Category Archives: UNFCCC

Opposition mounts as California’s cap-and-trade law adopts methane capture from coal mining, rice farming

April 25, 2014. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network

Photo: Langelle/GJEP

Photo: Langelle/GJEP

Global civil society, Indigenous Peoples, environmental organizations and social movements from over 30 countries slammed the State of California’s plans to include methane offsets from coal mining and rice cultivation in its cap-and-trade program because they are false solutions to climate change that greenwash mining and use food for carbon trading.

“The peoples of the world reject offsets and carbon traders, big polluting corporations like mining companies and oil giants Shell and Chevron, defend offsets,” notes Americans against Offsets.

This resounding international outcry has already opposed other forms of offsets in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) including offsets from urban trees, domestic and Canadian forests, and REDD (Reducing Emissions form Deforestation and Degradation) in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and other tropical forest countries. Furthermore, the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee of AB32 echoed this opposition to offsets when it submitted its final recommendations to the California Air Resource Board on April 11, 2014.

“Offsets are a carbon trading scam to supposedly compensate greenhouse gas emissions and are used by polluters instead of reducing pollution at source”, says Tom BK Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, who has 16 years of experience participating in national and United Nations climate negotiations.

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Coal, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, REDD, UNFCCC

Evidence of acceleration of anthropogenic climate disruption on all fronts

By Dahr Jamail, April 10, 2014. Source: Truthout

Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

 

This month’s dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good.

“No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change,” IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already “severe, pervasive, and irreversible.”

The IPCC report was one of many released in recent weeks, and all of them bring dire predictions of what is coming. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a report warning that “the rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades.” The report went on to warn of the risk “of abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes in the Earth’s climate system with massively disruptive impacts,” including the possible “large scale collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, collapse of part of the Gulf Stream, loss of the Amazon rain forest, die-off of coral reefs, and mass extinctions.”
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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oceans, Oil, UNFCCC

Leaked IPCC climate plan to worsen global warming

By Nafeez Ahmed, April 7, 2014. Source: The Guardian

Photo: Greenpeace handout/EPA

Photo: Greenpeace handout/EPA

A British environmental organisation that has reviewed the draft of a forthcoming UN IPCC report on mitigating climate change has questioned many of the document’s recommendations as deeply flawed.

Dr Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, said that the report’s embrace of “largely untested” and “very risky” technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS), will “exacerbate” climate change, agricultural problems, water scarcity, soil erosion and energy challenges, “rather than improving them.”

A leaked draft of the as yet unpublished report by Working Group 3 (WG3) of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to be officially released in mid-April, was obtained by the Guardian. Dr Smolker, a behavioural ecologist and biofuels expert, said that the alarming impacts of climate change identified by the IPCC’s Working Groups 1 and 2 would “worsen” as a consequence of such “false solutions” which have been increasingly criticised in the scientific literature.

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, UNFCCC

Ngäbe-Buglé challenge constitutionality of land seizures, protest camps targeted by high-powered lamps

By Robin Llewellyn, April 9, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry

ngabe1

All photos by Robin Llewellyn

The controversial Barro Blanco dam project will face another challenge today when the Cacica Silvia Carrera presents a demand of unconstitutionality before Panama’s Supreme Court of Justice regarding Law 18, passed on March 26, 2013.

With Article 127 of the Panamanian Constitution protecting collective ownership of lands and prohibiting private ownership of indigenous territories, Law 18 was rushed into place by President Ricardo Martinelli to allow the legal appropriation of collective lands, particularly lands held by the Ngäbe communities of Nuevo Palomar, Kiad, and Quebrada Caña. All three communities face land seizures as a result of the dam’s construction.

Genisa, the Panamanian company developing Barro Blanco, initially argued that no land within the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca would be affected by the 28.85 MW dam project; but then claimed that the indigenous communities had consented to the dispossession of their territories. The project has been approved by the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, and is supported by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Dutch state development bank FMO, and the German development bank DEG.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, UNFCCC, World Bank

Panel’s warning on climate risk: Worst is yet to come

Note: And yet another study concludes what many people have been saying for years.  And once again, the United States lobbied to downplay the need to increase aid from industrial countries that have contributed the most to climate change.  Maybe it is time for members of the IPCC to put down their pens and pick up their swords.

-The GJEP Team

By Justin Gillis, March 31, 2014. Source: NY Times

Greenland'­s immense ice sheet is melting as a result of climate change. Photo: Kadir van Lohuizen for The New York Times

Greenland’­s immense ice sheet is melting as a result of climate change. Photo: Kadir van Lohuizen for The New York Times

Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.

Organic matter frozen in Arctic soils since before civilization began is now melting, allowing it to decay into greenhouse gases that will cause further warming, the scientists said.
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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, UNFCCC

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, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Oceans, Oil, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19

Lovera: A Pathetic REDD package

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

simoneloveraOn 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.”

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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

Earth Watch Interview: Simone Lovera of Global Forest Coalition on UN Climate Talks

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.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, KPFK, Politics, Pollution, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19

Breaking: Civil society walks out of Warsaw climate talks – Says hope lies with building peoples’ power

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. [1]

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.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Energy, Events, Green Economy, Greenwashing, UNFCCC, Warsaw/COP-19

IBON International Update from Warsaw Climate Conference

Climate, Number 1

Warsaw, November 18, 2013

The nineteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 19) is taking place inWarsaw, Poland, the 10th largest consumer of coal in the world, and producing 92% of its electricity from coal. According to many, must mark a ‘turning point’ for the international climate negotiations. Among the key outcomes expected from this meeting are on issues around mitigation, scaling up finance especially for adaptation, setting up an international mechanism toaddress loss and damage, and a plan for reaching a new legal agreement on climate action in 2015.

The COP 19 opened last week with the world witnessing the massive devastation wrought by super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and with that, the impassioned appeal of Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Naderev Sano to ‘stop the madness’ of a few rich countries that continue to renege on their climate commitments amidst the worsening impacts of climate change. Sano also announced that he will go on voluntary fasting throughout the COP 19 meetings, and this has snowballed all over the world, with many organizations and individuals going on solidarity fasting for the climate.

But as the first week of the 19th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP18) drew to a close, fault lines between developed and developing countries are becoming clearer.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Natural Disasters, Politics, UNFCCC