ActionAid International publishes five demands ahead of next week’s Bangkok UN climate negotiations

ActionAid International is calling on world leaders ahead of the UN climate conference in Bangkok (UNFCCC) next week (4-9 September) to agree five key actions to prevent global warming on a catastrophic scale. 

The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change saw governments pledge to keep global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The pressure is now on world leaders to agree a detailed ‘rulebook’ for implementing the Paris pledge. 

Harjeet Singh, global policy lead on climate change at ActionAid, will head up the organisation’s effort in negotiations at the conference to define the small print that will enable the implementation of the Paris Agreement by 2020.

ActionAid has five demands for world leaders gathering in Bangkok that will pave the way for progress on climate justice:

  • The Paris ‘rulebook’ must guarantee sufficient and predictable climate finance for developing countries;
  • Protection must be guaranteed for communities experiencing climate-induced loss and damage, and those living with the impacts of climate-induced migration and displacement;
  • The rulebook must safeguard food security, land rights, human rights and advance the pursuit of gender equality;
  • Urgent action to cut emissions is needed if the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is to be achieved.
  • All countries must do their fair share of climate action. Developed countries must take the lead, recognising they have contributed the majority of harmful emissions and have greater capacity to respond.

Adriano Campolina, chief executive of ActionAid International, says:

“In the past two months alone, hundreds of people from California to Kerala have lost their lives to climate disasters and many more have seen their homes destroyed.

“Bangkok is a critical chance to stop climate devastation spiralling further out of control.”

Extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change are already threatening the safety of communities in both developing and developed countries around the world.

But it is developing countries that continue to bear the brunt of extreme climate events – the recent flooding in Kerala, India, has left nearly 400 people dead and forced more than one million people to seek refuge in camps.

Climate change is already impacting many of the communities supported by ActionAid around the world, disproportionately affecting women and girls, and the poorest and most vulnerable.

Community leader Laily Begum, from Bangladesh, who has been supported by ActionAid throughout the years, will also attend next week’s climate conference. She will share her experiences and champion women’s leadership in building communities that are resilient to the growing threat of climate change.

Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, which have been exacerbated by rising sea levels. Laily’s community has seen harvests, livestock and houses destroyed, and loved ones swept away by extreme flooding.

Editors' notes

For more information and interviews contact Adam McNicholas in Bangkok on (+44) 07968 356 811 or Thais Portilho in London (+44) 07584 995 681 in the ActionAid International press office.

Representatives from ActionAid International are attending the climate conference in Bangkok. Spokespeople available for interview include:

Harjeet Singh is the global lead on climate change for ActionAid. Based in New Delhi, India, he supports countries across the world on climate change policy and advocacy. He specialises in climate change adaptation, loss and damage. He has managed disaster resilience programmes globally and coordinated emergency response and preparedness work in Asia and the Americas. Follow him on Twitter @harjeet11

Ruchi Tripathi is the head of resilient livelihoods and climate justice at ActionAid. She specialises in climate justice, natural resources and women’s right to land, food security and sustainable agriculture. Ruchi has worked with ActionAid India supporting the advocacy efforts of local partners. She has also worked on corporate accountability and trade justice.  

Teresa Anderson is the policy officer on climate change and resilience at ActionAid International. Based in the UK, she supports countries across the ActionAid federation to carry out climate policy work and to implement programmes on resilience. A specialist in agriculture, agroecology and land issues, she works at UN climate negotiations to protect the rights, land and livelihoods of vulnerable farming communities. Follow her on Twitter @1TeresaAnderson

Brandon Wu is director of policy and campaigns at ActionAid USA. He specialises in climate finance and equity related issues. He approaches the problem of climate change from the perspective of sustainable development and the rights of impacted people. He recently completed a two-year term on the board of the Green Climate Fund – a new, multilateral institution expected to channel billion of dollars of climate finance per year. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncwu

Kelly Stone is a senior policy analyst at ActionAid USA. She specialises in 1.5°C pathways and bioenergy. Her focus is on the human rights impacts of bioenergy and land-based climate mitigation proposals. Kelly served as an expert reviewer for the forthcoming special report on the 1.5° goal from the International Panel on Climate Change. Follow her on Twitter @kellystone6

Everjoice Win is international director for programmes and global engagement at ActionAid. She specialises in campaigning and advocacy messaging. Her background is in women’s rights and social justice, and she continues to advise feminist organisations, including the African Feminist Forum. She worked as ActionAid’s global head of women’s rights where she built up women’s rights programmes from local to global levels. Follow her on Twitter @EverjoiceWin

Laily Begum is also available for interview about the direct experiences of climate change and building resilient communities. Laily got married when she was 15 and her job was to take care of her husband, three children and extended family. She says she never realised how much unpaid care work she was doing, compared to her husband. When she joined a community women’s group support by ActionAid, she became aware of the inequality in her household and women’s disadvantaged position in society. Recognising she had much more to offer her community, she has taken a lead role working on women’s rights, disaster and climate change issues, and farmers’ rights, coordinating with 42 groups and 800 women. “Women are slowly recognising the rights and dignity of themselves. They are perceiving that they are also competent of doing something that men used to do,” she says.