Category Archives: Copenhagen/COP-15

NYC Climate Convergence adds context, depth, and significance to the Peoples Climate March

Whether or not you are in New York City this weekend for all of the climate change activities, it is important to take note of the Climate Convergence Conference that will take place starting Friday 19 September, and running through the weekend.

The stated purpose of the Climate Convergence Conference is to “explore the root causes behind our climate crisis and to strengthen movements for a world where people, peace, and planet come first”.  

People attending this event include Naomi Klein,  Jill Stein, Oscar Olivera, Chris Williams, and our own Global Justice Ecology Project’s executive director and the Campaign to STOP GE TREES  Coordinator, Anne Petermann. Petermann will speak at the at the Friday Opening Plenary at St. Peters Church, 619 Lexington Ave, Manhattan, which gets underway at 7pm.




On Saturday, at St. John’s University 51 Astor Place, Room 110 in Manhattan, our GJEP and The Campaign to STOP GE Trees partner and collaborator and Biofuelwatch co-director, Dr. Rachel Smolker,  Petermann, and Jeff Conant, will conduct a Land, Energy and the Green Economy Workshop, 2:15-3:45pm.


More about Anne Petermann:

The Need for Clear Demands at the People’s Climate March by Anne Peterman, Daily Kos August 13, 2014

Anne Peterman on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman: Is REDD the New Green? Indigenous Groups Resist Carbon Market-Based Forestry Scheme to Offset Emissions

The Green Shock Doctrine published by the Global Justice Ecology Project,


 More about Dr.Rachel Smolker:

Is Toxic Algae Good for You?  HuffPost Green 18 August 2014

Cellulosic Ethanol: Firsts, Failures, Myths and Risks  HuffPost Green 11 September 2014



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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Independent Media

Earth Minute: System Change not Climate Change in Venezuela




I am recording this week’s Earth Minute from the Venezuelan Island of Margarita.  The Venezuelan government has assembled hundreds of organizations from around the Americas and across the world under the theme of “Changing the System, Not the Climate.”  The idea of this meeting is to begin to develop justice-based strategies and discussions to inform a peoples’ position at this year’s UN Climate Conference in Lima Peru in December.

“System Change not Climate Change” originally emerged as the demand from civil society organizations protesting the northern-dominated and pro-corporate UN Climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009. There UN delegates and observers staged a massive “Reclaim Power” march out that attempted to meet with thousands of activists marching toward the conference.  The idea was to come together for a Peoples’ Assembly, where real peoples’ solutions to the climate crisis would be advanced.  While that action was met with severe repression and violence from the Danish Police, the powerful concept of “System Change not Climate Change” continues to carry forward.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project reporting from Venezuela.



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Filed under Climate Change, Copenhagen/COP-15, Earth Minute, Earth Radio

Obama’s plan for the climate: Greenwash our way into oblivion

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project


Image captured from The Weather Channel

At 1:45 today, President Obama announced his new Climate Action Plan in a nationally televised speech.

He described the emerging climate crisis and its impacts–both past, present and future, while be suffered the heat of an abnormally warm June day in Washington, DC. His arguments for climate action were compelling and hard to argue with.  Unfortunately his actions do not match his words.

Unlike Bill McKibben, I do not believe that “the solutions agenda [Obama has] begun to advance moves the country in a sane direction.” (Did you read the actual Climate Action Plan, Bill?!?)  No, what I read in Obama’s Action Plan was a rehashing of the same old dangerous false solutions that many of us have been fighting for years and years.  But what’s really criminal is that even though Obama clearly understands both the science and implications of climate change, he still pushes an agenda that will drive us all over the climate cliff.

First the plan’s “Case for Action” reiterates Obama’s pledge to decrease carbon emissions by a paltry 17% below 2005 levels by 2020–but only if all other major economies agree to do so as well. Climate scientists are not calling for 17% reductions by 2020. In fact, countries like the US need to reduce our emissions by 80-90%.  And not in seven years, but immediately.  Last year preferably.

The main takeaway from Obama’s greenwashed nonsense? We can continue our unsustainable way of life indefinitely with just a few key tweaks.

“Deploy Clean Energy.” Ain’t nothin’ clean about this.  Obama’s “clean energy” plan includes more fracking, more oil, more nukes, more biofuels and “clean coal.”  Yes, Obama wants to stop climate change by screwing over rural communities through promotion of more hydrofracking and increased natural gas exports; expanding domestic oil production–including the hellish Bakken shale oil fields (but don’t worry, it will be clean Bakken oil­–no really, that’s in there); devoting more land to growing feedstocks for plant-based liquid fuels (i.e. less land for biodiversity, growing food or for peasant communities to survive on); protecting forests that store carbon while cutting down trees to burn for electricity production; building more nuclear power plants (apparently never heard of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima); and maintaining the fantasy of that wonderful oxymoron “clean coal.” Sane direction?

Spur Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects. Like “clean” coal, we can burn our fossil fuels and stop climate change too!

Maintain Agricultural Sustainability. For this one, Obama wants us to trust the vehemently pro-GMO US Department of Agriculture to “deliver tailored, science-based knowledge to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.”  ‘Climate ready’ GMO crops anyone?

Negotiate Global Free Trade in Environmental Goods and Services. Right, cuz global free trade has served biodiversity, ecosystems and the 99% so well!

But the most ludicrous item is the last on the menu: “Leading efforts to address climate change through international negotiations.”  (I know, I know, stop laughing)

This section excels in Orwellian newspeak. It highlights the disastrous 2009 UN Copenhagen Climate Conference as “historic progress,” and insists that the secretly negotiated Copenhagen Accord (that was booed even by reporters when Obama announced it late in the negotiations) was a breakthrough in developing “a new regime of international transparency.” Omitted is the fact that this Accord was never actually consensed upon, but merely “noted” by the official body.  Well history is “his story” after all…

The section goes on to trumpet the accomplishments of the equally disastrous UN Climate Conference in Durban in 2011–about which Nature Magazine wrote “It is clear that the science of climate change and the politics of climate change, now inhabit parallel worlds.”

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International similarly condemned Durban’s outcomes, “developed countries, led by the US, accelerated the demolition of the world’s international framework for fair and urgent climate action. And developing countries have been bullied and forced into accepting an agreement that could be a suicide pill for the world. An increase in global temperatures of four degrees Celsius, permitted under this plan, is a death sentence for Africa, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid whereby the richest 1% of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

But Obama’s Climate Action Plan insists Durban was “a breakthrough”–because countries agreed to come up with some kind of new climate agreement that would not go into force until 2020.

Gee, guess who won’t be in office anymore in 2020…

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Oil, Pollution, Posts from Anne Petermann, UNFCCC

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.

Figueres page 1

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.

Continue reading


Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, UNFCCC

Global Justice Ecology Project’s 2009 Annual Report is now online.

An Indigenous participant speaks during the REDD Capacity Building Training for Indigenous Peoples. The REDD training took place on May 30th in New York City and was organized by Indigenous Environmental Network and Global Forest Coalition. Global Justice Ecology Project gave a detailed powerpoint presentation about the social, environmental and health threats posed by GE tree plantations. Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Global Justice Ecology Project’s 2009 Annual Report is now online.  You can find the link to download the 10 page by clicking here.

What You Will Find in Our 2009 Annual Report:

• GJEP’s Climate Justice Program: Accomplishments at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark; and building the climate justice movement in North America

• Updates on the STOP GE Trees Campaign and our work in support of the rights of Indigenous and forest-dependent communities

• Media Support work: The Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change

• New Voices on Climate Change: Fall Tour and G20 Protests in Pittsburgh

• GJEP’s Visual Impact: the photography of Orin Langelle

• GJEP’s work in Vermont

• Global Forest Coalition

• 2009 Financial Report

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15

Nicola Bullard on KPFK Los Angeles’ Sojourner Truth show

Nicola Bullard from Focus on the Global South talks about the international climate justice movement  right after minute 37:31 (it’s very fast to download and then it’s easy to go to that time) on the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Click here to listen to the show

This interview is part of a weekly segment on the environment on KPFK. The segment airs every Thursday and is created through a partnership between Global Justice Ecology Project and Margaret Prescod’s Sojourner Truth show.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Earth Minute, Independent Media, Media

And the Absurdity Continues… Report from the interim UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany

photo: Petermann/GJEP-GFC

By Anne Petermann

Several interesting developments at the Funny Farm today and yesterday.

The Subsidiary Body on Implementation, or SBI (dontcha just love that UN-speak) met yesterday to address the question of “civil society” (their term, not mine) participation.  Sounds reasonable.  Opening the process to increased civil society participation has long been a demand of climate justice groups working in this process—considered the most closed and restricted of the various UN processes.

Yeah, well…

That wasn’t quite the purpose of the agenda item.  The topic was not raised to increase participation, but to try to avoid the “problems” of Copenhagen.  They discussed, among other things, how to prevent unpermitted protest at the Climate COP in Cancun this coming December; how to restrict the participation of civil society groups in the negotiations; and how to ensure that no Parties (participating countries) include civil society groups on their delegations.  The question of corporate representatives being included in Party delegations, however, was not an issue.  Surprise, surprise.  And as the final slap in the face, the civil society representative that had been selected by Climate Justice Now! to present an ‘intervention’ (short statement) regarding civil society’s thoughts on the question of participation was prevented from giving the statement they had been promised.  The Chair of the session simply refused to call on them.

This is a clear signal to those of us comprising so-called “civil society” that we shall have no role, not even a symbolic one, in the “official” process defining the way forward on climate change mitigation.  While the lack of meaningful participation by NGOs and social movements is nothing new, the blatant-ness of the anti-civil society attitude among the FCCC is revealing indeed, and helps set the stage for how we will be able to “participate” during the climate COP in Cancun.

Slap in the Face Number 2: Cochabamba vs Copenhagen

This UN Climate Meeting follows on the heels of the historic Cochabamba Climate Summit that took place in Bolivia in April.  This summit was called by Evo Morales as a response to the dreadful outcomes of the official Copenhagen UN climate summit where Barak Obama waltzed in with his so-called “Copenhagen Accord,” that was negotiated in secret with a small cabal of countries, subverting the many months of negotiations by 190+ countries leading up to Copenhagen.  It was roundly denounced by numerous Southern countries and never adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

The Cochabamba Summit, on the other hand, came out with very strong climate-justice based statements including a condemnation of the unjust and market-based REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, a call for repayment of climate debt, the establishment of a world tribunal on climate and environmental justice, and many other proposals to move forward with real and meaningful action on climate change.  These consensus agreements were made by 35,000 people over three days in various working groups.  Their outcomes were presented here in Bonn as official submissions to the negotiating text by both Bolivia and Venezuela.

The new draft negotiating text, however, ignores these Cochabamba agreements and instead incorporates ALL of the components of the Copenhagen Accord.

This absurdity was addressed by Climate Justice Now! through an intervention read by Camila Moreno, who represents Global Justice Ecology Project in Brazil with a GJEP desk in the Porto Alegre-based Friends of the Earth office.

Oh yeah, yet another slap in the face—while the Parties are allowed to blather on for 5 or 10 minutes each with essentially unlimited interventions, Climate Justice Now!—an network of some 200 organizations from around the world—was given exactly 60 seconds, and warned that their microphone would be cut off at exactly that.  60 seconds incidentally is about 160 words.

The upcoming Cancun Climate Conference, it seems, is beginning to look more and more like it will be a repeat of the WTO (World Trade Organization) meeting there in September of 2003, where there were massive protests on the outside and disruptions on the inside.  Between the increasing focus of the UN climate talks on trade and market-based mechanisms to “address climate change” [read: make lots of money] and the almost total exclusion of civil society, the UN Climate Convention has truly become the new World Carbon Trade Organization.

Copenhagen was not the climax of the climate justice movement, but rather its launching pad.  Or to paraphrase the motto of Redwood Summer back in 1990: “This decade is going to make the 1960s look like the 1950s.  Wouldn’t that be nice…

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Posts from Anne Petermann

Join Us: Photo Exhibit and Event April 6th in San Francisco

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Photo of the Month is from Orin Langelle’s new exhibit, The Roadmap to Extinction: Are Humans Disappearing? This exhibit will be shown for one night only on April 6th at an event in San Francisco in the Good Vibrations store/gallery on Polk Street.  Details of this event are below.

Please join us for an evening of art and politics at Good Vibrations
Global Justice Ecology Project
Photo Reception and Fundraiser Mixer

Where: Good Vibrations Polk Street Gallery, 1620 Polk St, San Francisco
When: Tuesday, April 6th, 5:30-7:30 pm

Join us for a special social mixer and info night featuring an update on Global Justice Ecology Project‘s climate justice and forest protection work, including their first hand analysis of the Copenhagen Climate talks, and where do we go from here.
Also featured is a one-night-only photo exhibit by GJEP Co-Director/ Strategist Orin Langelle titled, The Roadmap to Extinction: Are Humans Disappearing?

Enjoy wine and nibbles while you meet the photographer Orin Langelle and GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann, from our main office in Vermont, and Hallie Boas, from our west coast desk, at this informal and informational reception.
Good Vibrations has partnered with Global Justice Ecology Project through their GiVe program.

About the Photo Exhibit:
This new photo exhibit by Orin Langelle premiered in Copenhagen, Denmark during the UN Climate Convention in December 2009.  The exhibit’s theme is climate change and the possibility of human extinction.  Langelle’s photographs reveal that time and existence are fleeting.  This visual warning and wake-up call confronts the viewer with a thought provoking portrayal of the ephemeral nature of life.  Orin Langelle trained as a photojournalist at the International Center of Photography.  This show is a departure from usual his documentary work.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Copenhagen/COP-15