Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition.
Simone Lovera is co-founder and executive director of the Global Forest Coalition, an international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations. In this guest post, she describes the REDD deal that came out of COP19 in Warsaw as “the weakest text any international forest-related body has ever adopted”.
Following the June 2013 negotiations in Bonn, GFC described the emerging REDD package as the “whatever approach”. What came out of Warsaw is no improvement. “All the REDD decisions adopted are pathetically vague and non-sensical from a legal point of view,” Lovera writes.
Lovera points out that drivers of deforestation are not addressed in the REDD deal. No finance was agreed for REDD in Warsaw, and unlike existing forest policies, “REDD+ is 100% dependent on financial support”. Governments will be allowed to produce summaries of information on safeguards. The decision on reference levels is “weak”. Lovera writes that, “such texts are an insult to international law”
-Chris Lang, REDD Monitor, December 3, 2013
By Simone Lovera, December 3, 2013. Source: REDD Monitor
On 12 November 2013, the Global Forest Coalition made the following intervention during the negotiations in Warsaw on methodologies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+):
“The Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide coalition of 54 NGOs and Indigenous peoples’ organizations promoting rights-based forest policies shares the concerns of our NGO and IPO colleagues about the extremely weak draft decisions that have been developed in the areas of drivers of forest loss and safeguards. We particularly wonder what we are doing here if this body, and the REDD+ mechanism it is designing, is not capable of addressing the real drivers of forest loss, most of which are linked to international commodity trade. Frankly, if REDD+ is not about addressing the real drivers of forest loss, we don’t think it is a mechanism that should be supported. So we strongly urge governments to focus on developing more effective non-market based approaches to address the international drivers of forest loss, and if they feel they cannot do that within the framework of the REDD mechanism, we urge them to do so within other Frameworks for Various approaches.”
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, REDD, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19
3 December, 2013–On the opening day of the World Trade Organization’s ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Global Justice Ecology Project stands together with organizations around the world to denounce neoliberal free trade policies through the release of Part I of our new report The Green Shock Doctrine.
Police at the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Ministerial in Miami in 2003 prepare to fire rubber bullets at protesters. Photo: Langelle/ PhotoLangelle.org
Ten years ago there were crucial battles against corporate globalization and free trade in both Cancun, Mexico and Miami, Florida. At the WTO ministerial in Cancun in September, South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae took his own life to protest unfair agricultural policies and the theme of the huge protests there became “The WTO Kills Farmers.” Two months later, the ministerial meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) failed amidst opposition by developing countries over its draconian trade liberalization policies. Meanwhile, outside 20,000 protesters and unionists marched in the streets where they were brutally attacked by police.
Today, there is a crucial and obvious need for a powerful global movement to tackle the climate crisis. But it is Capitalism and the markets that have led us to the brink of this abyss. We need to mobilize and strengthen the global movement to tackle the root social and economic causes of the climate crisis–the same roots we were fighting in 2003 and even 20 years ago in 1993, when the Zapatistas were preparing to rise up against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which became the model for many unfair trade deals that followed.
Global Justice Ecology Project is publishing The Green Shock Doctrine to examine these deeper issues behind the climate crisis and their links to many of the other crises we are facing. In doing so, we hope to help advance the effort to transform the global system driving climate catastrophe. Part I is available now and Parts II through IV will be published subsequently.
Part I explains how global elites are using global ecological and social crises to create a whole new system of economics based on financial speculation and trade in so-called “environmental services” in order to maintain business as usual beyond all natural limits. Download Part I here.
Part II delves into “Public Private Partnerships” and what these mean for peoples and ecosystems globally.
Part III challenges “sustainable energy” and details all of the dirty and unjust forms of energy being promoted as “sustainable” as well as the devastating impacts they are having.
Part IV titled “Building the global movement to stop climate change” discusses the wide array of organizing being done around the globe to tackle the intertwined ecological and social causes of the climate crisis.
Filed under Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, WTO
By Chris Lang, 29th November 2013 Source: REDD-Monitor
Negotiators at COP19 in Warsaw last week agreed seven decisions relating to REDD – the “Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus”. You can find each of the decision texts, as they came out of COP19 in Warsaw here.
This post looks at the decision on REDD finance, or, to give it its full title, the Work programme on results-based finance to progress the full implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70 (pdf file, 75 KB).
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, Warsaw/COP-19
Last week’s Earth Minute discussed COP-19, the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw Poland. Simone Lovera, Executive Director of Global Forest Coalition described the situation on the ground.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, KPFK, Politics, Pollution, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19
Nov 21, 2013, Source: Democracy Now!
A pair of climate scientists are calling for what some may view as a shocking solution to the global warming crisis: a rethinking of the economic order in the United States and other industrialized nations. Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows-Larkin of the influential Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in England say many of the solutions proposed by world leaders to prevent “runaway global warming” will not be enough to address the scale of the crisis. They have called for “radical and immediate de-growth strategies in the United States, EU and other wealthy nations.” Anderson says that to avoid an increase in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the world would require a “revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony.”
21 November, 2013. Source: Friends of the Earth
WASHINGTON, D.C./JAKARTA – Illegal and destructive production of palm oil in Indonesia is continuing, with a chain of culpability that spreads worldwide, from Southeast Asian rain forests to supermarket shelves and Wall Street board rooms, reveals a new report released today by Friends of the Earth1, Forest Heroes and SumOfUs.
In recent years, consumers have been shocked to learn that many household food brands use palm oil from sources engaged in widespread destruction of tropical forests. The new report, Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans shows how this forest destruction not only harms forest peoples, endangered species and the Earth’s climate, but is often illegal. The report names the major U.S. and European banks that are financing these unlawful land grabs and the investors who are profiting.
Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans documents how one Indonesian company, Bumitama Agri Ltd, engaged in systematic forest destruction in and around forest reserves and in 2012 sold itself in a public offering that admitted to including illegally cleared tracts of forest. The financial maneuvers of Bumitama Agri – a leading supplier to the global market, including to Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader – also raise questions about compliance with Indonesia’s tax laws and law against money laundering. Continue reading
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
NOTE: GJEP did not go to the UN Climate charade due to the takeover by corporate interests. We walked out in Durban, South Africa two years ago and never came back. Actually two people from GJEP had to be carried out of the Durban talks by UN security in protest of the exclusion of peoples’ voices from the negotiations.
To read GJEP’s analysis of the takeover of the UN process, download Part I of The Green Shock Doctrine, a paper in four parts, which we wrote as a means to help expose and examine the deeper issues behind the climate crisis and their links to many of the other crises we are facing.
–The GJEP Team
WARSAW, POLAND, November 21, 2013 – Today, one day before the planned conclusion of the Warsaw UN climate talks, hundreds of individuals from all continents representing social movements, trade unions and non-governmental organizations walked out of the UN climate conference in protest. 
“Polluters and corporations dominated this conference with their empty talk, so we walked out in protest. Polluters talk, we walk,” said Jagoda Munic, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International.
“While people around the world are paying with their lives and livelihoods, and the risk of runaway climate change draws closer, we simply could not sit by this egregious inaction. Corporate profits should not come before peoples’ lives,” said Jagoda Munic.
“People and communities around the world who are already implementing climate-safe, local energy systems are the real climate leaders. Together, we must now apply political pressure so that our governments follow these leaders instead of the corporate polluters,” she added.
Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Energy, Events, Green Economy, Greenwashing, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19
By Silvia Giannelli, 15 November, 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Indonesia’s Sesaot where a village committee has ably managed a forest reserve extending 3,600 hectares for over 50 years. Photo: Amantha Perera/IPS
JAKARTA – Indonesia’s rainforests are facing “legal land grabs”, allege NGOs. Its ancient communities are finding that their ancestral lands are slipping into the hands of foreign companies for oil palm cultivation, as demand for the product grows in Europe, India and China.
“There are 33,000 villages in Indonesia’s forest zone, and many thousand more in areas marked for agriculture,” said Marcus Colchester, senior policy advisor at Forest Peoples Programme, an international NGO.
“The government allocates these areas to companies without even consulting the communities. So concessions have been handed out over lands where these communities have lived for hundreds or even thousands of years,” he told IPS.
Last Friday, Colchester flew to Medan to present the findings of his research, carried out in conjunction with two local organisations, on the impact oil palm cultivation has on the lives of Indonesian communities. Continue reading
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By John Vidal, 20 November, 2013. Source: The Guardian
UN climate change conference in Warsaw: delegates from the G77 and China in talks before staging a walkout. Photo: Francis Dejon/IISD
Representatives of most of the world’s poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.
The orchestrated move by the G77 and China bloc of 132 countries came during talks about “loss and damage” – how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to, such as typhoon Haiyan.
Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said: “Discussions were going well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste.”
Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,” said a spokeswoman for Climate Action Network. Continue reading
By Tetet Nera-Lauron, 20 November 2013. Source: IBON International
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon urged the ministers gathered at the 19th Conference of Parties (COP 19) to take ‘tougher action’ to reach a global deal to address climate change in 2015. While recognizing that the world’s leaders faced a steep climb ahead to arrive at an arrangement for an international climate deal, he cautioned that ‘people now face and fear the wrath of a warming planet’, in obvious reference to super typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines more than a week ago. He challenged governments to ‘set the bar higher’ in committing to climate action.
Ban-Ki Moon also called on governments, especially from the developed countries, to step up aid to help poor nations slow their rising greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of global warming. He alluded to the issue of climate finance, currently the subject of intense debates with disappointing results, and said that ‘I sincerely hope the developed world should keep their promise so all the nations of the planet Earth can move together.’
Negotiators from many developing countries indicated that this year’s summit will be the ‘finance COP’, meaning they expect to resolve long-standing issues and disagreements on the amount of resources that will be actually committed to enable particularly vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. A High Level Ministerial meeting is being convened for that purpose, but this will remain a token gesture of dialogue if no concrete flow of resources (to countries affected by climate change) will materialize. This is the most likely outcome of the meeting, especially in the wake of Australia pulling out of its earlier pledge for climate financing, and with the United States ruling out any new pledges in the light of its own fiscal problems.
Meanwhile, Venezuela convened a meeting for civil society organizations and its head of delegation Mrs. Claudia Salerno gave a briefing on Venezuela’s organization of a Social Pre-COP in Caracas in October 2014. They envision the Social Pre-COP to be a process that will involve diverse actors from civil society and governments from all over the world, and which will result in an outcome that, while carrying the issues, analysis, and aspirations of social movements and grassroots organizations, will also be able to feed into the formal UN climate negotiations. This initiative by Venezuela, i.e. bridging the disconnect between the voices of people from the ground and the language of the negotiations, is a bold move that has never been done before. Mrs. Salerno said that now is the ‘time for craziness, because we have tried so many things in the official process (of climate negotiations) and it didn’t work, so we are going to try to do something else. We don’t have anything to lose, but we need to try everything we can for the world to have ambitious aims.’