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Hundreds of people mobilized on Friday inside the International Convention Center of Durban (South Africa), where the UN climate negotiations are taking place to demand climate justice and support the African countries so that they continue to have an ambitious position at the COP.
Amid South African freedom slogans and chants, the demonstrators underlined the vulnerability of the developing countries, especially the most impoverished ones. The protest called the attention of the whole COP and was one of the crucial moments of the civil society demonstrations in the two weeks of negotiations.
Representatives from many different organizations and social movement from around the world participated, many of which had their accreditation badges removed for demonstrating inside the COP venue.
Some of the activists who were thrown out of the conference was Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo and South African activist Bobby Peek, member of the Executive Committee of environmental federation Friends of the Earth International. The two leaders made statements to the press before being thrown out of the official negotiations. The Minister of Environment of the Maldives, Mohaemmed Shareef, joined them in their declarations. The Maldives is a small island country of the Indian Ocean just above sea level and under serious threat of climate change.
The demonstrators demanded the negotiators to listen to the people, not the polluters, because of the strong corporate and financial elite lobby in the climate talks. They also demanded rich countries drastic cuts of their greenhouse gas emissions. They asked the World Bank to stay out of the climate fund and they rejected carbon markets. The activists also criticized the mechanism called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).
WatchReal World Radio’s footage of the protest. The last video includes Naidoo and Peek’s declarations to the press.
Photo: Radio Mundo Real
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