Climate Action Network (CAN) – of which Islamic Relief is part – has noted the decision by the Chilean government not to host the UN Climate Summit COP25 that was scheduled to take place between 2 and 13 December in Santiago de Chile.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Chile in their ongoing pursuit to hold their government accountable and to improve the lives of all and not just a few.

Social justice is at the core of fighting the climate and ecological crisis. We support the Chilean Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC) who wish to keep a space open to advance dialogue and progress on environmental issues in Chile.

“The mobilizations that we are seeing in Chile and other countries in the Latin America are clear evidence of the need to implement transformational changes of the current development paradigm towards a new model of development based on social justice and environmental sustainability which can be clearly achieved by implementing the proposals of the IPCC 1.5°C Report,” said Alejandro Aleman, Climate Change officer, Centro Humbold, Nicaragua and Coordinator for Climate Action Network Latin America.

CAN has been deeply concerned by the heavy-handed response of the Chilean government towards civil discontent and protests in recent weeks and the deployment of force in suppressing the free movement and assembly of people.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have been denied their right to demonstrate peacefully, been threatened, abused and lost their lives during this crisis.

The network is concerned that by not hosting this COP, this could open the way for continued or escalated repression of the Chilean people. We urge the government instead to use this opportunity to build a peaceful and inclusive resolution to the crisis as the foundation for a new social pact.

“Irrespective of where and when COP25 takes place, we will continue to pay close attention to the situation in Chile to ensure that the overarching principles of social justice and human rights are protected, especially also in the COP,” said Tasneem Essop Interim Executive Director of Climate Action Network International.

Social injustice and the climate crisis have a common root cause and climate justice and solidarity is fundamentally about the protection of human rights and a better quality of life for all.

This decision to reschedule COP25 must not detract from the political urgency to address the climate crisis and the need for countries to substantially increase their ambition by 2020 on all fronts – from accelerating emission cuts and the shift away from fossil fuels to 100% sustainable renewable energies, to addressing harmful climate impacts including through increasing financial support to vulnerable communities.

These are essential ingredients for climate justice.

The postponing of the COP must not be used as an excuse to delay this. We urge the UNFCCC Secretariat and the possible new COP25 host country to ensure that COP25 is accessible and inclusive in all aspects.