Making climate talks work

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Dutch NGOs, activists, and campaigners march to signify their message against fossil fuels and governments' inaction on climate change ahead of the Paris Climate Summit.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (CNN Philippines) — On the eve of the Paris Climate Summit, more than half a million people around the world took to the streets for the Global Climate March.

They called on leaders to scale up action on climate change to achieve full use of renewable energy, eliminate poverty and protect people from worsening climate conditions.

In The Netherlands, for example, thousands of marchers participated in the Klimaatparade, the Dutch version of the global climate march.

They hope to send a strong message to world leaders at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change.

Civil society groups, climate activists, campaigners marched from Museumplein, a popular street and tourist area in Amsterdam, to show solidarity against climate change inaction.

Crucial climate talks in Paris

Heads of state, environmental ministers and climate officials negotiate on a climate deal to cut global emissions by 2020 after failing to clinch a deal in Copenhagen in 2009.

For international organization Oxfam, funding to help those vulnerable to climate change is critical to crafting a meaningful agreement.

In an interview, Oxfam’s global climate change lead in Paris, Kelly Dent said, “Climate finance is the key to the deal if we see money on the table that helps developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change that they’re feeling right now, such as contamination of their soil making it harder to grow vegetables and also difficulties with fresh water, if we see that kind of money on the table then it is likely that we will see an agreement that starts to deliver what’s needed."

'Kick Fossil Fuels'

This comes after reports from Netherlands-based Transnational Institute titled "Lobby Planet Paris: A guide to corporate COP 21" say that 12 corporate sponsors of the COP 21 are involved in fossil fuel exploration. Transnational Institute is an environmental research and advocacy group.

In a separate report, Corporate Accountability International states that four of the leading sponsors of this year’s UN climate talks are collectively responsible for more than 200 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. The US-based group is against what it calls “corporate abuse.”

The report titled, "Fueling the Fire - The corporate sponsors bankrolling COP21" reveals how European energy giants Engie, EDF, Suez Environnement and BNP Paribas collectively own more than 46 coal-fired power plants around the world, including investments in oil sands exploration in Canada and drilling for shale gas in the United Kingdom.

Patti Lynn, executive director of Corporate Accountability International noted that the decision to allow these large polluters to sponsor the conference is “akin to hiring a fox to guard a hen house."

The two reports were released as movements to keep fossil fuel companies away from the COP 21 snowball a few weeks before the Paris climate talks.

Editor's note: Jed Alegado is a graduate student of the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. He is also one of the COP 21 Climate Trackers of Adopt a Negotiator.