© The Stand

Nothing less than a systemic transformation of our societies, our economies, and our world will suffice to solve the climate crisis and close the ever-increasing inequality gap.

The urgency to keep temperatures down is not just about the planet and the environment. It is about people, and our capacity as humanity to secure safe and dignified lives for all.

The people’s demands

© Friends of the Earth International

At the end of 2015, governments will be gathering in Paris for COP 21 to finalize a global agreement on climate change. People around the world are calling for action – especially those who are most vulnerable to climate impacts yet have had no role in creating the problem. Their voices are critical if we want a better, more just, and sustainable society. Their demands include, but are not limited to:

Sustainable energy transformation

– redirecting finance from dirty energy to clean, affordable, reliable and safe renewable energy, supporting people’s solutions including decentralized community renewable energy systems, banning new dirty energy projects, ensuring that access to clean, affordable, reliable and safe renewable energy is a public good, reducing energy consumption particularly by wealthy elites, and ensuring that reducing poverty and achieving justice is prioritized throughout the transformation.

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The right to food and water

– ensuring people’s access to water and to land for climate resilient food production, stopping land grabs and the ongoing converstion of land from food to commodities like biofuels that are falsely presented as solutions to the climate crisis, and supporting sustainable agro-ecology and climate resilient food production systems.

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Justice for impacted people

– securing and building the resilience of impacted people including reparations for the world’s impoverished and marginalized people who have no role in causing climate change, yet whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by its effects, supporting a just transition for workers into the new sustainable economy, and supporting people- and community-driven adaptation and rehabilitation solutions.

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The people’s test on climate

When measured against the peoples’ demands above, as well as the imperatives of science, the

Paris talks look like they will be very far from what is needed by people or the planet. Yet the

balance of power can and will change, because people across the world are prepared to fight to

protect their homes, their right to energy, their right to food, and their right to a decent job.

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To meet that test, the Paris COP must:



Catalyze immediate, urgent and drastic emission reductions

– in line with what science and equity require, deliver urgent short-term actions, building towards a long-term goal that is agreed in Paris, that shift us away from dirty energy, marking the beginning of the end of fossil fuels globally, and that keep the global temperature goal in reach

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Provide adequate support for transformation

– ensure that the resources needed, such as public finance and technology transfer, are provided to support the transformation, especially in vulnerable and poor countries.

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Focus on transformational action

– ensure that  renewable and efficient solutions are emphasized rather than false solutions that fail to produce the results and protection we need, such as carbon markets in land and soil, dangerous geoengineering interventions, and more.

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Deliver justice for impacted people

– enhance the support to adaptation in a new climate regime, ensure that there will be a separate mechanism to provide reparations for any loss and damage that goes beyond our ability to adapt, and make a firm commitment to secure workers’ livelihoods and jobs through a Just Transition.

© Teresa Anderson / ActionAid



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Governments and the Paris Summit outcome will be judged on the test above, but we see Paris as a beginning rather than an end. COP 21 in Paris is an opportunity to start connecting people’s demands for justice, equality, food, jobs, and rights, and strengthen the movement in a way that will force governments to listen and act in the interests of their people and not in the vested interests of elites. Paris will launch us into 2016 as a year of action – a year when people’s demands and people’s solutions take center stage.

Who are we and why

are we doing this?

We are representatives of Southern social movements of climate-impacted communities and of international faith, labor, development and environmental organizations. We understand that 2015, including the High-Level Event on Climate Change on June 29th and the UN climate negotiation in Paris this December, are critical moments on the road to stabilizing global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and to achieving climate justice.

We are concerned that political leaders are not putting us on track in Paris to meet the challenge in a sufficient or equitable way.

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All our struggles for justice around the world – for equality, food security, economic fairness, human rights, decent work, environmental protection and more – are interconnected and all are tied up in the struggle against runaway climate change.

Based on the growing solidarity between those demanding different aspects of the new world that is possible, we will hold all governments accountable not only to the policy outcome in Paris, but also to national and regional policies and to the actual needs of people and the planet.

© Friends of the Earth International

© The Stand

The scale of transformation the world needs to address the climate crisis, as well as the urgency with which this transformation must happen, is huge. To be as crystal clear as possible, our organizations have developed “The People’s Test on Climate 2015” where our clear expectations for governmental leaders are set out.

The solidarity between our groups and those sharing our struggles will grow.

We will be watching, in Paris this December and well beyond.

Support the People’s Test on Climate

Would your organisation like to support the People’s Test on Climate? Download the flier and complete the form below:”