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May 06, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Meeting with Japanese government to demand rescinding of 20mSv/y radiation exposure standard for children

by PhilLee — last modified May 06, 2011 12:42 PM
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Friends of the Earth Japan and other civil society groups in Japan recently met with the government to call for them to reverse a decision to increase the level of 'safe' radiation exposure to children.

The meeting began with The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), followed by The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC). Not only did the two ministries fail to respond with certainty about their understanding of and decision-making process taken for arriving at the "20mSv/standard, the NSC also stated that it does not endorse "20mSv/y" as a standard. The conundrum over how and by which government authority the standard was determined is deepening.

 

The MHLW has stated that children should not/ cannot be allowed to play within a radiation-controlled area (0.6microSv/h or more), however, the ministry did not respond to whether or not playing in an area of

equivalent contamination as a radiation-controlled area should be/ could be allowed.  

 

The NSC stated that it does not endorse "20mSv" as a standard. In addition, it confirmed that none of the Nuclear Safety Commissioners or any of the experts that were involved in the decision-making had deemed 20mSv/y was safe.

 

MEXT has admitted that the“3.8microSv/h” standard, which allows for outdoor activities, does not take internal exposure into consideration. It said it concluded this because breathing in dust etc. comprised only 2% of total exposure and was therefore only minor exposure. However, it supplied no data to back up its exposure assessment.

 

Find out more about the facts uncovered at this negotiation and the demands of the groups involved 

Apr 06, 2011

South African Waste Pickers Win International Award

by PhilLee — last modified Apr 06, 2011 02:23 PM
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Friends of the Earth South Africa / groundWork are celebrating the achievements of a group of waste pickers who've been recognised for their innovative recycling work. Their success is in part due to a law that groundWork saw repealed, allowing people to earn a living from waste picking.

south african waste pickers win seed awardFifteen tons of plastic and paper. Ten tons of glass. This is how much ten waste pickers collect every month from the Mooi River waste dump for recycling, earning them a collective of R10 000 per month (1000 euros).

 

The group, for the past five years, have made this a full-time job and now earn their living from recycling other people’s rubbish. The group of formerly unemployed people have formed a cooperative and today are known as Mooi River Waste Reclaiming.

In March 2011 their efforts were rewarded when they received the SEED Award for their innovative work. This award is given to local people and organisations globally who are developing livelihood strategies through programmes of environmental sustainability.

Sbusiso Dladla, who received the award on behalf of the collective is a young father, who has been working on the landfill site for 5 years. Dladla had worked in the hotel industry before giving it up for waste picking so that he could work on his own terms instead of in an exploitative formal environment.

groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa, has supported the waste pickers in their endeavours. In a first in South Africa, the Mpofane Municipality granted the waste pickers the right to salvage waste from the local landfill site. This builds upon the commitments made in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, where groundWork successfully lobbied for recognition in the Act for people who earn a living from waste picking.

Mar 04, 2011

Australian government fires first shot in war against wind farms

by PhilLee — last modified Mar 04, 2011 11:02 AM

Friends of the Earth Australia is deeply concerned about changes to planning rules for wind farms which threaten to heavily restrict where they can be located.

wind turbines in australia The changes to the planning law will give local councils a greater role in deciding the location of wind farms, regardless of the size of the project.

 

"We are happy to support the primary decision making powers going back to councils on the proviso that they can opt out and refer an application to the Minister, and that there are time limits decisions." said Cam Walker, Campaigns Co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth Australia. 

 

"Without a set time line, a council could chose to sit on a proposal indefinitely and delay to the point the project is no longer viable," he said.

 

"We remain deeply concerned that the overall intent of the Coalition’s pre-election wind farm policy is to create broadly defined ‘no go’ zones, which would exclude wind farms from areas with some of Victoria’s best wind resources.

 

"We urge the coalition government to re-consider the most arbitary aspects of their policy: the creation of no go zones and 2 km setbacks of wind farms from houses, which are not based on any available evidence about the impact of wind farms.

 

Over forty groups, including unions, green groups and churches, who represent over 100, 000 Australians from the the state of Victorian have signed a letter opposing the government’s pre-election policy on the location on wind farms.

 

"At a time when both the effects of climate change and the economic benefits of the renewable energy industry are well known, the government’s wind policy is very much the wrong direction for Victoria to take," said renewable energy campaigner Ellen Roberts.

 

"Just this week Victorians have learnt of plans for a dramatic increase in coal exploration in our state.

 

"There is clearly a double standard at play here. While the government seems intent on placing excessive restrictions on wind energy, local communities are not offered the same protections when it comes to coal exploration and production.

 

"The only conclusion to be drawn from the amendments is that the Coalition government intends to make it easier to open a coal mine than start a wind farm in the state of Victoria," concluded Ms Roberts.

 

View the letter of protest signed by over 40 groups on the issue

 

Photo credit: Friends of the Earth Australia

Dec 10, 2010

un climate talks 2010: cancun

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 10, 2010 04:35 PM

As world leaders met in Cancun, Mexico to discuss efforts to tackle global warming, Friends of the Earth International were calling on the rich industrialised countries, which have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, to agree to urgent and dramatic cuts in their emissions starting NOW.

We're calling on developed countries to tackle climate change by urgently making real changes at home. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

We believe in Climate justice which means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

 

Read our demands in full

 

 

closing press releases and analysis

Cancun package merely prevents collapse and leaves Kyoto protocol on life support

Friends of the Earth Europe: The Cancún agreement: Not worth cheering


blogs and comment

Read our closing blog post from FoEI Chair Nnimmo Bassey
 

Henry Rummins blogs for Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Manuel Graf blogs for Friends of the Earth Germany

Watch the latest videos from Cancun

photos

View photos from the International Day of Climate Action

View the latest Friends of the Earth Brazil photos

View the latest Friends of the Earth International photos
View the latest Friends of the Earth US photos

Dec 08, 2010

Public encouraged to hit World Bank “Piggy Bank Piñata”

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 08, 2010 03:01 PM

Brussels, 8th December 2010 - Activists gathered today outside the World Bank office in Brussels, and invited members of the public to hit a World Bank “Piñata” in the shape of a piggy bank, to oppose World Bank involvement in climate finance.

world bank foee pinata action 1The action, which took place during the second week of the UN climate change negotiations, demanded that all money to fight climate change should go through the United Nations, not the World Bank or any other multilateral development banks. The decision to establish a global climate fund under authority of the UN should be adopted at the climate negotiations currently taking place in Cancún.

 

The World Bank is the largest multi-lateral lender for oil and gas projects and a major actor in deforestation. It has failed to accept its own internal recommendations to stop funding destructive coal, oil and gas extraction. The World Bank is not a transparent or democratic institution and its decision-making is dominated by donor countries. It is also the world's largest carbon broker and it would be a conflict of interest for it to become the world's largest conduit for climate change mitigation funding.

The action also called for the European Union and other developed countries to provide transparent and appropriate finance, technology transfer and adaptation funding to developing countries. This is part of repaying the “climate debt” that they owe developing countries due to the large amounts of greenhouse gasses that they have emitted.

world bank foee pinata action 2Susi Hammel, who took part in the action, said: “The European Union, and other rich industrialised countries, have a historical responsibility for causing climate change. As well as cutting their own emissions, rich nations have to transfer money and technology to developing countries to help them cope with the impacts of climate change, and develop in a sustainable way. We cannot trust the World Bank to deal with climate finance, as it is not democratic or transparent, and is a major supporter of fossil fuel projects. Instead, we need to see agreement in Cancún on a global climate fund under the authority of the UN.”

Any climate finance mechanisms must be designed to ensure human rights including Indigenous Peoples’ rights are protected, false solutions are rejected, and governance structures provide transparency and accountability. Carbon trading and international offsets must not replace new public money to enable developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Dec 07, 2010

"Don’t nuke our climate!" say European youth

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 07, 2010 04:39 PM
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Whilst UN climate negotiations take place in Cancun, European youth have been taking action in Brussels to demand climate justice.

Day of climate action in brussels As part of an international day of action to oppose false solutions to the climate crisis on December 7, 30 young people from across Europe targeted European institutions and corporations which support and fund nuclear energy. The message was simple: nuclear power is unsustainable and unacceptably dangerous.

"Nuclear energy is promoted as a clean technology but the mining of uranium has massive social and environmental impacts and the problem of safe nuclear waste disposal is yet to be solved. Young people are being locked into an uncertain future where they will have to shoulder the burden of this false solution." Susi Hammel, Young Friends of the Earth Europe.

As part of a series of actions, youth demonstrated outside the European Commission to highlight its ongoing support for this dangerous technology. They also took action outside the Foratom offices, a powerful pro-nuclear lobby group, and BNP Paribas whose significant financial contributions enable the ongoing development of the nuclear industry.
 
"What we need are real solutions. If the negotiators in Cancun care about our future, they will choose renewable resources and opt for decentralised production and distribution of energy. This will empower communities to directly produce their energy from local, sustainable resources." said Sebastian Power from the Federation of Young European Greens.

The action took place as part of the ‘1000 Cancun’s action day’ called for by the International peasant farmers network La Via Campesina. Participants in the action are youth who have gathered from all over Europe for a two week long Climate Justice Convergence in Brussels, in parallel to the UN Climate talks in Mexico. For two weeks, over 60 young people have gathered to take action and demand climate justice.
 
Find out more about the Youth Climate Justice Convergence

Dec 03, 2010

The European Assembly for Climate Justice

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 03, 2010 03:55 PM

The European Assembly for Climate Justice took place in Brussels from 26-29 November and brought together more than 250 people from 10 European countries for 4 days of debates, discussion, action and networking.

FoE Flanders occupy IETAThe event gave a clear signal that the UN climate negotiations, taking place in Cancún, Mexico must not be used to further the interests of rich industrialised countries, and big business. 

 

The participants also discussed the way in which European countries are responding to the climate crisis – and specifically the need to ensure that action to tackle climate change also brings us closer to achieving justice within and between countries.

 

The assembly was inspired by the call made by La Via Campesina for “Thousands of Cancuns” during the negotiations in Cancun. 

 
On the first day of the climate talks in Cancun, activists from the climate camp in Belgium, FoE Flanders and Brussels and the youth climate justice convergence in Brussels occupied the offices of IETA (international emissions trading association) for the whole afternoon. IETA was nominated in 2009 for the Worst EU Lobby awards.
 
YFoEE protest outside Japanese emabassyFor the whole of the Cancun talks, Young Friends of the Earth Europe is organising a "Cancun in Brussels" space for young European climate activists to come together, learn and create actions! 
 
On Thursday they took the Friends of the Earth online targeting Japan a step further by paying a visit to the Japanese Embassy in Brussels to deliver a letter and talk with a representative from the embassy.

View photos from the IETA sit in

View photos and video form The European Assembly for Climate Justice


Find out more about 1000 Cancuns

Nov 26, 2010

Thousands of Cancúns

by PhilLee — last modified Nov 26, 2010 04:01 PM

Social movements from around the world are mobilising for the UN climate talks that will take place in Cancun from November 29 to December 10, 2010.

1000-cancuns

Thousands of women and men, people affected by the destruction of the environment, farmers, landless, Indigenous Peoples and activists from all sectors of society will gather in Cancun to propose thousands of solutions to confront the climate crisis. They will show the world leaders their opposition to the false solutions to climate change being discussed at the climate conference, such as market-based proposals on carbon trading; REDD; agrofuels; and geo-engineering.

 

Friends of the Earth International, together with Via Campesina and World March of Women, are calling for social movements, popular organisations and individuals around the world to amplify the calls for climate justice and to organise protests and actions rejecting false climate change solutions and to support a people’s agenda for climate justice. 

 

Please organise or take part in a mobilisation near you on December 7, the International Day of Action. Mobilisations can take the form of marches, demonstrations, parties, festivals, discussions and much more. They can take place wherever you like: in cities, villages, schools and community centres. 

 

Let us know what you're going to do by submitting your plans to our website

Nov 17, 2010

A short glossary of climate terms

by PhilLee — last modified Nov 17, 2010 04:31 PM

There are hundreds of acronyms and word combinations that are baffling to all but the most seasoned climate talks follower. Where possible we try and explain the meaning of all the climate terms as they arise. However, should you find an acronym or a term that makes no sense, you will hopefully find its definition in this list.

COP 14 beginsDEVELOPED COUNTRIES

Wealthy nations legally bound to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the U.N. Kyoto Protocol. They are responsible for the vast majority of GHG emissions historically and thus the most responsible for climate change. In the UNFCCC they are listed as 'Annex I countries'.

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

All the 'non-Annex I' countries of the globe, from China and India to the Least Developed Counties (LDCs). They are historically the least responsible for climate change.

 

ADAPTATION (to climate change)

Actions countries take to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)

The main greenhouse gas. The other main ones include nitrous oxide and methane.

 

CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)

A mechanism used by developed countries to try to ‘offset’ their emissions. The CDM is riddled with loopholes and leads to increased emissions globally.

 

CARBON MARKET

Speculative market where carbon certificates are traded.

CARBON OFFSETTING

Paying someone else to reduce their carbon emissions instead of cutting your own. If carbon offsetting worked optimally it would lead to zero net emissions. This system has been proved not to work but most importantly, does not lead to emission cuts. It therefore allows business to pollute as usual.

CLIMATE DEBT

Developed nations owe a climate debt to developing ones because developed countries have emitted the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere.  Since this is far more than their ‘fair share’ and developed countries have over-occupied their slice of the carbon budget, it is considered a ‘debt’ that the developed world owes the developing one.

 

This debt must be repaid not only through money to help developing countries adjust to and prepare for climate change damage and to embark on clean energy pathways, or technology and knowledge to help build green economies, but also through action – cutting the emissions in the developed world.

 

CLIMATE JUSTICE

Climate Justice means addressing the climate crisis using a rights-based approach. Climate justice will be achieved when the developed countries reduce their consumption and their control of the world's resources through real solutions rather than false solutions which continue to privilege a minority of the world's population.

 

Climate justice will be achieved when the perpetrators support the people who have to adapt to impacts of climate change. Climate justice requires a global transformation away from dominant development and economic paradigms to recognising all people’s right to a dignified life within ecological limits.

 

GREENHOUSE GASES (GHG)

The gases which cause the 'greenhouse effect' which is the main cause of climate change. The main GHGs are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

 

MITIGATION of climate change

Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

MONOCULTURE TREE PLANTATION

Large scale area planted with only one tree species.  They are even-aged, even-spaced plantings - often exotic tree species - which decrease the biodiversity of birds and insects in the area and tend to require the intensive use of chemicals to maintain them. This is not a forest but rather a ‘green desert’. 

 

The People's Agreement

An agreement that came out of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April this year. The agreement is seen as a counter-balance to the overwhelmingly negative proposals on the table in the UN climate talks. Find out more

 

 

REDD

A market-based mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. REDD allows developed countries to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing forest carbon credits from developing countries.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives allows developed countries to buy up forests whilst continuing to pollute.  It is ineffective, dangerous, and undermines efforts to stop climate change and halt deforestation.

 

UNFCCC

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the name given to the climate talks conducted by the United Nations that take place at various times throughout the year. The meetings where the agreements are adopted are the COPs (conference of the parties) that take place in late November/early December each year. Last year COP15 was in Copenhagen, this year COP16 is in Cancun and next year COP17 will be in Durban, South Africa.

Sep 13, 2010

guatemalans face more extreme weather

by PhilLee — last modified Sep 13, 2010 03:25 PM

Climate injustice worsens every day in Guatemala as the country is repeatedly battered by tropical storms. This year tropical storms Agatha and Alex have affected the country with heavy rains causing widespread disruption and death.

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction reported that in the wake of the most recent storms, September 7, 46 people died, 272 were injured and 40 are missing. Meanwhile 13,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. 

 

The Inter-American highway has been damaged and part of it is temporarily closed whilst rivers, already swollen as a result of tropical storm Agatha, continue to burst their banks. 

 

On September 6 a bus lost control as a result of the bad weather and ended up in the Selegua river killing seven people and injuring 24. Of the injured several were associared with CEIBA/ Friends of the Earth Guatemala. Those people were Milton Santos Velásquez, Francisca Sales Velásquez, Francisca López Morales and Humberto Maldonado Méndez who were strong advocates of equal rights and the defence of territories. 

 

Guatemala is currently in a state of emergency as a result of the recent incidents. The mudslides caused by the tropical storms Agatha and Alex have caused a great deal of damage to the country's infrastructure and the most recent storm has led to the death of many people buried by mudslides on the route of the Inter-American highway. As a result part of this vital artery linking the region's major cities is closed. 

 

The Guatemalan President has estimated the country's losses to be more than $US160 million. 

 

Speaking on the dire situation a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Guatemala said:

 

"We need to start listening to nature's call and urge the rich developed nations to stop exploiting Mother Earth and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming and environmental destruction."

Jun 09, 2010

FoEI joins President Morales in delivering Cochabamba outcomes to UN Secretary General

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 09, 2010 05:24 PM
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On May 7 several members of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) were invited to be part of a delegation of global social movements and civil society organisations to join with President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia to present the outcomes of the Cochabamba Peoples Climate Summit to the Secretary general of the the UN, Mr Ban Ki-Moon.

evo-meena-nnimmo

The global delegation consisting of Friends of the Earth, Via Campesina, 350.org, Hemispheric Social Alliance, Third World Network, Council of Canadians as well as the Indigenous Environmental Network aimed to be representative all the peoples of the world as well as every continent of the world.

 

At this historic and unprecedented meeting with the Secretary General (he doesn’t usually hold meetings with civil society groups) President Morales introduced the delegation from the global movements and gave the floor to FoEI Chair Nnimmo Bassey and, member of the FoEI Executive Committee, Meena Raman. They had been selected as spokespeople to present the conclusions of the Peoples Summit to Ban Ki-Moon. The presentations were forceful, direct and reiterated our demands for a strong and fair global agreement within the framework of the multilateral process.

 

Later in the afternoon a press conference was held at the UN with Meena and Nnimmo and other representatives of global civil society. At the press conference we spoke about the Peoples Summit, the inadequacy of the Copenhagen Accord as well as the ongoing international climate negotiations. Following the press conference we joined President Morales in presenting the outcomes to the formal meeting of the G77 plus China (the UN Ambassadors of 132 countries).

 

The outcomes of the Peoples Summit have also been included in a formal submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requesting that they be negotiated in the next round of climate talks in Bonn this June.

 

Mar 11, 2010

us: tv adverts oppose nuclear bailout

by PhilLee — last modified Mar 11, 2010 05:03 PM
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Friends of the Earth United States has launched two television ads against the US$55 billion in loan guarantees that President Obama's administration has proposed to hand out for the construction of the first new nuclear reactors in the US in thirty years.

The 30-second television advertisements will run in South Carolina, where the state Supreme Court is set to hear a Friends of the Earth appeal related to two proposed nuclear reactors in the state; and in Georgia, where the first of the Obama Administration’s loan guarantees are slated to go to the construction of two nuclear reactors.

 


 

 

Find out more on the Friends of the Earth US website

Dec 07, 2009

Danish Government Slammed for Bias and Secrecy in Role As President of UN Climate Conference

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 07, 2009 06:42 PM

Copenhagen – As climate negotiations open in Copenhagen, civil society organizations around the world issued the following statement strongly criticizing the Danish government for acting in a biased, manipulative and nontransparent manner in its role as President of the Conference of the Parties:

We, the undersigned civil society groups, express our concern over the actions of the Danish government in its role as President of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.

The historic Copenhagen Climate Conference has yet to begin and a lengthening list of concerns is being raised by governments and by members of civil society:

  • We criticize the undemocratic practices adopted by the Danish Prime Minister of convening small and exclusive groups of countries before the Copenhagen meeting, excluding the vast majority of countries whose futures are at stake in the negotiations.

  • We criticize the Danish Prime Minister’s decision to produce draft “Copenhagen Accords” before the meeting has even started. These have been circulated to a select few governments, excluding others. They have been produced in spite of on-going negotiations under the UNFCCC and prejudge the outcome of good-faith negotiations among all Parties.

  • We further criticize the texts on the basis that they systematically ignore the demands of developing countries and overwhelmingly reflect the position of Denmark and other developed countries on key issues. They seek to shift the burden of addressing climate change from those who caused it to those who suffer its worst effects.

  • We criticize the Danish Prime Minister’s consistent disregard for the concerns of developing countries by downgrading expectations for Copenhagen to a “political agreement” and by falsely stating that the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.


These actions are inconsistent with the duty of the Danish Government in its neutral role as President of the Conference of Parties. They are an attack on the democratic processes of UN negotiations. And they are an affront to the interest of small and poor countries in the negotiations.

Further actions of this kind threaten the trust that is the very foundation of a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen. They undermine the capacity of the Danish Government to play a constructive role in the negotiations. Left unchecked, they threaten a Copenhagen collapse.

Copenhagen must mark an historic turning point. Parties have placed their trust in Denmark’s good reputation as a fair and impartial player.

 

We therefore call for:

  • The COP President to serve in an even-handed and unbiased manner;
  • A fair, open and transparent process; and
  • The full participation of all countries in an inclusive manner.


The imperative in Copenhagen is not to seal a deal at any costs – but to provide the opportunity for the nations of the world to work together to secure one that is fair and effective.

We call on Denmark to support such a process. The world is watching.

Quotations from representatives of organizations signing the statement


Raman Mehta from Action Aid India said:

“The global community trusted the Danish government to host a fair and transparent process but they have betrayed that trust. Most importantly, they are betraying those who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and whose voices are not being heard. This unfair behaviour strikes a blow to all efforts to achieve justice and equity in the climate change negotiations process.”

Meena Raman from the Third World Network said:

“The Danish government’s biased actions threaten the trust that is the very foundation of a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen and, left unchecked, these actions will cause the collapse of the Copenhagen process. The whole world is watching.”

Palle Bendsen from NOAH/Friends of the Earth Denmark said:

“Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen is betraying the long-held and sacred tradition of Danish hospitality and decency. Danes cannot expect to be crowned a hero of the climate negotiations with this unfair behaviour. There’s more at stake than the Danish government’s public image – the lives of millions and the future of our planet are on the line.”

Signatory Organizations:


ActionAid, India
Asia Indigenous Women’s Network
Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, South Africa
Center for Encluntes and Active Non-Violence, Austria
Concerned Citizens Against Climate Change
ETC Group
Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of Siberian Forest, Russia
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Phillipines
Global Forest Coalition
Indigenous Environmental Network, North America
International Forum on Globalization, USA
International Rivers, USA
National Forum for Advocacy, Nepal
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, India
Presencia Ciudadana Mexicana A.C., Mexico
Rainforest Foundation UK, United Kingdom
Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Mexico
Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Mineria (REMA), Mexico
Society for New Initiatives and Activities, Italy
Tibet Justice Center, USA
Third World Network
Union de Grupos Ambientalistas, Mexico
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
World Development Movement, UK

Dec 02, 2009

Yakuts of Siberia and Climate Change

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:06 PM

Video by Sanna Liinamaa

 

New Report Shows EU Can Double its Emissions Targets

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:01 PM

A new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Friends of the Earth Europe shows that Europe can and must cut its emissions by 40% in 2020 and 90% in 2050.

40 percentJust a week ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, a new study released Tuesday, December 2nd by the Stockholm Environment Institute in partnership with Friends of the Earth Europe proves for the first time that Europe could double its greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2020.

 

The report, titled ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge: Domestic Actions and International Obligations to Protect the Planet,' shows how Europe can cut its emissions by 40% in 2020, and by 90% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels.  Europe is currently only aiming for half of those reductions.

 

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This study proves that it is possible for Europe to deliver its fair share of necessary global emission cuts. A 40% cut by 2020 in Europe is feasible and affordable, and it can be done without resorting to dangerous or unproven solutions.  The EU can make these cuts in a way which not only improves the quality of life for people in Europe, but also ensures the rights of poorer parts of the world to develop sustainably.”

 

The study also shows that drastic cuts by the EU will not be enough and that the EU and other countries must support the developing world's climate challenge.  It suggests that the EU should contribute between €150 and €450 billion per year to developing countries, or less than €3 per person per day.  Only the combination of a reduction in emissions by the EU as well as the provision of adequate finances for the EU will be enough to fight climate change.

 

Dr. Charles Heaps of the Stockholm Environment Institute, lead author of the report and a senior scientist in SEI’s climate and energy program, said: “Our analysis shows that deep cuts in emissions can be achieved in Europe at reasonable cost between now and 2050.  The scale and speed of changes required may seem daunting...but the potential costs of inaction are so large that doing nothing presents a far more implausible and dangerous future pathway for Europe.”

 

Read the full report here.

Letter from Australia

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:00 PM

Eastern Australia recently experienced a heatwave which smashed temperature records for November. I live in a bushfire prone area. I used to think my house was pretty safe from bushfires, but no longer.  Without strong and immediate action on climate change the Blue Mountains will experience frequent days of Extreme and Catastrophic bushfire danger (these are the official fire danger ratings - not alarmist rhetoric). Not only would catastrophic bushfires destroy many homes (including those previously considered safe from bushfires), but they would devastate the unique and diverse ecosystems which resulted in World Heritage listing for the Greater Blue Mountains.

When you are deciding on climate change action at Copenhagen, I want you to think of my four children who pack their "fire bags" every time the fire danger rating reaches Extreme. Will they need to leave their bags permanently packed in 2020, 2030, 2050.... or will they feel secure in the knowledge that global leaders have done everything in their power to avert climate catastrophe?

Sue Morrison
Blue Mountains, Australia


Dec 01, 2009

UN climate talks 2009: copenhagen

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 12:40 PM

As world leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss efforts to tackle global warming, Friends of the Earth International called on the rich industrialised countries, which have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, to agree to urgent and dramatic cuts in their emissions starting NOW.

Flood-2We called on developed countries to tackle climate change by urgently making real changes at home. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

 

We believe in Climate justice which means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

 

 

 

reports/publications

Financing Climate Justice: Ensuring a just agreement in Copenhagen.
Download our position paper [pdf] and summary [pdf]

 

REDD myths: A comprehensive critique of a new scheme intended to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. Download:  Full report  [pdf] | Executive Summary [pdf]

 

Climate Justice Times: Newspaper released by FoEI during the UN climate talks in Copenhagen highlighting our positions on issues such as carbon offsetting and agrofuels. Download [pdf]


press releases

Read our daily releases on the negotiations


blog

Read our posts from the UN conference and the Klimaforum - the alternative climate summit.

 

Radio

Listen to the coverage on Real World Radio

 

video and photos

Watch videos from Copenhagen

View the photos on Flickr

Our demands in Cancun

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 10:35 AM

Friends of the Earth International is calling for a strong and just climate agreement in Cancun. Such an agreement will only be achieved if the following demands are met:

Developed countries must make urgent and deep emission cuts - at home. Offsetting is a false solution.

offsetting trick hpDeveloped countries must tackle climate change by urgently cutting domestic emissions. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

Governments of developed countries know that offsetting is ineffective in combating climate change but are attempting to deceive the public by promoting investment in offsetting as real action against climate change.

 

Carbon offsetting has no benefits for the climate or for developing countries – it only benefits developed countries, private investors and major polluters who want to continue business as usual.


Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives is damaging and diverts attention from the real solutions to climate change and deforestation.


redd-ricardo-tnTrading in forests has no part to play in a just international agreement to tackle climate change.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives does not work: it diverts attention from real measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and threatens Indigenous Peoples who depend on them for survival.

 

all Public money to fight climate change must go through the United Nations, not the World Bank.

Brussels against WB and its lending to ESKOM-2The World Bank is the largest multi-lateral lender for oil and gas projects and a major actor in deforestation. It has failed to accept its own internal recommendations to stop funding destructive coal, oil and gas extraction.

The World Bank is not a transparent or democratic institution and its decision-making is dominated by 'donor' countries. It is also the world's largest carbon broker and it would be a conflict of interest to become the world's largest conduit for climate change mitigation funding.

In addition, any funding outside of the UNFCCC - including the World Bank’s climate investment funds - should not be regarded as fulfilment of developed country commitments.

 

The people's agreement is an important counter-balance to the negative proposals at the UN climate talks

cochabamba-br11.jpg

Friends of the Earth International sees the People’s Agreement that came out of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia as a counter-balance to the overwhelmingly negative proposals on the table in the UN climate talks.

 

We reject any attempts to blame Bolivia and other ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) that are championing certain key demands such as the rejection of carbon markets and promotion of community rights. Bolivia is sensitively listening to the demands of the environmentalists, trade unions, social movements, peasant farmers and Indigenous Peoples and we call on other governments to follow its strong lead.

 

We and our allies have engaged with the People’s Agreement and accompanying process post-Cochabamba as a progressive development in the climate debate. We seek to use it in order to promote referenda and tribunals (popular and legal), community rights, and to highlight its legitimacy as a progressive proposal in the UNFCCC negotiations to provide a counter-balance to other negative proposals.

 

Find out more about the People's Agreement

 

Climate justice means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

minimum 40%, no offsettingClimate justice will be achieved when the countries that have the most historical responsibility for causing climate change do the most to prevent further damage and substantially reduce their own emissions at home.


Developing countries, and impoverished communities and people, have contributed least to the causes of climate change, yet they are most affected. 

Rich, developed countries are liable for the vast majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, and are thus the most responsible for climate change.

Developed countries should finance the transition to low carbon economies in developing countries and support their adaptation to the impacts of climate change, while recognising their rights to develop as sustainable societies.

 

Developed countries have a climate debt and must repay it.


Flood for Climate Justice 1The climate debt is the debt that rich nations have to repay to developing ones because they emitted the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, far more than their ‘fair share’.

Developed countries must repay the climate debt owed to developing countries taking into account historical responsibility. This encompasses immediate and rapid emissions reductions, just and effective financial flows, appropriate technology transfer and reparation of damages done.

All climate finance must contribute to community-based solutions that are truly sustainable, particularly those initiated by Indigenous Peoples, women and small-scale farmers.

 

Climate finance must exclude false solutions, such as plantations, agrofuels, nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

 

Any agreements must be consistent with existing international human rights treaties and obligations, particularly the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Our climate demands

by PhilLee — last modified Dec 01, 2009 10:35 AM

Friends of the Earth International are calling for a strong and just climate change agreement at the next climate talks. Such an agreement will only be achieved if the following demands are met:

Developed countries must make urgent and deep emission cuts - at home. Offsetting is a false solution.

redd-myths-tn2Developed countries must tackle climate change by urgently making real change at home. Carbon offsetting – when developed countries buy carbon credits from developing countries to avoid cutting emissions themselves – has no part to play in a just international agreement to fight climate change.

 

Governments of developed countries know that offsetting is ineffective in combating climate change but are attempting to deceive the public that by investing in offsetting they are taking real action against climate change.

Carbon offsetting has no benefits for the climate or for developing countries – it only benefits developed countries, private investors and major polluters who want to continue business as usual.


Climate justice means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.

 

EU energy flagClimate justice will be achieved when the countries that have the most historical responsibility for causing climate change do the most to prevent further damage and substantially reduce their own emissions at home.


Developing countries, and impoverished communities and people, have contributed least to the causes of climate change, yet they are most affected. 

Rich, developed countries are liable for the vast majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, and are thus the most responsible for climate change.

Developed countries should finance the transition to low carbon economies in developing countries and support their adaptation to the impacts of climate change, while recognising their rights to develop as sustainable societies.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives is damaging and diverts attention from the real solutions to climate change and deforestation.


ricardo-redd-tnTrading in forests has no part to play in a just international agreement to tackle climate change.

 

Including forests in carbon offsetting initiatives does not work: it diverts attention from real measures to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation, and threatens Indigenous Peoples who depend on them for survival.




Public money to fight climate change must go through the United Nations, not the World Bank.


World Bank meetings in Washington in October 2008Public money to fight climate change must go through the UNFCCC, not the World Bank, because that is the wrong institution to control financing for climate change.

The World Bank is the largest multi-lateral lender for oil and gas projects and a major actor in deforestation It has failed to accept its own internal recommendations to stop funding destructive and poverty-strickening coal, oil and gas extraction.

The World Bank is not a transparent or democratic institution with decision making dominated by 'donor' countries. It is also the world's largest carbon broker and it would be a perverse conflict of interest to become the world's largest climate financier.

Any funding outside of the UNFCCC -including the World Bank’s climate investment funds- should not be regarded as fulfilment of developed country commitments. 


Developed countries have a climate debt and must repay it.


tn-climate-justiceThe climate debt is the debt that rich nations have to repay to developing ones because they emitted the vast majority of the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, far more than their ‘fair share’.

Developed countries must repay the climate debt owed to developing countries taking into account historical responsibility. This encompasses immediate and rapid emissions reductions, just and effective financial flows, appropriate technology transfer and reparation of damages done.

All climate finance must contribute to community-based solutions that are truly sustainable, particularly those initiated by Indigenous Peoples, women and small-scale farmers.

 

Climate finance must exclude false solutions, such as plantations, agrofuels, nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

 

Any agreements must be consistent with existing international human rights treaties and obligations, particularly the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

Nov 25, 2009

Messages from Glasgow

by Krista Stryker — last modified Nov 25, 2009 05:35 PM

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