December 9, 2018

Media Statement in response to the refusal of entry and deportation from Poland of 6 Ukrainian civil society members.

Svitlana Romanko,  EECCA Regional Coordinator for 350.org welcomed the response from the Ukrainian Minister for Ecology that he is speaking to diplomats and colleagues in Poland and is actively working to resolve the reasons for their exclusion.

“The reason for such an action by the Polish side is unknown. I am concerned about the prohibition of the entry of activists. I hope that the situation will be resolved and next week activists will be able to take part in the COP24.” Ostap Semerak, Minister for Ecology, Ukrainian Government

The 6 deported civil society organisers,  alongside 350.org to have been working with mayors across the region to bring about a 100% shift to renewable energy in their cities and on development climate movement in the region.

Svitlana Romanko said “We resolutely condemn entry denial and deportation from Poland of our colleagues. From what we understand the reasons for refusing entry are due to allegations that they are a ‘threat to national security.’ These staff members and volunteers are individuals committed to tackling the climate crisis, and they have a voice in this event. They are local citizens volunteering their time to improve their local community and represent climate organisations.  350.org team work all over the world through peaceful campaigns and facilitate sustainable local decisions by commonly tackling climate change,”

Contact details

Svitlana Romanko svitlana@350.org,  +380 50 273 89 09(WhatsApp

Kim Bryan kim.bryan@350.org – +447770881503

Margarita Mostova, Media Coordinator for  350.org in EECCA:  ritamostovaya@gmail.com

Statement from 350.org

It is with deep concern that as we move into the climate talks in Poland, increasing numbers of our staff members, volunteers ,colleagues and friends are being denied entry and/or deported. There are currently least 15 members of civil society groups that were due to attend the United Nations climate talks in Poland who are being held at the  borders or who have been removed. They are from Ukraine, Germany, Belgium and Kyrgyzstan.

The deportations follow the enactment of national legislation earlier this year passed by the Polish Government in relation to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC CoP24) currently underway in the southern city of Katowice, from 2 – 14 December 2018. Several United Nations human rights experts have publicly questioned the compatibility of the law with international human rights standards.

From what we understand the reasons for refusing entry are due to allegations that these individuals  are a ‘threat to national security.’ But we know that these individuals are committed to tackling the climate crisis the world faces through campaigning for sustainable solutions, The full and effective participation by civil society is entrenched in the climate imperative in our efforts to urgently transition to a new climate regime.”

Several civil society organisations have registered strong objection to the incidents that occurred since the beginning of the UN conference.

It is the belief of all of us at 350.org, and our partners, that the biggest threat that we face to our international and national security is that of not tackling the climate crisis and taking the urgent and necessary action to leave fossil fuels in the ground now.  This is underscored in the recent IPCC Special Report on 1.5C Global Warming.

The voices of those denied entry to COP24 are essential to the unfolding climate talks and it is unacceptable that their presence at the climate talks should be impeded in this way. Ongoing restrictions on civil society will not stop a resilient climate movement.”

The statement by 350.org and CAN International is supported by Attac France, CAN Europe, Climate Justice Alliance, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory, Demand Climate Justice, Ecoaction, Friends of the Earth International, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace International, IBON International, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Just Transition Alliance, Oil Change International, Protect the Planet, Sustain US, Ukrainian Climate Network, RAN.

 

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