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Ammesty Intl. calls for inclusion of perspectives of communities most affected by climate change in COP 24 talks
Author: Chiara Liguori, Amnesty Intl., Published on: 4 December 2018
"Climate justice clashes with an increasingly intolerant Poland", 30 Nov 2018
[I]n the build up to COP24, environmental activists around the world have been ramping up protests in a bid to pressure their governments into taking drastic action...But there will be few protests outside COP24 itself. Earlier this year the Polish government adopted a bill that prevents activists, NGOs and the general public from holding spontaneous assemblies outside the talks. Demonstrators must notify the city authorities in advance or risk prosecution. The bill also gives police extra powers to put conference participants under enhanced surveillance without their knowledge. Essentially, the Polish authorities can treat COP24 as an opportunity to gather data on NGOs and strengthen their police powers. This comes in the context of an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Poland...It is an incredibly dangerous moment to stand up against the destruction of the environment. The bitter irony is that this is exactly the moment when the world needs to hear the voices of all those affected by climate change. We need to hear the perspectives of communities from around the world who are most affected by the effects of heat, drought and floods in their daily lives. Everybody, and especially those most affected, have a stake in what it is being discussed and should be able to express their voices including through peaceful demonstrations. The Polish government is denying these people a seat at the very table where their fate will be decided...Last week the Polish Ministry of Energy published a statement defending the country’s reliance on coal, and argued that raising targets would harm the Polish economy. However, a poll commissioned last year by Greenpeace Poland showed that 74 per cent of Polish people support a shift from coal to renewable energies...