Dec 09, 2008
The G8, consisting of the most powerful countries of the world, gathered this week on Hokkaido, Japan to discuss issues such as rising oil prices and global warming.
Friends of the Earth International believes that the G8’s final communiqué regarding their action on climate change is futile rhetoric. It will do nothing to stop the toll that global warming is taking on people and the planet.
'The bad news about the G8 outcomes, is that we are doomed if the G8 countries’
proposals become reality. The outcomes of this G8 were even worse than
the usual vacuous, largely symbolic previous G8 circuses – that are
held behind increasingly well-fortified closed doors. This year, the
World Bank has used the G8 to launch its multi-billion climate funds,
backed by the UK, US and Japan. These funds are problematic for several reasons.'
Click here to learn more about the World Bank's Climate Funds
'The good news is: there increasing resistance to these proposals from global civil society and from developing countries. This was reflected in the G5 declaration of Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, India, China. The declaration affirms the G8’s historical responsibility to reduce emissions. Activists present here in Japan feel certain that next year's G8 gathering in Italy will see hundreds of thousands of peoples going to the streets calling for it to be the last G8 meeting.'
- Read the official G8 Chair's Summary of July 9 here
- World Bank casts its dark shadow over G8. Read our July 7 press release with La Via Campesina and Focus on the Global South here
- G8 leaders urged to dump the World Bank's climate investment funds. Read our July 4 press release here
- Read the statement of organisations affiliated with the G8 Action Network here
- Read the 'Challenge to G8 Governments' from international civil society here
- Visit the official website for the G8 Summit here
Oct 15, 2008
Challenges to World Bank Climate Funds in Washington, Amsterdam and Jakarta
From October 8-14, during the annual meetings of the World Bank, Friends of the Earth International and others brought a message to financial decision makers gathered in Washington DC.
The message is that the World Bank is not the right institution to manage climate change funding. It has unequal decision making structures, continues to invest massively in fossil fuels, and considers coal a potentially clean source of energy.
This was the central theme of our action in front of the World Bank headquarters on October 10th, which followed various public seminars and the launch of a new report entitled Dirty is the New Clean.
See more photos of our action in Washington here
On October 12, activists from affiliate FoEI member A SEED Europe sailed the canals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands against the way the World Bank is dealing with climate change.
Our actions were part of the
Aug 11, 2008
The initiative for the Regional Infrastructure Integration of South America.
new booklet: Latin American people versus mega infrastructure projects and trade negotiations with the European Union. May 2008. Download PDF (23,4 MB).
What is IIRSA?
The IIRSA initiative was created in the year 2000, during a summit of South American
presidents in Brazil. Its official goal is South American regional integration through infrastructure related to transportation, energy and telecommunications. This initiative is coordinated by 12 South American governments with the technical and financial support of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and the Del Plata Basin Development Fund (FONPLATA), as well as other development banks, likely including the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The IIRSA initiative includes seven processes to harmonize regulatory frameworks among countries in the following sectors:
- Instruments to finance physical regional integration projects
- Energy integration
- Facilitating border crossings
- Information and communication technology
- Operation systems for air transport
- Operation systems for sea transport
- Operation systems for multiple modes of transport
Why is IIRSA a risk for communities and the environment?
Because its transport, waterways and agribusiness network projects crossing ecologically fragile areas, will have a negative effect on biodiversity. For example, the impact in the Andes, the Amazon Basin, the Mato Grosso, the Pantanal, and the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, will be significant, and in many cases irreversible.
Because these projects are likely to put the products of peasant communities at a great disadvantage. IIRSA roads and waterways aim to facilitate the transport of export products like soy, while doing little to strengthen food security and sustainable livelihoods for local citizens.
Because the mega- infrastructure projects have been drawn up with excessive focus on the needs of the private sector compared to the needs of the local economy and nearby communities.
Because of the failure to incorporate appropriate environmental, social and cultural considerations in IIRSA’s large infrastructure projects.
Because IIRSA projects are now set up to follow previous large infrastructure projects financed by international financial institutions. These projects continue to cause harm to indigenous communities (for example the Camisea gas pipeline) and the environment (Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline), and can rack up devastating national debts (Yacyreta hydroelectric plant).
Because the role played by European transnational corporations in Latin America has already generated conflicts between consumers of public services, putting access to basic services (such as water, electricity, telecommunications) at risk, and promoting the privatization of public services. Giving these companies a greater role, as envisaged by IIRSA, is potentially very harmful.
Because IIRSA offers little public access to information about their projects and related policy reforms.
Because IIRSA does not have monitoring and evaluation programs in place to demonstrate that poverty will be reduced or that sustainable economies are being promoted.
Because IIRSA does not make concrete connections between its projects and the reduction of poverty or improvement of the environment.
Finally, and in summary, because IIRSA has a logic that is purely economic instead of a logic that is about sustainable integration and healthy local economies.
Read more about what our groups say (in spanish)...
...check our other resources in english...
BICECA- monitoring IIRSA in the Andes-Amazon: www.biceca.org
Rios Vivos Coalition: www.riosvivos.org.br/canal.php?canal=215
International Rivers: www.internationalrivers.org/en/latin-america/iirsa
...or visit the official IIRSA website