Hundreds of activists to demonstrate to ‘change the food system, not the climate’

CJA Press release – Copenhagen-14th December 2009

On December 15 hundreds of activists will protest at the inclusion of farmland into carbon trading schemes, as is currently being discussed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Bente Hessellund of Climate Justice Action (CJA), Denmark says: ‘In spite of the urgency of the climate crisis the UNFCCC process fails to question an economic model that is based on infinite growth on a finite planet. The possibility of including agricultural land into CO2 emission-trading is a false solution to climate change. To farmers around the world, the false solutions that are proposed in this climate summit are as much of a threat as drought, tornadoes and new climate patterns.’ (1)

This demonstration, organized by Climate Justice Action (CJA) around the motto “Food system change, not climate change”, aims at highlighting the fact that large scale industrial agriculture aggravates climate change rather than solving the climate problem.

‘Small scale, sustainable agriculture remains the best way to combat hunger, malnutrition and the food and climate crisis.’ argues activist Flip Vonk of Climate Justice Action (CJA) and worker on an organic farm. ‘Native seeds offer the best opportunity for adaptation to current and future changes in the climate. Sustainable local food production costs less energy, makes us independent from imported animal foods, captures CO2 in the soil and improves biodiversity.’

Josie Riffaud from the international peasant’s movement La Via Campesina said that “to really change the food system, it is important that all sectors of society work together. Today’s action shows us that groups of farmers and activists from the North and the South are walking together towards radical changes”.

The protest will take to the streets of Copenhagen, calling attention to the positive alternative offered by non-commercial sustainable agriculture. Protestors will creatively and theatrically draw attention to companies that are responsible for unsustainable industrial food production.

Agriculture Action Day: Resistance is Ripe!
Starting point: Islands Brygge – Havne Parken near the Harbour Pool, Copenhagen
Metro: Islands Brygge of Christianshavns Torv. Bus: 5A, 12, 33, 250S
December 15th,  12 o’clock.

Press contact: Leen Nicolas +4552679783

Danish +4529294527 Bente Hessellund
English (native speaker) +45 41829928 Scott Bejamin Katz
German + 4552687267 Jan
Dutch (Nederland) +4550620071 Flip Vonk
Dutch (België) +4561727445 Jeroen Robbe
French + Anna


(1) Stimulating agrofuels and bio-plastics to combat the crisis will only increase the pressure on the people currently living from the land. Already in the developing countries large areas of land are grabbed by multinationals, small farmers and indigenous people being driven off their territories.

Facts & Figures

In the South, forests are burnt or cut down and small farmers are cleared off their land to make way for large scale industrial mono-cultures as soy and maize to supply the European intensive livestock breeders. In factory farms, millions of animals are fattened as fast as possible, creating vast amounts of dung and methane and consuming a great deal of energy.

Between 1990 and 2005 industrial agriculture world wide has contributed approximately 17% of greenhouse gas emissions. When you include the emissions from deforestation and generally change of land use towards agriculture, transport, processing, refrigeration and other aspects of the industrial food system, the contribution will amount to 32 % and probably even more.

CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTION is a new global network of people and groups committed to taking the urgent actions needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. This means rejecting the false, market-based “solutions” to climate change, and exposing how corporate domination of climate negotiations is worsening the climate crisis.  CJA is part of building the growing global social movement for Climate Justice and advances grassroots alternatives that can provide real and just solutions to the climate crisis.