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MANILA, Philippines – Civil society groups have condemned the move of Polish authorities to bar the entry of 12 of their members set to attend the United Nations (UN) climate talks in Poland.
The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) began in the southern city of Katowice on December 2 and will end on December 14.
Civil society organizations have expressed concern for their deported colleagues and condemned Polish authorities for treating the supposed COP24 participants as “threat to national security.” (READ: [OPINION] What’s at stake for the Philippines at COP24)
Dr Stephan Singer, interim executive focal point at Climate Action Network, said that CAN “views the actions by the Polish border authorities in an extremely serious light.”
“The full and effective participation by civil society is entrenched in the Convention and, in fact, is imperative in our efforts to urgently transition to a new climate regime,” said Singer.
CAN convenes the largest share of environmental non-governmental organizations under the UN climate convention, with more than 1,300 organizations in over 120 countries working under its network.
“It is appalling and a disgrace that one of our collaborators who successfully co-organized a March of 65,000 people in Brussels last week has been denied entry into Poland,” said Wendel Trio, CAN Europe director.
“People are demanding climate action from our governments and should be supported for doing so. The Polish government is afraid to see the reality that also they need to act,” he added.
May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, also defended the deported staff members whom she described as individuals committed to tackling the climate crisis through campaigns for sustainable solutions.
Boeve said the real threat to national and international security is not tackling the climate crisis. This is highlighted in the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5C Global Warming.
Ongoing restrictions on civil society goups will not stop a resilient climate movement, she added. – Rappler.com