Day VI in Copenhagen: Demonstrations and Declarations: “The People” Raise the Roof on Climate Injustice!

By Jacqui Patterson, NAACP Climate Justice Initiative Director

Another amazing day! As folks gather and organize, and frustrations mount, the intensity of the voice of the people increases.   The leaking of “the Danish Text”, the evident lack of commitment to advance a legally binding agreement, the continued advancement of false/harmful solutions such as REDDS, cap and trade, and “alternatives” such as nuclear energy and “clean coal”, as well as the latest offensive from the US, the approval of drilling for oil in Alaska, all act as kindling for the inferno of outrage.

At the Klimaforum, people were engaged with gaining signatures for “System Change, Not Climate Change: A People’s Declaration from Klimaforum 09.” The declaration calls for 1) Complete abandoning of fossil fuels in the next 30 years with 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. 2) Recognition, compensation, and payment of climate debt. 3) Rejection of purely market oriented and technology centered false and dangerous solutions. 4) Real solutions to the climate crisis based on safe, clean, renewable, sustainable use of resources and transition to food, energy, land, and water sovereignty.

Today 100,000 people, with indigenous leaders in the front, took to the streets of Copenhagen and marched 4 miles from the town center to the Bella Center where the conference is being held.  With signs making proclamations such as “There is No Planet B”, “Planet Not Profit”, and “Mother Nature Does Not Compromise”, “Bla, Bla, Bla Climate Justice Now” voices were heard nationally, regionally, and globally as a result of this massive demonstration.

Courtesy of Mari Rose Taruc

Courtesy of Mari Rose Taruc

Rewinding, I started the day with a mad-capped run to the DGI Byen University where I participated in a meeting on Gender and Climate change as part of the Development and Climate Days Side Events.  I showed a couple of clips from the video interviews I’ve filmed of women of color speaking on climate change.  Otherwise, the panelists presented studies on gender and climate change revealing a range of differential challenges women face, as well as the distinct roles women already play in mitigation and adaptation.

Perhaps the best clip to show linkages particularly with this last panel and some of the discussions around gender and climate change in the US, would be from the SisterSong National Membership Meeting where Elizabeth Barajas Roman of the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College shared her analysis of the challenging framing around the environment and population and impacts on women’s reproductive rights.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Copenhagen Blog, Voices From the Global South

2 Comments on “Day VI in Copenhagen: Demonstrations and Declarations: “The People” Raise the Roof on Climate Injustice!”


  1. [...] issue it's by definition a global crisis.  10. This is NOT what democracy looks like. “Danish texts,” back-door deals, walkouts, secondary passes and restricted access.Early last week, we learned [...]


  2. Hi, got here via your “lessons from Copenhagen” on Roots. I live in Cape Town. Five days ago I heard the Indian environment minister saying he doesn’t expect much progress in Cancun in Dec 2010. Which means those of us in Cape Town have to start thinking about how to secure meaningful civil society participation when COP17 is held here in Dec 2011.

    I frequently find the gender dimensions to climate change and sustainability under-estimated, so good to see the materials you have here, thank you.


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