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Women NGOs at COP18 lead public action demanding "fierce urgency and ambition" from governments

Women say "lack of commitment" is "not in my name

05.12.2012 |Women & Gender NGOs

Doha, Qatar:  Early this morning Women and Gender NGOs at COP 18 representing hundreds of women’s organizations and environmental leaders around the world expressed their dissatisfaction with the positions of many Northern Governments.

Holding signs listing the failures of the negotiations including – “empty financing,” “inequality,” “gigaton gap,” “withholding safe technologies,” “nuclear,” “no compensation for loss and damage” at the entrance to the conference site, over two dozen women and men chanted “Not in My Name!” and urged delegates and NGOs to “Sign our petition if the negotiations don’t speak for you!’

The petition asks NGOS and delegates to sign on to a letter (see attached), and calls for “fierce urgency and ambition.” It decries the lack of sincere and effective actions on the part of the countries from the Global North. The drafters say that the COP has no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the people of the world unless they make real progress. 

"Women from the Global North are very concerned that their leaders don't commit to the actions which are needed, and don't do enough to support developing countries facing the impacts of our historic misbehavior,” said Ulrike Roehr of LIFE - Education, Environment, Equality, of Germany.  “We want to make clear that we will not forget and forgive how they negotiate here".

“Women the world over have been patiently waiting for ‘decisionmakers’ to choose life for people and for the planet,” said Marta Benavides of Siglo XXIII (23rd Century) of El Salvador. Benavides continued, “Unbelieveably, I have met delegates here who are still skeptical about global warming.  Denying the science is not a responsible position at COP 18.”  “The Doha Climate Change Conference is almost finished and there doesn’t seem to be any sign that the governments will be making the right choices for quality of life for the present and to ensure a future for the next generations.”



5 December 2012

Dear Parties,

We need a signal from you that you care about the women, men and youth of this world. So far, your lack of urgency to work towards the common goal of saving people and the planet has left us angered and dismayed. 

When you fail to make concrete commitments to scaled up and continued financing; when you cater to the interests of the fossil fuel industry over the interests of people; when you fail to stand on the side of innovation and progress and share sustainable, safe and equitable technologies; when you fail to ensure countries are enabled to adapt to and pay for the losses and damages resulting from climate change; when you fail to speak up for our rights; you do NOT speak for us.

For too long now you've let complacency in saving this process override ambition in saving the planet.  We are talking about 2020 but ignoring what's happening right now!  Eight years is too long to wait. While you're crunching numbers communities around the world are already paying.

Now is the time to act to close the finance gap; act to close the gigaton gap; to respect and embrace our shared knowledge not as commodities to own or exploit but as tools to transition to a safe, sustainable, low-carbon world; to support resilience and acknowledge and compensate the cultural and ecosystem losses that our inaction has already failed to save. 

Countries, when you commit to take these actions, you commit to the fierce urgency and ambition needed not only for our lives and well-being but the well-being and livelihoods of all the generations to come.

Only then can you truly speak for us.

Sign on to this letter at

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