Category Archives: Doha/COP-18

The climate change scorecard

Note: While Global Justice Ecology Project maintains that climate change is more about systems of economic and social domination and oppression than parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, the below article provides some sobering statistics.  Social movements will not create the change needed to deal with and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change with a compelling data set alone, but it surely helps when the science is on our side.

It is also important to remember that, often, the economic and political elite will try to use such dire climate science forecasts to justify absurd, dangerous, untested false solutions like geoengineering the atmosphere and oceans to absorb greenhouse gases.  This may be an even greater threat facing the world today.

-The GJEP Team

By Dahr Jamail, December 17, 2013. Source: Tom Dispatch

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

Since a nuclear weapon went off over Hiroshima, we have been living with visions of global catastrophe, apocalyptic end times, and extinction that were once the sole property of religion. Since August 6, 1945, it has been possible for us to imagine how human beings, not God, could put an end to our lives on this planet. Conceptually speaking, that may be the single most striking development of our age and, to this day, it remains both terrifying and hard to take in. Nonetheless, the apocalyptic possibilities lurking in our scientific-military development stirred popular culture over the decades to a riot of world-ending possibilities.

In more recent decades, a second world-ending (or at least world-as-we-know-it ending) possibility has crept into human consciousness. Until relatively recently, our burning of fossil fuels and spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere represented such a slow-motion approach to end times that we didn’t even notice what was happening. Only in the 1970s did the idea of global warming or climate change begin to penetrate the scientific community, as in the 1990s it edged its way into the rest of our world, and slowly into popular culture, too.

Still, despite ever more powerful weather disruptions — what the news now likes to call “extreme weather” events, including monster typhoons, hurricanes, and winter storms, wildfires, heat waves, droughts, and global temperature records — disaster has still seemed far enough off. Despite a drumbeat of news about startling environmental changes — massive ice melts in Arctic waters, glaciers shrinking worldwide, the Greenland ice shield beginning to melt, as well as the growing acidification of ocean waters — none of this, not even Superstorm Sandy smashing into that iconic global capital, New York, and drowning part of its subway system, has broken through as a climate change 9/11. Not in the United States anyway.
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Filed under Climate Change, Copenhagen/COP-15, Doha/COP-18, Durban/COP-17, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Oceans, Oil, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19

Typhoon Haiyan exposes the reality of climate injustice – We strengthen our resolve to struggle for an end to the climate madness

December 4, 2013. Source: La Via Campesina

On November 8, 2013, the strongest super typhoon ever recorded in history, with winds as high as 314 kilometers per hour, slammed into the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan devastated several cities in the islands of the Visayas, leaving in its wake, more than 5,000 dead, more than 1,000 still missing and millions impacted with thousands of families left without food, water or shelter.

The Philippines, a country used to an average of 20 typhoons a year, had never seen a category 5 typhoon so destructive that it flattened entire towns. But with climate change, this is the new reality. Warmer seas and warmer air temperatures combine to produce more violent storms. The climate is changing and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in its report, “many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

The catastrophic and horrific tragedy however failed to move the developed nations into committing to real climate action. Instead, they moved backwards. Japan, one of the leading emitters, declared that instead of their original pledge to cut emissions by 25 percent, they would increase emissions by 3 percent by the year 2020 based on their level of CO2 emissions in 1990. The Durban Platform, the new global agreement that would apply to all countries and would replace the Kyoto Protocol, is supposed to be agreed by 2015 and implemented by 2020 but the past climate negotiations, including this recently concluded one in Poland, have witnessed developed countries moving further away from real commitments and instead moving towards voluntary pledges and still no specific numbers on targets or cuts.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Doha/COP-18, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Natural Disasters, Warsaw/COP-19

Strike four in climate change: A “Climate Space” to rethink analysis and strategies

Note:  While the post below is a few months old, Global Justice Ecology Project find’s former Bolivian climate negotiator Pablo Salon’s analysis on the UNFCCC incredibly relevant and important.  It is due time to rethink strategy and analysis in approaching solutions to climate change, inequality and economic domination.

-The GJEP Team

By Pablo Salon.  Source: Focus on the Global South

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In baseball, when you have 3 strikes, you are out. In the climate change negotiations we already have 4 strikes. Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban and now Doha. Four attempts and each of the results were bigger failures than the last. The emission reductions should have been at least 40 to 50% until 2020 based on 1990 levels. Four COPs later, the current numbers are down to a measly 13 to 18%. We are now well on our way to a global temperature increase of 4 to 8ºC.

“The perfect is the enemy of the good” is what some UN negotiators say. To which we can reply: “When our house is burning down, the worst thing you can do is lie to us”. It’s time to rethink what is happening and try to find new strategies to avoid a global catastrophe.

It isn’t because of the lack of evidence

Climate change is no longer a theoretical possibility. It has real impacts on the lives of people, nature and the economy.

Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year[1]. This month, during the COP18 negotiations in Doha, Qatar, Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines with all its intensity, leaving in its wake more than 700 dead. The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in decades devastated Mindanao, damaging more than 70,000 homes and forcing 30,000 to now live in temporary shelters.
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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Doha/COP-18, Durban/COP-17, False Solutions to Climate Change, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20, UNFCCC

One hour special on KPFK features GJEP and Indigenous Environmental Network

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Featuring the Tar Sands, Hurricane Sandy, climate justice and genetically engineered trees

Global Justice Ecology Project teamed up with the Sojourner Truth show in LA for a series of events in late-November, including the following one-hour in-studio interview featuring Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands Co-Director with the Indigenous Environmental Network; Orin Langelle, Board Chair for Global Justice Ecology Project, and Anne Petermann, GJEP Executive Director.  They discussed the link between Hurricane Sandy, climate change, social justice and extreme energy.  To listen, click the link below.

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Filed under Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Natural Disasters, Oil, Tar Sands

The time has come to reform the international climate change negotiation model

By Glenn Ashton, December 12 2012. Source: South African Civil Society Information Service

With the conclusion of COP 18 in Doha, another set of climate change negotiations have come and gone with little real progress toward solving the urgent consequences of increased levels of atmospheric CO2. We clearly need to transform our approach to the problem.

A year ago Durban was under virtual siege by government delegations from around the world, at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 17 meeting. The conference centre was enclosed in a tight police and UN cordon, effectively separating state representatives and negotiators from the citizenry they were meant to represent.

This year the circus moved to Doha, where real public protest is curtailed by a repressive regime. Yes, the first legal protest in the history of Doha was held but it was a strictly curtailed affair. There should have been angry and ugly protest about the record loss of Arctic sea ice this year, of permafrost melt, of the evident acceleration of the impacts of climate change beyond earlier predictions. Instead the Emir of Doha accommodated tame protestors in five star hotels, with a coffee call to protest at 7am. And of course a list of what was permitted. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Doha/COP-18, Durban/COP-17, Politics

KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Watch and Earth Minute: Anne Petermann on the UN COP18 climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar

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Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project on what, if anything, came out of the UNFCCC COP18 climate negotiations in Doha.

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Watch interviews every Thursday.  Earth Minute below:

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Industrial agriculture, KPFK

Audio: Climate change resistance with Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project

Note: Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, and directs the international STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign

-The GJEP Team

December 17, 2012.  Source: Clearing the Fog Radio

Listen to the audio here.

Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the recent climate conference in Doha, Qatar which is characterized more as a trade show for corporations looking to profit from climate change than a conference about solutions, and the increasing exclusion of non-corporate voices. She says solutions to the climate crisis are coming from the bottom up.

Ramsey Sprague of the Tar Sands Blockade (http://tarsandsblockade.org/) describes the growing resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the upcoming direct action training camp and action Jan. 3 to 8. Co-hosts Margaret and Kevin will participate in that action and urge you to support it or participate as well. And ecology activist Diane Wilson who is on her 19th day of a hunger strike describes why she is risking her life to hold Valero Oil accountable to her community.

 

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Independent Media, UNFCCC

Doha, Forests and the Production Tax Credit: On Track to Burn, Baby, Burn

, Co-director, Biofuelwatch, 12/13/2012.  Source: Huffington Post

Last Saturday, the annual UN Climate Talks, held in Doha, concluded, once more without any meaningful achievements. The U.S. government was amongst those that ensured that there would be no new climate treaty until at least 2020 and that they would thus not be bound by any restrictions on carbon emissions. A major focus of the negotiations was on forests, specifically on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Those talks also stalled as rich countries scaled back financial commitments which they had already made while trying to force Southern countries to divert vast sums of funds towards creating a new carbon market in forests. This would in future allow for example the U.S. or EU to class lower deforestation rates or even new monoculture tree plantations in the global South as Northern emissions reductions.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Pollution

REDD at COP18, Doha: At a crossroads or stuck in neoliberalism’s dead end?

By Chris Lang, 14th December 2012.  Source: REDD-Monitor

REDD at COP18, Doha: At a crossroads or stuck in neoliberalism's dead end?

REDD negotiations came to a grinding halt at the end of the first week of COP18 in Doha when Brazil and Norway disagreed over the verification of emission reductions from forests.

There were two tracks of negotiations on REDD in Doha: the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

The following items were on the agenda in Doha – explained in more detail here:

  • SBSTA: Reference levels; MRV and forest monitoring systems; Safeguards information systems; and Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
  • LCA: Finance and REDD.

The dispute over verification took place in the SBSTA negotiations. The Final SBSTA Text (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/L.31) consists of “Draft conclusions proposed by the Chair” – no decisions were made in Doha. The discussions will continue at the next SBSTA meeting, that will take place in June 2013 in Bonn. However, no decision on the SBSTA agenda items will be taken until COP19 at the end of 2013.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD

On Not Attending the UN Climate Conference in Doha

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UNFCCC

Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UNFCCC at the Durban Climate COP in 2011.  Photo: Langelle/GJEP

For the first time since 2004, Global Justice Ecology Project did not sent any representatives to the annual UN Climate Conference (COP).  There were numerous reasons for this decision, one of which was a letter sent to us by Ms. Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) “suspending” three Global Justice Ecology Project activists from participating in Doha.  The list includes Lindsey Gillies, Keith Brunner and me–Global Justice Ecology Project’s “Head of Delegation.” We were officially banned from participating in any of the UNFCCC negotiating sessions in 2012 as well as any future sessions unless we sign a document agreeing to their terms to abide by their special “code of conduct” for observers.  Right.

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Figueres page 2

Our crime?  Direct action.   Unpermitted, disobedient direct action in both Cancun and Durban designed to highlight the mounting repression against non-corporate observers.  (We also worked for over a year to help organize the amazing Reclaim Power action and Peoples’ Assembly at COP 15 in Copenhagen, which exposed the ineffectiveness of the UNFCCC and called for people to take their power back–though the letter did not mention that).

Over the years we have watched the UNFCCC become more and more like the World Trade Organization that we and many anti-corporate globalization organizations rose up against in the latter 1990s and early 2000s.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Cancun/ COP-16, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, UNFCCC, Youth