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RELEASE: Diverse Group of Leaders and Advocates Call for Bold and Just Action on Climate Change

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, Andrew Steer, head of WRI, chair group; Launch Declaration on Climate Justice

United in the need for a strong response to the climate crisis, a diverse group of leaders and advocates today issued a Declaration on Climate Justice. The Declaration calls on world leaders to take bold action on climate change and create a future that is fair for all.

The global High Level Advisory Committee to the Climate Justice Dialogue, which includes former presidents and other leaders from the fields of politics, science, business, civil society and academia, issued the declaration.

“The time for radical leadership on climate change is now. With 2015 set as the deadline for both a new climate agreement and the post-2015 development agenda, we are at the point in human development when we need to act to protect,” said Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. “The rights of the most vulnerable in society are already undermined by climate change and this injustice must be addressed now. Equally for the sake of generations to come, it is our duty, as citizens of the world, to realise a new model of sustainable growth and development that is supported by strong legal frameworks.”

The Climate Justice Dialogue, an initiative of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice and the World Resources Institute, aims to mobilize political will and creative thinking to shape an ambitious and just international climate agreement in 2015. The group is working to ensure that the new agreement is informed by science, considers the specific needs of the most vulnerable populations, and catalyzes sustainable development.

“Counter to conventional thinking, there is strong and mounting evidence that addressing climate change can bring economic opportunities and social benefits,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute. “The task is to ensure that the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient world looks out for the interests of all people. This is not a zero-sum game: we can have both strong climate action and shared economic growth.”

As part of its goal of achieving climate justice, the Declaration outlines five priority pathways that must be realised:

  • Giving voice: The world will only succeed in adequately tackling climate change if we give voice to those most affected by climate change, listen to their solutions and empower them to act.
  • A new way to grow: Ensuring we adequately reduce emissions means transforming our economic system to one based on low-carbon production and consumption that can create inclusive sustainable development and reduce inequality.
  • Investing in the future: A new investment model is required to deal with the risks posed by climate change both now and in the future. Policy certainty is essential for investment in sustainable alternatives.
  • Commitment and Accountability: Achieving climate justice requires that broader issues of inequality and weak governance are addressed both within countries and at a global level. Accountability is key.
  • Rule of law: Strong legal frameworks are vital to ensure transparency, credibility, longevity and effective enforcement of climate and related policies. They also need to evolve to protect the most vulnerable as weather patterns change.

The two-page Declaration on Climate Justice can be viewed in full on www.climatejusticedialogue.org.

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Background to the Climate Justice Dialogue

At COP 17 in Durban, governments agreed to launch a new round of negotiations that will result in adoption of a new agreement in 2015 under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. To capitalize on the promise of Durban and to build an atmosphere of trust and reciprocity between countries, issues of equity will have to be discussed and reshaped in an open and constructive manner. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice are facilitating the Climate Justice Dialogue to ensure that the new agreement is informed by science, considers the specific needs of the most vulnerable populations and catalyzes sustainable development.

The Declaration is issued by members of the Climate Justice Dialogue High Level Advisory Committee (HLAC) as outlined below:

  • Mr Nnimmo Bassey, Coordinator, Oilwatch International
  • Ms Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Ms Luisa Dias Diogo, Former Prime Minister, Mozambique
  • Ms Patricia Espinosa-Cantellano, Ambassador of Mexico to Germany
  • Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, Roving Ambassador for the Three Basins Initiative, Former President of Guyana
  • Prof Pan Jiahua, Director General, Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Prof Ravi Kanbur, TH Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Professor of Economics, Cornell University
  • Mr Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank Group, Chairman of the Board, European Climate Foundation
  • Mr Ricardo Lagos, President, Fundacion Democracia y Desarrollo, Former President of Chile
  • Mr Festus Mogae, Member, African Union High-level Panel for Egypt, Former President of Botswana
  • Mr Jay Naidoo, Chair of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Partnership Council, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
  • Mr Marvin Nala, Campaigner, Greenpeace East Asia
  • Prof Kirit Parikh, Chairman, Integrated Research and Action for Development, IRADe
  • Ms Sheela Patel, Founder-Director, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers
  • Mrs Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Former President of Ireland
  • Prof Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Prof Henry Shue, Senior Research Fellow at Merton College and Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
  • Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
  • Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director, Tebtebba Foundation
  • Ms Dessima Williams, Former Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations

ALTERNATE CONTACTS: In New York: Celine Clarke, Head of Administration and Communications, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice: +353 872321416 / celine.clarke@mrfcj.org // Lauren Zelin, Senior Media Officer, World Resources Institute: +1 202-729-7736 / lzelin@wri.org.

In Dublin: Michael McHale, Communications Assistant, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice : +353 874135641 / michael.mchale@mrfcj.org.

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