Press release | Nov. 30, 2015

640+ land and environmental activists killed since 2009 Copenhagen climate talks

Governments at COP21 must protect people on the frontline of environmental defence

At least 640 land and environmental activists have been killed since the 2009 climate negotiations in Copenhagen - some shot by police during protests, others gunned down by hired assassins.

While world leaders negotiate a global deal to curb climate change in Paris this week, Global Witness is calling on governments to do more to protect people on the frontline of the battle to protect our planet.  Last year on average more than two people were killed a week defending their land against environmentally destructive industries like mining, agribusiness, logging and hydropower. 

As delegates in Paris discuss solutions to our climate crisis, far from the corridors of power ordinary people defending their rights to a healthy environment are being killed in record numbers. If governments are serious about stopping climate change, the very least they can do is to protect the people who are personally taking a stand. - Billy Kyte, campaigner for Global Witness.

Global Witness is profiling 10 activists who lost their lives in the battle over land, forests and water this last year here. Their murders took place in some of the most dangerous countries to be an environmental defender – Brazil, Honduras, Colombia, Philippines, Guatemala, Thailand and Indonesia.



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