-governmental organizations.

The COP President have asked 'what actions can civil society take to facilitate governments in increasing mitigation ambition under the Kyoto Protocol?'

Firstly, civil society is demanding fossil fuel divestment and is already implementing divestment drives in a range of large scale public institutions. To increase our emission reduction ambitions a dramatic shift from fossil fuel addiction is absolutely essential. Ministers particularly from Annex I countries cannot continue to claim they are serious about tackling the climate crisis whilst continuing investments in dirty energy. The proposals by the EU and the G7 countries meeting in Brussels to continue with investing in new forms of dirty energy such as fracking is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis. We need those countries to create policy and legislation that support the rapid phase out of fossil and nuclear fuels.

We need community owned renewable energy systems! And we as civil society are already at the forefront of implementing these real solutions to our fossil fuel addiction. Community renewable energy systems are already reducing emissions, provide energy access to the billions of people without access to energy, generate huge local benefits such as jobs and provide enormous potential as a vehicle for mitigation if supported through enabling legislation and policy by governments such as feed in tariff systems. Developed countries need to live up to their promises of finance and technology – they need to capitalise the Green Climate Fund – so that the energy transformation can happen.

Civil society walked out of the COP in Warsaw to protest the lack of ambition by developed countries and the our governments acting in the interests of dirty energy polluter's rather than their citizens. We promised: we'll be back. Stronger and united we demand the ministers to act for ambitious energy transformation - now - together with us. Join us tomorrow at 9am where we will present our Volveremos declaration to the COP Presidents.

All around the world people are mobilizing with solutions but they need rich developed countries to live up to their promises.

Governments must stand with us or step aside!

Max (YFoEE) and Susi (FoEE), delivering internventions on behalf of youth and civil society in Bonn.