Copenhagen Summit severely limits NGO participation

World on Fire 2With the eyes of the world on Copenhagen and the U.N. Climate Change Conference, it seems that organizers will be limiting who can get inside during the last most critical decision-making sessions. While 45,000 people are registered, today and tomorrow only 7,000 civilian observers will be allowed entrance, with those numbers reduced to 1,000 on Thursday and a mere 90 allowed in the conference center by Friday, the day of final negotiations. A coalition of 50 NGOs ( non-government organizations) has drafted a formal letter protesting this move, saying the restrictions are a breach of Denmark’s obligation to provide public access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

NGO protestors outside the Copenhagen Summit

NGO protesters outside the Copenhagen Summit

In response to this perceived  undemocratic formal treaty negotiation, organizers at the Klimaforum09 (the People’s Climate Summit) in downtown Copenhagen, wrote a formal declaration that’s been signed by more than 350 organizations representing millions of people from around the world.     Among the declaration’s recommendations are:

  • an immediate cut in CO2 emissions by industrialized countries of at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020
  • a 30-year phase out of fossil fuels
  • that compensation be paid to those most impacted by climate change and for the “overconsumption of atmospheric space” – meaning developing countries cannot emit as much carbon as rich countries historically have

Entitled “System change, not climate change – A People’s Declaration from Klimaforum09″, organizers will submit the declaration to COP15’s president Connie Hedegaard. The world is watching to see what will happen next – and if anything binding will come out of this historic gathering.

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