A People’s Declaration from Klimaforum09

The Declaration is currently available in the following languages:

A People’s Declaration from Klimaforum09

Sign the Declaration

On December 11th 2009 the participating grassroots organisations, NGOs, movements and networks at Klimaforum09, finalised the People’s Declaration – System Change – Not Climate Change.

From December 13th to 18th, more than 300 organisations and numerous individuals from all corner of the world signed the Declaration. This joint accomplishment of a large and broad spectrum of very diverse organisations is noteworthy and even surpassed the expectations of the coordination group behind the process.

However, the positive result could not have been achieved if it had not been for the lively debates ensuring the legitimacy of the process; the dedicated international editorial board; and all the committed people stepping into the process who also helped spread the core messages of the important script. On December 18th, the last day of the COP15 in Copenhagen, the Declaration was handed over to the UNFCCC after a short intervention in plenary. More organisations and individuals have subsequently signed the Declaration and continue to do so.

The Process

Before finalising the 6-page document, a preparatory process of more than half a year took place. The preparatory process involved representatives from around 50 organisations worldwide organised around thematic and regional facilitators with a strong representation from Africa, South America and Asia. Frequent meetings in a European coordination group managed the process. To ensure physical participation four days during the first week of Klimaforum09 were scheduled to finalise the Declaration.

Future work

In consultation with Klimaforum09’s international network a Danish based coordination group continue to work on how to use the Declaration in future work locally, nationally and globally. Of high priority is a handover of the Declaration to the Mexican organisers of Klimaforum10 parallel to COP16 in Cancun.

It is still possible to sign the Declaration


The Declaration is currently available in the following languages:

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For further info on the People’s Declaration – System Change – Not Climate Change please see the Klimaforum09 evaluation report


There are solutions to the climate crisis. What people and the planet need is a just and sustain- able transition of our societies to a form that will ensure the rights of life and dignity of all peoples and deliver a more fertile planet and more fulfilling lives to future generations.

We, participating peoples, communities, and all or- ganizations at the Klimaforum09 in Copenhagen, call upon every person, organization, government, and institution, including the United Nations

(UN), to contribute to this necessary transition. It will be a challenging task. The crisis of today has economic, social, environmental, geopolitical, and ideological aspects interacting with and reinforc- ing each other as well as the climate crisis. For this reason, we call for urgent climate action:

Therefore, we demand that COP15 reach an agree- ment that will initiate the restoration of the envi- ronmental, social, and economic balance of planet Earth by means that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable and equitable, and finally come up with a legally binding treaty.

The adverse impacts of human-induced climate change cause gross violations of human rights. All nations have an obligation to cooperate interna- tionally to ensure respect for human rights every- where in the world in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Any specific agreement on climate change must be seen in the broader context of achieving a sustainable transition of our societies.

We, participating peoples and organisations at Klimaforum09, commit to continue our full and active engagement in promoting such a transition, which will require a fundamental change in social, political, and economic structures and a rectifi- cation of gender, class, race, generational, and ethnic inequalities and injustices.

This requires a restoration of the democratic sovereignty of our local communities and of their role as a basic social, political, and economic unit. Local and democratic ownership of, control over, and access to natural resources will be the basis for meaningful and sustainable development of communities and simultaneously for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is also a need for stronger regional and international coopera- tive arrangements to manage common and shared resources, as well as for a stronger and democratic UN.

We call upon every concerned person, social movement, and cultural, political or economic organisation to join us in building a strong global movement of movements, which can bring for- ward peoples’ visions and demands at every level of society. Together, we can make global transi- tions to sustainable futures.

About Klimaforum09

Klimaforum09 - People's Climate Summit was an open and alternative climate conference that took place during UNFCCC COP15 from 7 December to 18 December 2009 in Copenhagen. About 50,000 people from all over the world attended the event with over 300 debates, exhibitions, films, concerts and plays. Klimaforum09 was organised by the Klimaforum network, a broad network of civil society organisations, and realized with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

Eriksen, S. & Samuelsen, M. & Monabay, R. & Timpte, M. 2010. Civil Societies Klimaforum09: Evaluation Report. Foreningen Civilsamfundets Klimaforum. Copenhagen, Denmark. Evaluation Report of Klimaforum09: