Urgent Action Needed To Address Climate Change, Says Rally

October 28, 2002

Urgent Action Needed To Address Climate Change, Says Rally

Friends of the Earth International

New Delhi, India, October 28 , 2002 -- Five thousand people from communities in India as well as representatives from international organisations, including Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), marched in today's Rally for Climate Justice in New Delhi to highlight the plight of communities affected by climate change in India and across the world.

Ministers from around the world arrive here tomorrow to negotiate this week at the United Nations meeting on climate change (conference of parties 8 - COP8). But climate negotiations show no progress and communities are calling for urgent action to address climate change and to protect their livelihoods in a manner that is consistent with human rights, worker's rights, and environmental justice.

"This rally highlights the sense of urgency communities feel as the devastating impacts of climate change started to strip them of their livelihoods," said Kate Hampton, climate change campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth International.

"Countries must do far more to reduce their emissions of climate changing gases, and the United States, the world' s biggest polluter, must join the rest of the world in the war against climate change. Unless we act now the planet faces catastrophe," she added.

The rally began in New Delhi at the Gandhi memorial at 12.30 local time and ended in Connaught Place, central New Delhi. A delegation of community representatives supported by international organisations, including Friends of the Earth International, presented their demands at the official negotiations at 5 pm.

Given the entrenched opposition to action from the fossil fuel industry and governments like the US and Saudi Arabia, environmental organisations joined forces with social movements in order to progress this most urgent agenda. The window of opportunity to prevent dangerous climate change is closing fast and, for many communities, the impacts are already alarmingly present.

The rally was organised by the India Climate Justice Forum, including the National Alliance of People's Movements, the National Fishworkers Forum, Third World Network, and CorpWatch. Friends of the Earth International is part of a growing coalition which seeks to build a global movement to prevent dangerous climate change.

For further information contact:

Kate Hampton
FoEI climate change campaign coordinator
Ph: +919818996658 or +447748967323 (mobile)
Email: kate_foei_climate@hotmail.com

Amit Srivastava
Indian Climate Justice Forum
Ph: +919810346161