At the moment there are roughly the same amount of people obese as there are malnourished. So while the developed countries keep eating most 229 million tons of meat every year, the question remains if a solution based on growth and profits is really the answer.
Will be able to rescue the 9.2 billion people living in 2050 in a human and environmentally friendly way? I see no little hope for the negotiations at the COP15, but what I have learned so far, is that we must be proactive in own communities. “Think globally, act locally”. But non of that seems to be at the discussions at the Bella Center, where leaders from around the world have arrived to the negotiations.
„Its not a convention about the environment or the climate. You still believe that somehow the people that are inside (the Bella Center) are negotiating climate solutions? No- its a finance and energy summit. Repeat: a finance and energy summit, “ says Camila Moreno, from the Brazil for Global Justice Ecology project.
She says that with the implementation of REDD the last remaining publicly owned forests will be sold as property, and the indigenous people living in these forests will be pushed out. Brazil and Latin America had been struggling in the past with this problem, when GM (including Chevron and American Electric Power) paid $18 million for their corporate partnership, therefore owning rights to the land.
Many of the delegates from non-governmental-organizations were excluded in the last days of the COP15. Only 1.000 NGO representative from the over 35,000 accredited, will not be allowed inside the Bella Center. NGOs have been ordered to give up 35% of their access passes.
Organizations include Friends of the Earth and LaVia Campesina, who had been very proactive in the discussions.
Cristian Dominguez from the CSUTC Bolivia says that in his working group at the Bella Center they discussed until 2am, that the base for the emissions reductions should be 1990.“They only speak about how much are we going to win on this climate change.”
On the severe police interaction with demonstrators on Wednesday he says:
“There were massacres in this country, in the name of the democracy that it has. Where is the antique democracy of Europe? I don’t see it. It is a democratic dictatorship.” („Han sido masacrados en este pais. Al nombre de esta domacracia que tiene. Donde esta la democracia antiqua de Eruopa, no la veo. Es una dictadura democratica.”)
„The people at the Bella Center talk to the ceiling and not to the people,“ said Friends of the Earth International leader Mnimo Bassey on Tuesday.
Though many have lost fait that the COP will come out with a satisfying result, the discussions go on. There possibly good news on the COP15 website. The developed nations do not consider terminating the Kyoto protocol anymore. Kyoto right now is the only binding enforcement mechanism that the nations share.
Mainly the US have been promoting the idea of collapsing the Kyoto and the Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG). This would mean , the mainly responsible industrialized nations and the developing countries would act without a binding agreement, in a system of “pledge and review” or in other words “show and tell”, according to the briefings held this morning at the Klimaforum.
One more day to go…
At the Klimaforum’ briefing on the negotiations at the Bella Center and a presentation from Compassion in World Farming in Copenhagen, Denmark on Dec. 17, 2009. Many of the delegates from non-governmental-organizations were excluded in the last days of the COP15. Only 1.000 NGO representative from the over 35,000 accredited, will not be allowed inside the Bella Center. NGOs have been ordered to give up 35% of their access passes.
Organizations include Friends of the Earth and LaVia Campesina, who had been very proactive in the discussions.
1 min of reclaiming power
On Dec. 16, 2009 demonstrators tried to get into the sessions of the COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the Reclaim Power action. This Reclaim Power shows how demonstrators try to get pass another police barrier around 12h. The others were assisted during a trainride 3 stations away.
I only encountered a total of 10min with the demonstration.
I was there for not even two minutes, when the crowd started running away from the train station to find another way towards the Bella Center. Pepperspray and beatings were used not let more run away. Medical assistance was right there, helping with water to ease down the effects of pepperspray in the eyes of protesters. Meanwhile the people who were not able run away, were encircled by the police.
Fortunately some were let go. The police made sure they stepped into the train to make sure the demonstrators were at least 3 stops away from the Bella Center.
The developed world needs to “consume less from the developing countries… the planet is not going to wait for your guilty conscious… Europe get off your ass, do something about it.” -comment from aChattarrya Kalevar, an active listener at the Klimaforum.
I would like to highlight the best quotes/thoughts of todays discussions:
„There is no human right to having a car.“
The right to a decent life should take priority over economic interest. In our current system, economic interest his higher than life, therefore we need a re-regulation of economic policies. Frein wishes for an end of „mercantilist neo-liberalist“ policies and a stop of Germany’s aggressive export policies for a more sustainable Germany.
On the one hand there is growth, and other the other hand more people are getting poorer. „They didn’t learn anything from the economic crisis and just go on as before.“
Germany can not be sustainable alone, it would be like „a healthy heart in a unhealthy body.“
The social economic environmental system is also a political system. The question is only, who decides? If it is corporations who decide what development is, then no environmental action will take place, says Navarro.The „environmental problem starts in the mind of the people. The mental paradime, that is what we need to change“. This also means that democratic decisions do not work if you try to move things fast. He suggests bringing the political decisions to the local level.
Food and agriculture account for most of the GHG emissions, therefore he promotes localized agriculture as a solution to cutting global emissions.
A year ago she was still optimistic that a change in the world could happen. She saw the financial crisis as an opportunity for establishing eco-systems, and making a change to a more sustainable world. But instead of going that direction, the governments have decided that more consumption is needed to keep the economy growing. She was especially surprised about the German green initiative of „Cash for Clunkers“; the plan to give money to people, so they can buy new cars instead of using that money for real change.
„What would happen to the world if every Indian had a car? It would probably blow up.“
In the USA most people have 2 or 3 cars, „so how could you deny an Indian a car?“ Therefore she says that real solutions lie within the politics and policies, but unfortunately leaders of the world still think they can find a „techno-fix“. “Efficiency alone is not the answer, sufficiency is needed” as well to overcome this obstacle.
The poor will always be the first victims. „Whatever emissions are created, are going to affect the same atmosphere.“ So there must be a restructuring of economic growth, because economic politics are directly linked to the climate crisis.
„Democratic systems will have to put on those checks and balances on how much we consume. Can you take away the freedom of owning a car?“. In Singapore it has been possible.
She sees the solutions in the grassroots. „We know were the answers are. We need to make a difference on the local level of democracy.“
“The dialogue of the Bella Center is the dialogue of the deaf.”
„An unfair world is a unsustainable world.“
„Growth should go hand in hand with human well-being.“
He does not see economic growth as a way to tackle the climate crisis. „Growth should be something organic, something to help us be who we want to be.“ Mankind at the moment is just designed to consume. Export becomes the faith, going to war is an economic investment.
„I can not be human alone…we are interlinked in the world…we can’t go on the way we are doing.“
He quotes a statement of Gandhi: „If India tried to grow as Britain, one planet would not be enough.“
„What we’ve lost is the sovereignty of the people,…the communities should be in charge of their community resources.“
He calls the UN the „Un-united Nations“, where during the two weeks at the COP no real steps have been taken. „Governments have become the shoeshine boys for transnational corporations.“ Its not fair that leaders of corporations can not be held responsible for their actions.
He demands for the politicians to “think before patronizing the companies.”
„We need to tell the leaders that it is time for them to listen to what the people are demanding“.
Nacpill explained what type of climate debt is talked about in the Bella Center.
There is the Emissions debt: In the past 200 years, the Annex 1 countries have emitted 75% of the GHG, according to Nacpill.
And Adaptation debt: which is the need to adapt and deal with the impacts of climate change.
The financial discussions have been going on since the beginning of COP15.
“It is not about assistance of providing us with these funds, it’s about paying back.”
The question is now, how to ensure equity across the countries, and how to ensure equity within the countries. She sees it as a false solution to let the Worldbank manage the funds, when they have been part of creating the problem.
She explains that the Worldbank has a long role in creating the climate crisis. Looking at their financing in 2007/2008 investment in the coal industry rose by 600%.
During the climate debate, the Worldbank has come up with new funds and ideas. For the carbon market, they established a finance portfolio with a $2 billion business opportunity, of which 13% would go into their own pocket ($260 million):
There is the Climate Investment Act, which includes investments in coal, hydropower and nuclear energy. A smaller fund, called the Adaptation Fund would invest in forests and scaling up renewable energies. The Forest Carbon Facility, or also knows as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), is also included in their proposal. In the view of most nongovernmental organizations, REDD is a bad solution, because it promotes monocultures and deforestation; it means a carbon market in the forests.
Kretzmann explained the money issue of climate debt and climate solutions.
The consensus is that $10 billion should be used for short term financing, from now until 2012/13. That sounds like a lot of money, but he gives further statistics to prove that it is not asked for too much:
last year, the G8 were able to find $11 trillion within one month for financing the financial crisis.
The USA spent $3 trillion in Iraq, and still pays $650 billion on war per year.
“When they want to find the money, they find the money.”
Other financial resources could be the IMF, using the Special Drawing Rights. “$100 billion in special drawing rights is just sitting there,” it has not been used during the financial crisis.
Another fund could come through a financial transaction tax, where a exchange of currency would be taxed slightly. But still the millions of money transactions (mostly by the biggest companies) would bring in Millions.
Another solution for finding financing are to cut of the subsidies for oil, and start using that money more sustainably.
The Angry Mermaid Award:
Naomi Klein announced the winners of the award, saying that “ It is time to out the people behind the politicians….who are bought and paid for by the corporations.”
First place went to Monsanto, which is known for promoting genetically modified crops for over a decade. They want to push for these “climate-friendly” crops, which should be a solution for world hunger, and want them to be part for of the carbon credits under the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism), which is highly discussed during the COP discussions.
Monsanto promotes their genetically modified soy, so in the near future, it could be used as a “sustainable” source of agrofuel.
This RoundupReady soy, is grown on over 40 million hectares across South America, leaving severe social and environmental impacts on the land, due to an increased use of pesticide that comes along with it. This monoculture has replaces much of the forests in South America, resulting in high CO2 emissions and displacement of indigenous communities.
Second place went to Royal Dutch Shell which is strongly investing in energy-intensive tar sands, and pushing for an unproven Carbon Capture and Storage. They are the most carbon intensive company and known for its exploitation of tar sands in Canada.
Third place went to the American Petroleum Institute (API), which represents 400 oil and gas companies in the USA. They were nominated for organizing an “astroturf” campaign against the Climate Bills. The Angry Mermaid website explains: “Astroturfing is a public relations and lobbying technique, where an organization like the API sets up a grassroots movement to give the false impression of a popular movement for or against proposed legislation, or other regulatory action.”