Statement from IEN on the Outcomes of the Bali WTO Meeting for Indigenous Peoples

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Council Statement


This statement reflects the wisdom of the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings. This statement is written in black and white with a foreign language that is not our own and does not convey the full depth of our concerns.

The Creator created the People of the Earth into the Land at the beginning of Creation and gave us a way of life. This way of life has been passed down generation-to-generation since the beginning. We have not honored this way of life through our own actions and we must live these original instructions in order to restore universal balance and harmony. We are a part of Creation; thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves.

We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.

Powerful technologies are out of control

and are threatening the future of all life

The Fukushima nuclear crisis alone is a threat to the future of humanity. Yet, our concern goes far beyond this single threat. Our concern is with the cumulative and compounding devastation that is being wrought by the actions of human beings around the world. It is the combination of resource extraction, genetically modified organisms, moral failures, pollution, introduction of invasive species and much much more that are threatening the future of life on Earth. The compounding of bad decisions and their corresponding actions are extremely short-sighted. They do not consider the future generations and they do not respect or honor the Creator’s Natural Law. We strongly urge for the governmental authorities to respond with an open invitation to work and consult with us to solve the world’s problems, without war. We must stop waging war against Mother Earth, and ourselves.

We acknowledge that all of these devastating actions originated in human beings who are living without regard for the Earth as the source of life. They have strayed from the Original Instructions by casting aside the Creator’s Natural Law. It is now critical for humanity to acknowledge that we have created a path to self destruction. We must restore the Original Instructions in our lives to halt this devastation.

The sanctity of the Original Instructions has been violated. As a result, the Spiritual People of the Earth were called ceremonially to come together at the home of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. These Spiritual Leaders and those that carry great responsibility for their people from both North and South America came together with the sacred fire for four days at the end of September 2013 to fulfill their sacred responsibilities. During this time it was revealed that the spirit of destruction gained its’ strength by our spiritually disconnected actions. We are all responsible in varying degrees for calling forth this spirit of destruction, thus we are all bound to begin restoring what we have damaged by helping one another recover our sacred responsibility to the Earth. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, offer our spiritual insight, wisdom and vision to the global community to help guide the actions needed to overcome the current threats to all life.

We only have to look at our own bodies to recognize the sacred purpose of water on Mother Earth. We respect and honor our spiritual relationship with the lifeblood of Mother Earth. One does not sell or contaminate their mother’s blood. These capitalistic actions must stop and we must recover our sacred relationship with the Spirit of Water

The People of the Earth understand that the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to threaten the future of all life. We understand the full implications of this crisis even with the suppression of information and the filtering of truth by the corporate owned media and Nation States. We strongly urge the media, corporations and Nation States to acknowledge and convey the true facts that threaten us, so that the international community may work together to resolve this crisis, based on the foundation of Truth.

We urge the international community, government of Japan and TEPCO to unify efforts to stabilize and re-mediate the nuclear threat posed at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. To ensure that the Japanese government and TEPCO are supported with qualified personnel and information, we urge the inclusion of today’s nuclear experts from around the world to collaborate, advise and provide technical assistance to prevent further radioactive contamination or worse, a nuclear explosion that may have apocalyptic consequences.

The foundation for peace will be strengthened

by restoring the Original Instructions in ourselves

Prophecies have been shared and sacred instructions were given. We, the People of the Earth, were instructed that the original wisdom must be shared again when imbalance and disharmony are upon Mother Earth. In 1994 the sacred white buffalo, the giver of the sacred pipe, returned to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people bringing forth the sacred message that the winds of change are here. Since that time many more messengers in the form of white animals have come, telling us to wake up my children. It is time. So listen for the sacred instruction.

All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the sacredness of Life we affect all Creation

We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to work with us, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore the Original Instructions and uphold the Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision making, from this point forward. Our collective future as human beings is in our hands, we must address the Fukushima nuclear crisis and all actions that may violate the Creator’s Natural Law. We have reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence. We will avert this potentially catastrophic nuclear disaster by coming together with good minds and prayer as a global community of all faiths.

We are the People of the Earth united under the Creator’s Law with a sacred covenant to protect and a responsibility to extend Life for all future generations. We are expressing deep concern for our shared future and urge everyone to awaken spiritually. We must work in unity to help Mother Earth heal so that she can bring back balance and harmony for all her children.

Representatives of the Council

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
Spiritual Leader The Great Sioux Nation
Bobby C. Billie
Clan Leader and Spiritual Leader 
Council of the Original Miccosukee 
Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples

Faith Spotted Eagle, Tunkan Inajin Win
Brave Heart Society Grandmother
Headswoman & Ihanktonwan Treaty Council
Ihanktonwan Dakota from the Oceti Sakowin
7 Council Fires


PLEASE click to the original site to support the statement:


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Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not

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Posted Wed 20th Feb 2013, 7:50pm

• EDF suing climate activists for £5million

• Evidence of police/corporate collusion as police serve legal papers on
activists on behalf of EDF, and hand over personal data

• Key CCTV footage at police station may have been deleted

• Counter-Terrorism Command visited activist at home

• Home Secretary Theresa May questioned in Parliament

For more information, photos, film footage and interviews email or phone 07447027112. A new short film of two of
the activists speaking about the civil claim can be seen here:

Following the week-long shut-down and occupation of EDF’s West Burton
gas-fired power station last October by campaign group ‘No Dash for Gas’,
EDF has launched a civil claim for damages against the group and
associated activists for costs the company claims to have incurred – a
figure it puts at £5 million [1].

Should the claim succeed, several of the campaigners face losing their
homes, and all could face bankruptcy or be forced to pay a percentage of
their salaries to EDF for decades to come. The amount of the claim
represents just 0.3% of EDF’s annual UK profits, which rose by 7.5% this
year to £1.7 billion [2].

This is the first time an energy company has attempted such a claim, and
campaigners say it represents the opening of a new front against peaceful
direct action protesters. If successful, it could have a chilling effect
on other groups – such as UK Uncut and Greenpeace – who use civil
disobedience to challenge social and environmental problems.

Aneaka Kelly, one of the No Dash for Gas defendants said: ‘This un-civil
action by EDF is not about money – they know we don’t have this kind of
cash. EDF just want to make sure that anyone who tries to stand up and
challenge their profiteering price hikes, shady government lobbying and
climate-trashing power plants is quickly silenced by the threat of legal

Sixteen campaigners occupied two chimneys at West Burton for a week in
October 2012, stopping nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions [3]. The
activists – 21 in total – were convicted of aggravated trespass at
Mansfield Magistrates Court today. Seventeen are due to be sentenced on
March 20th, and the remaining four on April 2nd.

There is evidence that Nottinghamshire Police colluded with EDF against
‘No Dash for Gas’ by formally serving civil papers on the activists after
their arrest, and by sharing their personal data with the power company.
In one case officers served the papers on the activists’ lawyer, in
another they chased an activist down the street outside the station and
served the papers on him directly, commenting, “I’m doing this as a
courtesy to EDF” [4]. Last week, the Home Secretary was questioned in
Parliament about whether this kind of practice is routine [5].

The campaigners believe that Nottinghamshire Police’s support for the
civil claim is part of a larger strategy to crack down on environmental
protest, as evidenced by the use of extremely onerous bail conditions on
the activists after their arrest. They were not allowed to associate with
each other and most were subject to home curfews from 9pm to 7am. Those
conditions were only lifted once the company had ordered its own civil
legal strategy against the activists. FOI documents obtained by No Dash
for Gas show that a Special Advisor in the Department for Energy was
liaising with the police about those bail conditions before most of the
activists were even arrested. [6]

In another incident, Counter Terrorism Command officers visited an
activist at her home to ‘remind’ her of her bail conditions and caution
her against going within 50 metres of E.ON’s Grain Island Power Station.

Deeply concerned by police involvement in the unprecedented civil claim,
the activists’ lawyer Mike Schwarz of Bindmans wrote to the police asking
to view CCTV footage from inside the station, only to be told it had
probably been deleted as footage was only kept for three months – despite
the fact that this three-month deadline had not yet passed.

Aneaka Kelly from No Dash For Gas said: “The police are meant to be
working in the public interest, not acting as EDF’s private police force.
If I wanted to sue EDF over their pollution or their price hikes, would
you expect the police to deliver the legal papers to EDF on my behalf, or
hand over the names and addresses of their top executives? Somehow, I
don’t think so.”

The protest itself aimed to challenge the Government’s plan to build up to
40 new gas-fired power stations, which would see gas accounting for over
50% of the UK’s power generation over the next three decades. The
Government’s own Committee on Climate Change have said that a new “dash
for gas” would make it impossible for the Government to meet its
legally-binding carbon reduction targets, and thus would push us ever
closer to the brink of unstoppable climate change [7].

The Committee also point out that a greater reliance on gas would increase
household bills by up to six times more than a shift to renewable energy
[8]. These comments were echoed this week by the Chief Executive of Ofgem
Alistair Buchanan, who warned that an increased reliance on gas will lead
to higher prices in the near future [9]. Campaigners blame the lobbying
power of big energy companies like EDF for the Government’s current
pro-gas position [10].

The case is reminiscent of the record-breaking “McLibel” case, when the
fast food chain McDonalds sued two activists from North London from
1990-1997. Ewa Jasiewicz, another No Dash for Gas defendant said: ‘This is
starting to look just like McLibel. It’s a David and Goliath battle
between protesters with nothing but their bodies to put in the way, and
out-of-control Big Energy which has a business plan that will drive up
bills, push millions into fuel poverty and crash our climate targets. We
will be resisting EDF’s claim every step of the way’.


Notes for editors

[1] Copies of the legal papers from EDF are available – please email us on or phone 07447027112 to see them. The £5 million
figure was presented in court today, in evidence from Graeme Bellingham,
Project Director at West Burton’s, who stated that: ‘Delays to the final
completion of the project has caused total losses to EDF in excess of £5
million’. See also


[3] See
The campaigners calculated that they were stopping 2,371 tonnes per day,
and the action lasted for seven days, so that’s 2371 x 7 = 19117 tonnes of
CO2 saved.

[4] See

[5] On Friday 8th February, Caroline Lucas (MP for Brighton Pavilion) put
forward the following question in Parliament:

“To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is
on (a) the provision of
information by the police to private companies that are planning or taking
civil legal action against protesters, where those protesters may be
subject to criminal proceedings, (b) the timing of the provision of such
information and (c) provision of other practical assistance by the police
to companies taking civil proceedings, including service or quasi-service
of court papers; whether her Department has established any formal
procedures or organisations to (i) facilitate the flow of any such
information and (ii) establish compliance with or breach of any such
procedures and policies; and if she will make a statement.”

The Home Secretary has not yet responded.

[6] FOI documents available on request – please email us on or phone 07447027112 to see them.




[10] See for example

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Open letter to COP18 Delegates from Bill McKibben, Nnimmo Bassey & Pablo Soló n

Open letter:
To really address climate change UNFCCC-COP18 should decide to
leave under the soil more than 2/3 of the fossil reserves

2012 saw the shocking melt of the Arctic, leading our greatest climatologist to declare a ‘planetary emergency,’ and it saw weather patterns wreck harvests around the world, raising food prices by 40% and causing family emergencies in poor households throughout the world.

That’s what happens with 0.8ºC of global warming. If we are going to stop this situation from getting worse, an array of institutions have explained this year precisely what we need to do: leave most of the carbon we know about in the ground and stop looking for more.


we want a 50-50 chance of staying below two degrees, we have to leave 2/3 of the known reserves of coal and oil and gas underground; if we want an 80% chance, we have to leave 80% of those reserves untouched. That’s not “environmentalist math” or some radical interpretation–that’s from the report of the International Energy Agency last month.

It means that–without dramatic global action to change our path–the end of the climate story is already written. There is no room for doubt–absent remarkable action, these fossil fuels will burn, and the temperature will climb creating a chain reaction of climate related natural disasters.


should cease their face-saving, their endless bracketing and last minute cooking of texts and concentrate entirely on figuring out how to live within the carbon budget scientists set. We can’t emit more than 565 more gigatons of carbon before 2050, but at the current pace we’ll blow past that level in 15 years. If we want to have a chance to stick to this budget by 2020 we can’t send to the atmosphere more than 200 gigatons.


countries who have poured most of the carbon into the atmosphere (especially the planet’s sole superpower) need to take the lead in emission reductions and the emerging economies have also to make commitments to reduce the exploitation of oil, coal and gas. The right to development should be understood as the obligation of the states to guarantee the basic needs of the population to enjoy a fulfilled and happy life, and not as a free ticket for a consumer and extractivist society that doesn’t take into account the limits of the planet and the wellbeing of all humans.


no longer time for diplomatic delays. Most of the negotiators in the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) know that these are the facts. Now is the time to act for the future of humanity and Nature.

Bill McKibben, Nnimmo Bassey & Pablo Solon

(Bill McKibben founder of, Nnimmo Bassey Environmental Rights Action & Coordinator of Oilwatch International, Pablo Solon Executive

Director of Focus on the Global South, former Bolivian Ambassador to the UN and former chief negotiator for climate change).

Carta abierta:
La XVIII Conferencia sobre Cambio Climático debe decidir
dejar bajo el suelo más de dos terceras partes de los combustibles fósiles

2012 vio el sorprendente derretimiento del Ártico que llevó a la declaratoria de “emergencia planetaria” por los mas importantes climatólogos. Así mismo, este año el cambio climático arruinó cosechas en todo el mundo, elevando los precios de alimentos en un 40% y causando emergencias familiares en los hogares pobres de todo el mundo.

Esto es lo que sucede con 0,8ºC de incremento en la temperatura. Una serie de instituciones han señalado lo que tenemos que hacer para evitar que esta situación se agrave: dejar la mayor parte de las reservas conocidas de combustibles fósiles bajo la tierra y dejar de buscar más.

Si queremos tener una probabilidad de 50% de permanecer por debajo de un incremento de 2ºC, tenemos que dejar 2/3 partes de las reservas conocidas de carbón, petróleo y gas bajo tierra. Si queremos un 80% de probabilidades, tenemos que dejar sin tocar el 80% de las reservas. Eso no es “matemáticas ambientalista” o alguna interpretación radical. Este es el informe de la Agencia Internacional de Energía del mes pasado.

Esto significa que -sin una acción mundial urgente para cambiar el curso de los acontecimientos- el final de la historia del clima ya está escrito. No hay lugar para la duda. Sí continua la inacción, estos combustibles fósiles se quemarán y la temperatura subirá creando una reacción en cadena de desastres natural producto del cambio climático.

Los negociadores deben dejar de tratar de salvar las apariencias -con sus encorchetados y textos fabricados a último momento- para concentrarse exclusivamente en encontrar la manera de vivir dentro de los límites que la ciencia ha establecido para el uso del presupuesto de carbono que nos queda. No podemos emitir más de 565 giga toneladas de dióxido de carbono hasta el 2050. Al ritmo actual vamos a quemar mas de esa cantidad en los próximos 15 años. Si queremos tener algún chance de no sobrepasar ese presupuesto de dióxido de carbono no podemos enviar a la atmósfera más de 200 giga toneladas hasta el año 2020.

Los países ricos que han enviado la mayor parte del carbono a la atmósfera (en particular la única superpotencia del planeta) deben reducir inmediatamente sus emisiones de carbono. También las economías emergentes tienen que asumir compromisos de reducción en la explotación de carbón, petróleo y gas. El derecho al desarrollo debe entenderse como la obligación de los Estados de garantizar las necesidades básicas de la población para disfrutar de una vida plena y feliz, y no como un boleto gratis para una sociedad consumista y extractivista que no toma en cuenta los límites del planeta y el bienestar de todos los seres humanos.

Ya no hay tiempo para dilaciones diplomáticas. La mayoría de los negociadores en la XVIII Conferencia de las Partes de la CMNUCC (Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático) saben que estos son los hechos. Ahora es el momento de actuar por el futuro de la humanidad y la naturaleza.

Bill McKibben, Nnimmo Bassey y Pablo Solón

(Bill McKibben fundador de, Nnimmo Bassey “Environmental Rights Action” Coordinador de Oilwatch Internacional, Pablo Solón Director Ejecutivo de “Focus on the Global South”, ex-embajador de Bolivia ante la ONU y ex-jefe negociador de cambio climático).

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SADC peoples summit – Maputo 13-16 aug

Announcing the 2012 SADC People’s Summit.

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Powerful words. Not like the weak statements coming from our politicians

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GJEP and Biofuelwatch disrupt industry event with Richard Branson

For Immediate Release                            21 June 2012

Activists Disrupt Sir Richard Branson at Avoided Deforestation Rio +20 Event

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–Activists from Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch disrupted Sir Branson’s speech with chants and placards at the Rio+20 Earth Summit event titled “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for Deforestation-Free / Sustainable Agriculture” today at the Windsor Barra hotel in Rio.

“We came here to interfere with this event because we recognize that the negotiations inside the UN’s official Rio+20 Conference are essentially irrelevant”, stated Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. “The real negotiations that will determine the fate of the planet are being held outside of the UN space at these industry-sponsored events”, she added.

Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator of USAID was clear on this point when he stated during his presentation at the event, “these [public-private partnership] events are not side events, these are the main events”.

“Biofuelwatch took part in this action because of Richard Branson’s key role in promoting large-scale biofuels for aviation, geo-engineering and other destructive techno fixes”, stated Almuth Ernsting. “Branson is responsible for vast carbon emissions from his airline to which he now wants to add space tourism – his ‘solutions’ include more destructive monoculture plantations which harm forests, peoples and climate”.

Parallel to the negotiations that have been going on around Rio+20, the UN Climate Conferences and other UN forums, industry is coming together with countries like Norway to create ways to implement highly controversial market-based approaches like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) that cannot be passed in the multilateral meetings.

Participants in the event included executives from Coca Cola and Unilever, both of which are implicated in serious human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

“We took this action in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, local communities and small farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by the privatization of their lands for Green Economy-style projects”, stated Keith Brunner of Gears of Change and Global Justice Ecology Project. “Public-private partnerships, such as those discussed here, are driving a vast transfer of wealth, resources and land into private hands–from the 99% to the 1%”.

After the disruption, participants in the action left the premises.

Contact: Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project +55.21.8079.0538


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Rio march pics, via Patrick Bond

Wednesday 20 June was a critical day to protest the Green Economy orientation of the United Nations Environment Program, the Rio+20 farce and the Brazilian government’s hostility to nature and people.

It wasn’t an easy day because by mistake, someone ordered clouds, occasional showers and a steady drizzle to dampen the mood…

… but around 50,000 turned out anyhow…

… and some found ways to stay dry…

… even the World Wide Fund for Nature’s leadership came…

… o

ne of the most hated targets, was Brazilian President Dilma and her chainsaw…

… and there were clear messages


… such as, we need financing of food not bombs (those are pita bread decorations on that tank)…

… and other guerrilla theatre…

… and most strikingly, a gigantic flag filled a half-city block, and people danced

… the women’s contingents were impressive…

… along with a few others from Africa…

… students were strong…

… recyclers…

… trade unions, including academics on strike (greve)…

… and in greatest numbers, bringing up the rear were the red-flag-waving Movement of Landless Workers…

… at last, the end, at the Rio Municipal Theatre, one of the city’s most opulent buildings…

… overall, comparing to Joburg anti-W$$D (World Summit on Sustainable Development) in 2002, this march was bigger, more boisterous, more creative, a bit less focused, but certainly sending the signal that there is a huge anti-corporate activist contingent available to turn back that toxic tide of neoliberalized nature that the United Nations and its multinational corporate allies are pushing on the world. This amazing spirit needs to spread… everywhere, urgently.

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Reclaim the UN from corporate capture — Friends of the Earth International

As the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) turns 20, there are real concerns about the increasing influence of major corporations and business lobby groups within the UN. Download full report: Reclaim the UN from corporate capture — … Continue reading

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Values vs Price at #Rio+20 : Patrick Bond

Values versus prices at the Rio+20 Earth Summit
By Patrick Bond, 18 June 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO – Given the worsening world economic crisis, the turn to ‘Green Economy’ rhetoric looms as a potential saviour for footloose financial capital, and is also enormously welcome to those corporations panicking at market chaos in the topsy-turvy fossil-fuel, water, infrastructure construction, technology and agriculture sectors.

On the other hand, for everyone else, the Rio+20 Earth Summit underway this week in Brazil, devoted to advancing Green Economy policies and projects, appears as an overall disaster zone for the people and planet.

Meanwhile in Mexico, the G20 meeting of the real powerbrokers this week included a Green Economy session. But more serious distractions for the elites include ongoing Southern European revulsion at harmful public policies cooked up by bankers, and potential war in the Middle East. Perhaps a few environmentally-decent projects may get needed subsidies as a result of the G20 and Rio talkshops, and we’ll hear of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ to replace the fatuous UN Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

But the overarching danger is renewed official faith in market mechanisms. No surprise, following the logic of two South African precedents: the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (Rio+10) and last December’s Durban COP17 climate summit. There, the chance to begin urgent environmental planning to reverse ecosystem destruction was lost, sabotaged by big- and medium-governments’ negotiators acting on behalf of their countries’ polluting and privatising corporations.

Market fixes to market failures?

It’s useful to interrogate the eco-governance elites’ assumptions. I’m here in Rio at the International Society for Ecological Economics conference within a critical research network – the Barcelona-based Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT) – whose leaders, Joan Martinez-Alier and Joachim Spangenberg, issued a statement appropriately cynical about the Green Economy: “The promises are striking: conserving nature, overcoming poverty, providing equity and creating jobs. But the means and philosophy behind it look all too familiar: a stale diet of environmental modernisation reloaded, and freshened up with a significant dose of neoliberal political thinking.”

Unfortunately, after the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit, multinational corporations increasingly dominated the emerging terrain of global environmental governance. The United Nations Environment Programme came to view “the sustainability crisis as the biggest-ever ‘market failure’” – a dangerous distraction, according to the two political-ecologists, because “Describing it this way reveals a specific kind of thinking: a market failure means that the market failed to deliver what in principle it could have delivered, and once the bug is fixed the market will solve the problem.”

Martinez-Alier and Spangenberg reverse this logic: “Unsustainable development is not a market failure to be fixed but a market system failure: expecting results from the market that it cannot deliver, like long-term thinking, environmental consciousness and social responsibility.”

In the same spirit, Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi chastised ISEE’s conventional economists in a plenary: “There are a million struggles in India against pollution that Martinez-Alier calls the ‘environmentalism of the poor’, in contrast to the Green Economy which is the environmentalism of the rich.”

Narain contined, “The issue is not the price of nature, it’s rights and it’s the values of democracy, of governance, of society, of humanity. Let’s be very clear: in today’s Green Economy as it is being shaped in Rio Centro and by many economists, these principles will not help us move ahead. Let’s not get lost in yet another shallow, empty concept.”

It’s critical to pose the Green Economy from this class-analytic and eco-centric standpoint, especially because inside the official Rio Centro, negotiations on a bland pro-market text continue through Saturday. There, progressive civil society strategies to insulate basic human and natural rights – e.g. to water – are being foiled by negotiators and by the host neoliberal Brazilian government which is channelling reactionary positions from Northern negotiators, especially from Washington, Ottawa, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, the main saboteur-regimes when it comes to water justice.

According to Anil Naidoo of the Ottawa-based Blue Planet Project, “the new negotiating text is out and it is terrible! We expected the attacks to continue as we have made strong gains through our pressure, but clearly we must again fight for our human right to water and sanitation.” In spite of excellent anti-privatisation activism by Naidoo’s allies in dozens of cities across the world, water commercialisation remains a major threat, especially thanks to the World Resources Institute’s mapping of scarcity on behalf of thirsty transnational corporations.

Also within the rubric of the Green Economy, corporations are seeking new technological ‘False Solutions’ to the climate and other environmental crises, including dirty forms of ‘clean energy’ (nuclear, so-called ‘clean coal’, fracking ‘natural gas’, hydropower, hydrogen, biofuels, biomass and biochar); dangerous Carbon Capture and Storage experiments; and other whacky geoengineering gimmicks such as Genetically Modified trees to sequester carbon, sulfates in the air to shut out the sun, iron filings in the sea to create algae blooms, and large-scale solar reflection such as industrial-scale plastic-wrap for deserts.

From African ‘natural capital’ to pricing to markets

Crazy corporate tactics aside, the philosophical underpinning of the Green Economy needs wider questioning. The precise wording is terribly important, as Africans began to understand after last month’s ‘Gaborone Declaration’ hosted by Botswana president Ian Khama. He brought together leaders from nine other African countries – Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania – to “quantify and integrate into development and business practice” what ordinary people consider to be the innate value of nature.

But these leaders and their conference sponsor Conservation International mean something else, devoid of eco-systemic, spiritual, aesthetic, and intrinsic qualities. The Declaration insists, “Watersheds, forests, fisheries, coral reefs, soils, and all natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity constitute our vital natural capital and are central to long-term human well-being, and therefore must be protected from overuse and degradation and, where necessary, must be restored and enhanced.”

By relegating our environment to mere natural capital, the next step is to convert value into price and then sell chunks of nature on the market. All manner of financialisation strategies have emerged to securitise ‘environmental services’, most obviously in carbon markets which continue failing miserably to deliver investor funds to slow climate change.

For some institutions we can term yuppie-green due to their pro-market ideology, faith continues in spite of emissions trading’s descent to hell. In a joint paper published last week, the WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Greenpeace advocated last-gasp reforms to revitalise the European Union carbon markets. Like the Chicago exchange in 2010, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is in real danger of dying, what with last month’s drop-out announcement from Munich’s leading financiers, who cited a fatal degree of corruption and market oversupply.

The 2010 crash of the Chicago Climate Exchange – and an ongoing civil fraud lawsuit against founder Richard Sandor – is only the most obvious warning to those promoting emissions trading and voluntary offsets. In Africa, we argue based on new research for EJOLT, the ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ (CDM) carbon-trade and offset mechanism ‘Cannot Deliver the Money’.

The Durban COP17 climate gamble – that carbon markets could be revived as part of a renewed Kyoto Protocol mandate – was lost by virtue of the negotiators’ failure to make post-2012 emissions-cut commitments. And the Bonn follow-up meetings of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change last month

But the crisis facing the market crew aiming to ‘privatise the air’ is also pushing environmentally-oriented bankers in all sorts of other directions. Explained City of London investor Simon Greenspan, whose firm won World Finance magazine’s ‘Western European Commodities Broker of the Year’ award four months ago, “At Tullett Brown we’ve only ever invested in areas of the market that have truly stood the test of time, such as gold and silver and property. When our analysts were looking for the next great area of growth it was fairly obvious to them. It was the planet, it was the environment.” (Oops, Tullett Brown went into provisional liquidation just days later.)

Reacting to the Gaborone Declaration, Nnimmo Bassey from the Niger Delta NGO Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth International warned, “The bait of revenue from natural capital is simply a cover for continued rape of African natural resources.” Thanks to inadequate protection against market abuse, he adds, “The declaration will help corporate interests in Rio while impoverishing already disadvantaged populations, exacerbate land grabs and displace the poor from their territories.”

To illustrate the pernicious way markets undermine nature, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe would say of the rhino and elephant 15 years ago, “The species must pay to stay” – which in turn allowed him and (white) cronies to offer rich overseas hunters the opportunity to shoot big game for big bucks. The dilemma about hunt marketing is that it doesn’t stop there: black markets in rhino horns and elephant tusks are the incentive for poachers to invade not just poorly defended game parks north of the Limpopo River, but also now in South Africa.

The alternative strategy would have been to tighten the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species’ restrictions against trade in ivory. But South Africa’s game-farm owners and free-market proponents got too greedy, and by influencing Pretoria to press for relaxation of CITES’ ban, hundreds of elephant and rhino corpses denuded of horns and tusks now litter the bush.

From prices to values, and from fees to fines

The best language in the Gaborone Declaration commits the ten countries to “reducing poverty by transitioning agriculture, extractive industries, fisheries and other natural capital uses to practices that promote sustainable employment, food security, sustainable energy and the protection of natural capital through protected areas and

other mechanisms.”

How, though, is the question. It is well and good to protect nature through imposing a prohibitive fine and ban on those who pollute, and it is past time for payment of the ‘climate debt’ from the Global North’s companies and government which take too much of the shrinking carbon space left in the environment, for instance.

It is another matter, entirely, to treat nature as ‘capital’ from which a fee-for-use – at Rio+20, termed ‘payment for environmental services’ – is offered by deep-pocket polluters to continue business-as-usual.

What do we need in coming years? Valuing nature and imposing pollution-bans and prohibitive fines for ecological degradation are the conceptual approach and the strategy required. But given the power balance here, we can instead expect the Earth Summit to promote the pricing of nature based on a pollution-fee system and environmental markets, which in effect will give discredited bankers the job of regulating world ecology.

Then watch out, people and planet – you will be swamped by hunger for profits.

Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society.

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Keep an eye on Climate Connections; coverage of Rio+20 summit in Brazil

The Climate-Connections media team will be covering the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as the alternative Peoples Summit convened by social movements and civil society. As well as providing coverage, we’ll be collaborating with North American groups such as Indigenous Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, under the umbrella of the Climate Justice Alignment.

The Rio+20 summit is being billed as a “once in a generation” opportunity to catalyze a global “green economy” which would simoultaneously address poverty, global environmental devastation, and maintain economic growth, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently warning that the summit “is too important to fail…If we really do not take firm actions, we may be heading towards the end – the end of our future.”

While much of the major media coverage of the conference will likely center around the inability of delegates to agree to a set of strong outcomes at the official summit, for many groups present in Rio, this may come as a relief. As social movement networks, civil society groups, and alternative media outlets such as Climate-Connections and Inter-Press Service have been documenting, rather than addressing the root causes of ecological collapse and social injustice, the market-based policies and technologies being advanced under the vague framework of the “green economy” will likely accelerate these problems. In what social movements are calling the same old “Greed(n) Economy,” industrial-scale biofuels, geo-engineering the atmosphere, and new bio-technologies join proposals to create vast new markets in carbon dioxide, biodiversity, and the services that ecosystems provide, with the oil/energy corporations chairing and defining the working groups on “sustainable energy.”

The Peoples Summit will offer radically different proposals to address the intertwined food, energy, economic and ecological crises, working with a framework of human rights and the rights of nature, grassroots resistance to harmful development, and community resilience in the face of an uncertain future. Lindsey, Will, Avery and I from Gears of Change look forward to spending time at both summits, and keeping you informed with the latest updates!

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#rioplus20 #rio+20 #peoplessummit event listing

The program of the People´s Summit, listing the places and periods for the activities is published on our website. Please check We have been working to use the dates and periods required in the submissions. Due to the high … Continue reading

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It’s been 20 years since the UN’s infamous Earth Summit in Rio. Now for round two, Rio+20, in which 120 world “leaders” and delegates from around 190 countries will convene in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

During COP17, many of the activists and civil society groups were already gearing up for Rio. Many of those who took part in Occupy Cop17 will be taking part in various ways in organising around Rio+20, either on the ground or remotely.

Much of what’s on the table at Rio is market-based, aimed at creating a “green economy” with “natural capital” measured, a price tag placed on nature and the world bought, sold and traded as parcelled-up commodities. Institutions like the World Bank will be seeking to consolidate their power and influence, and key corporate stakeholders will be whispering in the ears of delegates to make sure that nothing…

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Sign on “Rights at Risk in Rio

Deleting our Rights, Bracketing our Future
Why we need a People’s Summit
By Paul Quintos
Ibon International
March 23, 2012

I think the best way to appreciate the people’s summit in Rio is to look at what’s happening here in this hall over the last few days.

Here we have been witnessing a systematic attempt by some powerful states to weaken, or “bracket” or outright eliminate nearly all references to human rights obligations and equity principles in the text for the outcome of Rio+20.

Let’s take the section on Food.

Text that refers to the “Right to food and proper nutrition” – delete says one major power.

“Right of everyone to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food.” Bracket it!

But increasing agricultural productivity is fine. Improving access of small farmers to global markets is fine.

Text that says, “specific attention must be paid to challenges faced by poor smallholders, women and youth including their participation in decision-making.” – Delete!

“Promoting access to land particularly for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups” – bracket or delete!

But “promoting open and transparent markets; . promoting secure rights to land and natural resources, .” — by secure rights they mean property rights – that is fine for them!

“Regulating financial and commodity markets to address price volatility” – Delete!

The same story goes for water.

“Right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation” – delete!

But they agree to “efforts to improve access” because they can always say that they are privatizing water utilities in order to encourage private investments and therefore improve access. Whereas rights assigns the duty to the state.

“Improving efficiency”, even better.

But its not just human rights that are under attack. Even principles already agreed upon in Rio in 1992 are being bracketed – the Polluter Pays Principle, Precautionary Principle, Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR).

CBDR is particularly contentious with major developed countries trying to eliminate any and all prescriptive language that would commit them to the provision of finance, technology transfers and capacity building in support of sustainable development effort in the South.

All references to the Right to Development is being eliminated.

Language hinting at the need for reforms of International Financial Institutions, the multilateral trading system, the big banks – they are dismissed as being beyond the remit of Rio. What happened to integrating the three pillars!

And its also hypocrisy because at UNCTAD, which clearly has the mandate to push for reforms in the international trade, financial and development regime; there are also ongoing attempts by many of these same powerful states to remove any concrete and meaningful reform proposals in the outcome document for the UNCTAD XIII next month.

Here in the UNCSD, even the goal of poverty eradication is being qualified to focus only on extreme poverty.

The powerful states are consistently opposing prescriptive language — in other words language that commits governments to actually do what they claim to support in principle. On the other hand, they are pushing for private sector investments and initiatives to fill in the gap left by the public sector.

They are even avoiding concrete targets and timelines or even just defining the Green Economy? And I think this is deliberate. Because by keeping the definition open or vague enough, you can promote biofuels, or nuclear energy or carbon trading or financialization of natural resources, or geo-engineering, etc. as Green Economy measures.

So if all of these attempts by powerful states to remove rights, eliminate equity, whittle down Rio principles and avoid concrete commitments to meaningful reforms in social, economic and
environmental policies and governance, then what are we left with?

CSOs and social movements are already asking the question whether we are better off with a weak agreement in Rio or no agreement at all.

There is a narrative emerging from these negotiations which can only be understood in the current global context. This is happening in the middle of the gravest crisis of the global capitalist system since the Great Depression of the previous century.

Capital is desperately seeking new investment outlets, new markets, new sources of raw materials and new ways of squeezing more profits from the toil of working people.

But they can’t privatize if we assign clear obligations on states to ensure universal access to water and so on which is what rights imply.

They can’t make as much money out of green technologies if we require technology assessments based on the precautionary principle.

They can’t easily expand to biofuel plantations if we have too many safeguards in place like respecting customary land use rights and practices of indigenous peoples.

They can’t speculate on commodities and derivatives if we have financial regulations.

They can’t talk about equity without us talking about the obscene concentration of wealth, or capital in the hands of a global financial oligarchy today which is precisely at the root of the current crisis, the decline in aggregate demand, the surfeit of capital that therefore go to financial speculation rather than in the real economy, inflating asset bubbles and leading to financial crises and all its attendant consequences.

They can’t aim for ever expanding capital accumulation if we insist on the redistribution of resources and environmental space within planetary boundaries.

That’s why we need the people’s summit!

Because here is the space where the people can more freely and openly discuss and question the fundamental underpinnings of the global economic and political order; embrace new paradigms for “development” and sustainability; and explore truly transformative solutions, not the false solutions that we’ve been hearing all week.

But we can’t completely abandon this space either. We have to send a resounding message to our purported leaders that we will not allow them to “delete” our rights and “bracket” our futures. We must not allow them to backtrack on the Rio principles and on human rights obligations. We must make it clear to them that this is not the future we want!

Paul L. Quintos

Ibon International
3F Ibon Center
114 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
1103 Philippines
Tel +632 9277060 to 62
Fax +632 9276981
Skype ID: paul.quintos

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Camino a Río+20 y más allá…

Information on the peoples space at rio+20

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SA metalworkers union v Conf of Polluters and carbon trading; and for energy nationalization, Just Transition


Wednesday 14 December 2011

COP 17 & Class Struggle:

Amidst the deepening crisis of climate change and in the context of the COP17 negotiations that were taking place in Durban, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa convened its first International Seminar on Climate Change and Class Struggle on the 4th December 2011.

Climate change cannot be resolved separately from the resolution of the capitalist crisis. Capitalism is currently devouring its own children throughout the world. The crisis is a global class war. We need to link our struggles around climate change with global anti capitalist struggles.

Delegates at the Numsa International Climate Change Seminar called on government to review the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM’s) and other elements of carbon trade that are being championed by global finance institutions and believe that an emerging carbon market could potentially undermine the need for a socially owned Renewable Energy sector. We reject market based solutions to climate change. Negotiations are not delivering so far. There is a need for massive reductions, NOW. Agreement needs to be much faster than 2020, since people are dying now. COSATU must take a policy to block CDM’s and other market based climate change solutions.

We believe Just Transition must be based in worker controlled, democratic social ownership of key means of production and means of subsistence. There is a need for long term collective planning of wealth and production and how needs are met. Collective and democratic planning is needed in order to make far reaching interventions that are on the scale that is needed and at the pace it is needed, and doing so in such a way that workers avoid bearing all the costs of the transition. Without this struggle over ownership, and the struggle for a socially owned renewable energy sector, Just Transition will become a capitalist concept, building up a capitalist “green economy”.

Within this, the question of ownership of hydrocarbons is central to the struggle against climate change. There is a need for nationalizing them. This will give political control of the industries and ensure that the economic revenue stays in countries where the fossil fuels are located. The example of Bolivia is key, and there is a need to learn from this experience.

There is a need for such nationalizations to be based on a state that is really of the whole people. It involves a political struggle.

The CC noted that, in the ongoing realities of a deepening global crisis of Capitalism, it was totally misplaced to expect any real movement on the Kyoto Protocol on the Environment and any significant agreements and on reductions in capitalist modes of production which pollute the Earth and heat it up.

While the CC welcomes the increasing emphasis being placed on a safer and greener Earth, the CC emphatically noted that the main enemy of the world today is the global system of capitalism which is profit driven and has no regard for the quality of our environment and now is moving fast to turn so-called Green Fields into new sites of private profit accumulation.



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OccupyCOP17 Supports 10-Dec. International Day of Human Rights

#OccupyCop17 letter of support for Madrid’s callout:

International Day of Action for Human Rights

A Statement on Intergenerational Rights

Let us not forget that the victories that will define 2011 in the pages of history began in Africa. That story of 2011 should end here. 2011 took us from Tunisia to Durban, South Africa – where Mandela cast his first vote and Gandhi held his first public meeting. Draw a line on the map from Tunis to Durban and think of all the languages you have crossed, all the diversity, all the wisdom, all the gods. There is a continent bridging those two cities – dreaming.
We are all in that dream.

2011 started with the demand for freedom, and ends with the demand for justice.

As our planet rampantly burns its insides and warms, history will view these years as a window closing. We have a chance to escape the catastrophe we are creating for our children. But there is no freedom without justice, and no justice without rights.

For our rights thrive, we must be guardians of their principles. Freedom is bigger than us – it is the architecture our dreams inhabit. It does not belong to us anymore than a house built of stone belongs to its inhabitant. Rights belong to the generations that will come after us. Justice grows like a garden, we water it with our wills. As each day passes, a window is closing and with it the justice that we will pass on to the future inhabitants of this world. Justice loses its meaning if it is stolen from the future.

Here in Africa, the well of hope is drying. People are being forced away from the land of their ancestors and have been sent wandering with nothing, into a darkening world.

Our planet is changing, and with it the story of human rights. Here in Africa, the river beds are already drying and the seedlings that we watered for the future, are wilting. We do not rob water from the cups of others, we divert the streams. Climate change is the tyranny of the present over the rights of the future. In Africa, the future is already here.

Human rights are universal, they exist not only to everyone who is alive – but to everyone who will ever live. No one is free until everyone is free.



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CJN Press Release. COP17 succumbs to Climate Apartheid

For Immediate Release

10 December, 2011

COP17 succumbs to Climate Apartheid

Antidote is Cochabamba Peoples’ Agreement

Durban, S. Africa –Decisions resulting from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban constitute a crime against humanity, according to Climate Justice Now! a broad coalition of social movements and civil society. Here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid

“Delaying real action until 2020 is a crime of global proportions,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International. “An increase in global temperatures of 4 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%.”

According to Pablo Solón, former lead negotiator for the Plurinational State of Bolivia, “It is false to say that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol has been adopted in Durban. The actual decision has merely been postponed to the next COP, with no commitments for emission reductions from rich countries. This means that the Kyoto Protocol will be on life support until it is replaced by a new agreement that will be even weaker.”

The world’s polluters have blocked real action and have once again chosen to bail out investors and banks by expanding the now-crashing carbon markets – which like all financial market activities these days, appear to mainly enrich a select few.

“What some see as inaction is in fact a demonstration of the palpable failure of our current economic system to address economic, social or environmental crises,” said Janet Redman, of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. “Banks that caused the financial crisis are now making bonanza profits speculating on our planet’s future. The financial sector, driven into a corner, is seeking a way out by developing ever newer commodities to prop up a failing system.”

Despite talk of a “roadmap” offered up by the EU, the failure in Durban shows that this is a cul-de-sac, a road to nowhere. Spokespeople for Climate Justice Now! call on the world community to remember that a real climate program, based on planetary needs identified by scientists as well as by a mandate of popular movements, emerged at the World People’s Summit on Climate Change and Mother Earth in Bolivia in 2010. The Cochabamba People’s Agreement, brought before the UN but erased from the negotiating text, offers a just and effective way forward that is desperately needed.

For more information, contact:

Mike Dorsey – mkdorsey, or call+27 (0)79 863 8756 or +1-734-945-6424

Nick Buxton – nick or call +27(0)81 589 8564 or +1 530 902 3772


On technology

“The technology discussions have been hijacked by industrialized countries speaking on behalf of their transnational corporations,” said Silvia Ribeiro from the international organization ETC Group.

Critique of monopoly patents on technologies, and the environmental, social and cultural evaluation of technologies have been taken out of the Durban outcome. Without addressing these fundamental concerns, the new technology mechanism will merely be a global marketing arm to increase the profit of transnational corporations by selling dangerous technologies to countries of the South, such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology or geoengineering technologies.”

On agriculture

“The only way forward for agriculture is to support agro-ecological solutions, and to keep agriculture out of the carbon market,” said Alberto Gomez, North American Coordinator for La Via Campesina, the world’s largest movement of peasant farmers.

“Corporate Agribusiness, through its social, economic, and cultural model of production, is one of the principal causes of climate change and increased hunger. We therefore reject Free Trade Agreements, Association Agreements, and all forms of the application of Intellectual Property Rights to life, current technological packages (agrochemicals, genetic modification) and those that offer false solutions (biofuels, nanotechnology, and climate smart agriculture) that only exacerbate the current crisis.”

On REDD + and forest carbon projects
“REDD+ threatens the survival of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities. Mounting evidence shows that Indigenous Peoples are being subjected to violations of their rights as a result of the implementation of REDD+-type programs and policies,” declared The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD and for Life.

Their statement, released during the first week of COP17, declares that “REDD+ and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) promote the privatization and commodification of forests, trees and air through carbon markets and offsets from forests, soils, agriculture and could even include the oceans. We denounce carbon markets as a hypocrisy that will not stop global warming.”

On the World Bank and the Global Climate Fund

“The World Bank is a villain of the failed neoliberal economy,” says Teresa Almaguer of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance in the U.S.

“We need a climate fund managed by participatory governance, not by an anti-democratic institution that is responsible for much of the climate disruption and poverty in the world.” “The Green Climate Fund has been turned into the Greedy Corporate Fund,” said Lidy Nacpil, of Jubilee South. “The fund has been hijacked by the rich countries, on their terms, and set up to provide more profits to the private sector”

On the Green Economy

“We need a climate fund that provides finance for peoples of developing countries that is fully independent from undemocratic institutions like the World Bank. The Bank has a long track record of financing projects that exacerbate climate disruption and poverty” said Lidy Nacpil, of Jubilee South. “The fund is being hijacked by the rich countries, setting up the World Bank as interim trustee and providing direct access to money meant for developing countries to the private sector. It should be called the Greedy Corporate Fund!”

Climate policy is making a radical shift towards the so-called “green economy,” dangerously reducing ethical commitments and historical responsibility to an economic calculation on cost-effectiveness, trade and investment opportunities. Mitigation and adaption should not be treated as a business nor have its financing conditioned by private sector and profit-oriented logic. Life is not for sale.

On climate debt

“Industrialized northern countries are morally and legally obligated to repay their climate debt,” said Janet Redman, Co-director of the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies. “Developed countries grew rich at the expense of the planet and the future all people by exploiting cheap coal and oil. They must pay for the resulting loss and damages, dramatically reduce emissions now, and financially support developing countries to shift to clean energy pathways.”

Developed countries, in assuming their historical responsibility, must honor their climate debt in all its dimensions as the basis for a just, effective, and scientific solution. The focus must not be only on financial compensation, but also on restorative justice, understood as the restitution of integrity to our Mother Earth and all its beings. We call on developed countries to commit themselves to action. Only this could perhaps rebuild the trust that has been broken and enable the process to move forward.

On real solutions

“The only real solution to climate change is to leave the oil in the soil, coal in the hole and tar sands in the land. “ Ivonne Yanez, Acción Ecologica, Ecuador

For more information, contact:

Mike Dorsey – mkdorsey, or call+27 (0)79 863 8756 or +1-734-945-6424

Nick Buxton – nickor call +27(0)81 589 8564 or +1 530 902 3772


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Press Release

BREAKING: activists and allies are protesting in the halls of the UN Climate Talks in Durban right now. Here’s a press release we’re putting out on the action. Follow @350 and @350africa for updates! 

Hundreds Protest Inside UN Climate Talks in Solidarity with Africa and Small Islands 

DURBAN — In solidarity with the millions of people already feeling the impacts of climate change, hundreds of people protested in the halls of the UN Climate Talks this afternoon to demand that nations not sign a “death sentence” in Durban.

The march filled the hall outside of the main negotiating room in Durban just as the afternoon round of talks were scheduled to begin. Standing side-by-side with delegates from some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, civil society representatives sang traditional South African freedom songs and chanted slogans like, “Listen to the People, Not the Polluters.”

“We are all the people of Africa. We are all people of the islands,” said Kumi Naidoo, the Durban-born Executive Director of Greenpeace International. Naidoo appealed directly to the United States to step out of the way of progress. “President Obama, do not listen to the CEOs of fossil fuel companies. Listen to the people.”

In the last 48 hours, over 700,000 people have signed petitions calling on major emitters to stand with the nations of Africa and resist any attempts to delay climate action until 2020. The bulk of the signatures came from the global campaigning organization, who called on the leaders of Brazil, China and Europe to, “Stand with Africa and face down the USA and other countries looking to wreck the climate talks and our planet.”

“The world is standing in solidarity with those here in Durban who are taking action,” said Avaaz Senior Campaigner Iain Keith. “The climate talks have just a few hours to go, and the future of Africa and the planet hangs in the balance. History will judge these negotiators based on the decisions they make tonight.”

As of 3:30 PM Durban time, protesters still filled a hallway of the conference center, singing, chanting, and listening to speeches from activists and representatives from around the world. It is unclear whether security will allow the gathering to proceed throughout the day or clear the area.

“Any agreement to delay real climate action until 2020 would be a death sentence for millions of people in Africa and around the world,” said Landry Ninteretse of the international climate campaign “We are tired of waiting for progress.”

Follow up:
Jamie Henn, E:, M: 0825473841
Daniel Kessler, E:, M: 0829546010
see pictures from this live #directaction here:
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