COP25 delegates should recognize that to protect environment, they need to protect its defenders, says Human Rights Watch

Author: Letta Tayler, Cara Schulte & Katharina Rall, Human Rights Watch, Published on: 13 December 2019

"Targeted: Counterterrorism Measures Take Aim at Environmental Activists", 28 Nov 2019

...Tweeting a satirical poem. Attending a climate conference...These actions hardly conjure images of suicide bombers... Yet they have been labeled “eco-terrorism,” “extremism,” or “threats to national security” by governments and businesses... Participants [at the 25th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25)] should...discuss ways to protect the protectors... [W]hile not all environmental activism is peaceful, only in exceptional cases would [it] ...meet a generally recognized definition of terrorism... Nor...do...actions aim to undermine the rule of law. Typically, these individuals and groups are peacefully exercising their rights...When they engage in civil disobedience, their aim is usually to strengthen...existing environmental protection measures... In November 2015, French police used a sweeping counterterrorism emergency law...to place at least 24 climate activists under house arrest... In Kenya, the police and military have...labeled environmental activists opposing... a coal-fired power plant, as “terrorists”... In USA, Energy Transfer Partners LP, filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups, accusing them of launching a “rogue eco-terrorist” campaign... COP25 delegates should recognize that to genuinely protect the environment, they also need to protect its defenders – including those unjustly targeted in the name of security.

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Related companies: Energy Transfer Partners