Archive for December, 2011

AGU pede afastamento de procurador Felicio Pontes em casos que envolvam construção de hidrelétricas

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

ISA, Christiane Peres.

A reclamação disciplinar foi protocolada no Conselho Nacional do Ministério Público no dia 7 de dezembro pela Advocacia Geral da União (AGU) e pede o afastamento e a substituição do procurador da República Felício Pontes Jr (MPF/PA) nos processos que envolvem a construção de usinas hidrelétricas. O argumento usado é que o procurador “extrapolou suas funções” ao orientar os índios a se posicionarem contra construção das hidrelétricas de Belo Monte e Tapajós.

(Foto © Rebecca Sommer) Felício Pontes chegada, aldeia Xikrin

Segundo a Constituição brasileira – artigo 129 – é função do Ministério Público defender judicialmente os direitos e interesses das populações indígenas. É o que tem feito o procurador federal do MPF-PA Felício Pontes Jr ao esclarecer os indígenas, sempre que solicitado, sobre seus direitos. Mas não é assim que a AGU tem entendido a atuação do procurador. No último dia 7, o órgão protocolou uma reclamação disciplinar no Conselho Nacional do Ministério Público (CNMP), solicitando o afastamento e a substituição de Felício Pontes Jr nos processos que envolvem a construção de usinas hidrelétricas, sob o argumento de que o procurador ultrapassou suas funções ao orientar os índios a se posicionarem contra as barragens de Belo Monte e do Tapajós. Com essa, são quatro representações no Conselho por causa da atuação do MPF/PA em Belo Monte – sendo que duas foram arquivadas e duas ainda tramitam.

O estopim para a reclamação formal foi uma matéria publicada pelo jornal Folha de S.Paulo, no dia 3 de dezembro. A reportagem utiliza, sem autorização, vídeos gravados durante uma reunião do procurador com os Xikrin da Terra Indígena Trincheira Bacajá para embasar sua tese de que Felício sugere aos índios que cobrem mais dinheiro do consórcio Norte Energia pela construção da usina de Belo Monte, no Rio Xingu (PA). Os trechos do vídeo – retirado da internet a pedido do MPF-PA – mostram apenas respostas do procurador a questionamentos da comunidade sobre seus direitos relativos aos procedimentos de indenização por danos causados pela hidrelétrica.

Veja a: carta_de apoio ao MPF dos indigenas Xikrin

(Foto © Rebecca Sommer) Felício Pontes dá explicações aos Xikrin

Mas de acordo com a nota publicada no site da AGU, “o comportamento apresentado pelo procurador da República é extremamente parcial, pessoal e distante do que pode ser considerado como adequado a um membro do MPF para garantir proteção ao meio ambiente e aos povos indígenas, ou para atuar como fiscal da lei”. O documento ressalta ainda que os atos de Felício “promovem insegurança jurídica e social ao incutir sentimento de revolta desmedida, resistência não pacífica e luta ilegal contra a construção de usinas hidrelétricas e, consequentemente, contra quem a promover”.

“Quando a Funai e a Eletronorte vão até as aldeias, com funcionários em grande parte despreparados, e fazem compromissos que não cumprem ou estabelecem uma relação perversa como as ‘listas de alimentos e objetos’, que contribuem para a destruição da cultura desses povos, parece ser normal. Porém, quando um defensor dos direitos indígenas, com compromisso histórico com essas populações, vai ao encontro deles para dias de reunião, os escuta atentamente e os orienta, como advogado dos índios, é visto com estranhamento. Há uma pequena inversão de valores nessa história toda, não?!”, aponta o coordenador adjunto do Programa Xingu, do ISA, Marcelo Salazar.

Vale lembrar que Felício tem uma série de ações que apontam irregularidades sérias no processo de licenciamento de Belo Monte. Até hoje, o MPF já ingressou na Justiça com 13 ações contra a construção da barragem.

(Foto © Rebecca Sommer) Felício Pontes Jr. visitou aldeias do povo Xikrin

Ações de apoio

Dois dias depois da reclamação disciplinar ter sido protocolada no CNMP, uma petição online começou a circular na internet em defesa do procurador e contra o empreendimento no Rio Xingu. Saiba mais.

Além da petição, uma nota em defesa do MPF e de sua liberdade de atuação está circulando entre antropólogos, juristas, representantes da área indígena, igreja, pesquisadores, dirigentes sociais e sociedade civil. A ideia é que em breve este documento esteja também online para juntar forças na defesa do MPF e tornar público o protesto contra a criminalização do procurador Felício Pontes Jr.

Reunião na aldeia – a origem da ação disciplinar

Entre os dias 13 e 15 de outubro, Felício Pontes Jr. visitou aldeias do povo Xikrin do Bacajá (PA) e Mrõtidjãm e ouviu das lideranças uma série de denúncias sobre o desrespeito com que vêm sendo tratadas pelo consórcio Norte Energia (Nesa).

(Foto ©Rebecca Sommer) vista aérea da aldeia Mrõtidjãm

Além da falta de consulta aos indígenas e de informação sobre o empreendimento, os Xikrin reclamaram que acordos estabelecidos entre Nesa e Funai não vêm sendo cumpridos. Um deles é o repasse da verba estabelecida no plano emergencial, firmado entre as instituições. Segundo o acordo, a Nesa deveria alocar R$ 30 mil por aldeia todo mês em mercadorias. As compras deveriam ser feitas pelo escritório do consórcio em Altamira a partir de uma lista fornecida pela Funai, mas os índios relatam que só conseguem acessar esse direito após muita humilhação.

(Foto © Rebecca Sommer) Felício Pontes ouviu denúncias das lideranças Xikrin

“A demora em receber e para levar o material às aldeias retira as lideranças por muito tempo das suas aldeias. Os mantém em Altamira sem necessidade. E os gastos com alimentação na cidade, por exemplo, também saem do recurso da ‘lista’, como ficou conhecida”, relata a antropóloga Clarice Cohn, da UFSCar, que tem acompanhado esse processo com os Xikrin desde os Estudos de Impacto Ambiental, desenvolvidos em 2009, realizando hoje a supervisão antropológica dos Estudos Complementares do Rio Bacajá, com previsão de término em março de 2012.

Os Xikrin denunciaram ainda ao procurador a precariedade do atendimento básico à saúde e o descaso com a educação. “Há algumas semanas, o cacique Onça, um dos mais velhos e importantes do nosso povo foi removido para Altamira porque estava doente. Passou quatro dias no Hospital Municipal São Rafael, sem comida e nenhum atendimento. Quando souberam do caso, seus parentes o encontraram muito fraco e chorando muito, nem conseguia falar”, conta Mukuka Xikrin, uma das lideranças da etnia à frente da Associação Beby Xikrin (Abex).

Condicionantes não foram implementadas

Diversas das ações de saúde e educação são condicionantes previstas pelo Ibama para a instalação de Belo Monte e deveriam ter sido implementadas antes do início da construção da usina. Além das reclamações indígenas, o problema enfrenta outro “complicador”: várias dessas ações são de responsabilidade da prefeitura, Funai, Funasa e o consórcio joga com isso para não cumprir as ações estabelecidas no licenciamento ambiental.

Outro exemplo do descaso foi constatado na visita ao projeto de construção de banheiros nas aldeias Bacajá e Mrotidijam. Além da obra ter sido feita sem observar, nem respeitar a cultura e os padrões arquitetônicos desse povo, o material utilizado para a construção é de “baixíssima qualidade”. “O espaço é pequeno, a telha é de fibrocimento (quente e fraca podendo voar com o primeiro vento forte que vier) e as torneiras, material dos vasos e tanques são quase descartáveis”, observa Marcelo Salazar, que acompanhou a visita do procurador.

Em seus discursos, um a um, os mais velhos das aldeias expressaram indignação com Belo Monte. Eles disseram não querer a barragem no Xingu, pois estão com medo de ficar sem peixe, sem caça e sem água de qualidade para beber, para as crianças brincarem e para tomarem banho.

(Foto © Rebecca Sommer) os mais velhos, aldeia Bacaja

Na ocasião, Felício explicou aos indígenas sobre seus direitos, garantidos na Constituição e na Convenção 169, da OIT, reforçando que eles podem exigir indenização junto à Nesa pelos impactos causados pelo empreendimento. Oficialmente, o EIA não inclui o Rio Bacajá na área afetada pela usina – assim como diz que não haverá impacto em nenhuma Terra Indígena. O MPF, porém, entende que o Rio Bacajá – afluente do Xingu – também sofrerá com a diminuição da vazão das águas por causa da barragem, mas ainda aguarda estudos sobre o comportamento do rio para embasar uma nova ação contra o projeto, a 14ª.

El Paquete de Durban: 
 “Laisser faire, laisser passer” (dejar hacer, dejar pasar)

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

La Conferencia de Cambio Climático terminó dos días después de lo previsto aprobando un conjunto de decisiones que recién se conocieron horas antes de su adopción. Algunas decisiones no estaban completas el momento de su consideración. Les faltaban párrafos y algunas delegaciones ni siquiera tenían el texto de las mismas. El Paquete de decisiones fue puesto por la Presidencia Sudafricana con el ultimátum de “Tómalo o déjalo”. Sólo a la Unión Europea se le aceptó modificaciones de último momento en plenaria.

Varias delegaciones hicieron duras criticas a los documentos y manifestaron su oposición. Sin embargo, ninguna delegación objeto de manera explicita y consecuente la adopción de estas decisiones. Al final el paquete entero se adoptó por consenso sin la objeción de ninguna delegación. Los elementos centrales del Paquete de Durban se los puede resumir de la siguiente manera:

1) Un Zombi llamado Protocolo de Kioto

· Un muerto viviente sin alma: Las promesas de reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero para el segundo período de compromisos del Protocolo de Kioto representan menos de la mitad de lo necesario para mantener el incremento de la temperatura por debajo de los 2ºC.

· Este Zombi (segundo periodo del Protocolo de Kioto) recién se adoptará el próximo año (COP 18).

· No se sabe si el segundo periodo del Protocolo de Kioto será de 5 u 8 años.

· Estados Unidos, Canadá, Japón, Rusia, Australia y Nueva Zelandia estarán fuera de este segundo período del Protocolo de Kioto.

· Esta será conocida como la década perdida en la lucha contra el cambio climático.

2) Nuevo régimen del  “Laisser faire, laisser passer”

· El 2020 entrará en vigencia un nuevo instrumento legal que remplazará el Protocolo de Kioto y afectará seriamente los principios de la Convención Marco de Cambio Climático de las Naciones Unidas.

· Los elementos centrales de este nuevo instrumento legal ya se los puede apreciar por los resultados de las negociaciones: a) promesas voluntarias en vez de compromisos vinculantes de reducción de emisiones, b) mas flexibilidades (mercados de carbono) para que los países desarrollados cumplan sus promesas de reducción de emisiones, y c) un mecanismo de cumplimiento aun mas débil que el del protocolo de Kioto.

· El nuevo instrumento legal abarcará a todos los Estados borrando la diferencia entre países en desarrollo y países desarrollados. El principio de “responsabilidades comunes pero diferenciadas” y establecido en la Convención de Cambio Climático irá desapareciendo.

· El resultado será la profundización del régimen del “Laisser Faire, laisser passer” que se ha inaugurado en Copenhagen, Cancún y Durban y que lleva a un incremento de la temperatura de mas de 4ºC.

3) Un fondo Verde sin fondos

· El Fondo Verde tiene ahora una arquitectura institucional en la que el Banco Mundial es un actor clave

· Los 100 mil millones son sólo una promesa y NO serán provistos por los países desarrollados.

· El dinero vendrá del mercado de carbono (que está colapsando), de la inversión privada, de créditos (que habrá que pagar) y de los propios países en desarrollo.

4) Un salvavidas para los Mercados de Carbono

· Los mercados de carbono existentes vivirán independientemente de la suerte del Protocolo de Kioto.

· Además se crearán nuevos mecanismos de mercado de carbono para cumplir con las promesas de reducción de emisiones de esta década.

· Es un intento desesperado por evitar que desaparezcan los mercados de carbono que están colapsando debido a que los Bonos de carbono han caído de 30 euros la tonelada a 3 euros la tonelada de CO2.

· Los países desarrollados reducirán menos de lo que prometen porque compraran Certificados de Reducción de Emisiones de los países en desarrollo.

5) REDD: un incentivo perverso para deforestar en esta década

· Si no talas árboles no podrás emitir certificados de disminución de la deforestación cuando entre en funcionamiento el mecanismo de REDD (Reducción de Emisiones por Deforestación y Degradación de bosques).

· CONSECUENCIA: deforesta ahora si quieres prepararte para REDD.

· Las salvaguardas para los pueblos indígenas serán flexibles y de aplicación discrecional según cada país.

· La oferta de financiamiento para bosques se posterga hasta la próxima década debido a que la demanda de Bonos de Carbono no se incrementará por las bajas promesas de reducción de emisiones.

De los procesos de negociación de cambio climático no podemos esperar un resultado que salve a la humanidad y a la Madre Tierra. Los gobiernos anteponen la economía de las transnacionales frente a la necesidad urgente de emprender un nueva forma de vida en armonía con la naturaleza. La clases dominantes no van subvertir el capitalismo que es la causa de fondo del calentamiento global. Lejos de traer el capitalismo a la naturaleza a través de la “economía verde” es necesario emprender el camino del reconocimiento y respeto a los Derechos de la Madre Tierra.

¡Amandla! ¡Jallalla!

En las acciones y eventos de los movimientos sociales en Durban dos gritos se fusionaron: “Amandla” y “Jallalla”. El primero es un palabra Xhosa y Zulu del Sur de África que quiere decir “poder”. La segunda es una expresión aymará que significa “por la vida”. “¡Amandla! ¡Jallalla!” significa “¡Poder por la Vida!”.

Ese es el “poder por la vida” que trascendiendo fronteras debemos construir desde nuestras comunidades, barrios, centros de trabajo y estudio para frenar este genocidio y ecocidio que esta en curso.

(*) Pablo Solón, analista internacional y activista social. Fue Embajador en las Naciones Unidas y Jefe Negociador de Cambio Climatico del Estado Plurinacional del Bolivia.

http://www.facebook.com/solonpablo?sk=wall

http://pablosolon.wordpress.com/

COP17: The Durban Package: “Laisser faire, laisser passer”

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

The Climate Change Conference ended two days later than expected, adopting a set of decisions that were known only a few hours before their adoption. Some decisions were even not complete at the moment of their consideration. Paragraphs were missing and some delegations didn’t even have copies of these drafts. The package of decisions was released by the South African presidency with the ultimatum of “Take it or leave it”. Only the European Union was allowed to make last minute amendments at the plenary.

Several delegations made harsh criticisms to the documents and expressed their opposition to sections of them. However, no delegation explicitly objected the subsequent adoption of these decisions. At the end, the whole package was adopted by consensus without the objection of any delegation. The core elements of the Durban Package can be summarized as follows:

1) A Zombie called Kyoto Protocol

· A soulless undead: The promises of reducing greenhouse gas emission for the second period of commitments of the Kyoto Protocol represent less than half of what is necessary to keep the temperature increase below 2°C.

· This Zombie (second period of the Kyoto Protocol) will only finally go into effect next year (COP 18).

· It is not known if the second period of the Kyoto Protocol will cover 5 or 8 years.

· United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia and New Zealand will be out of this second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

· This will be known as the lost decade in the fight against climate change.

2) New regime of “Laisser Faire, Laisser Faisser”

· In 2020 a new legal instrument will come into effect that will replace the Kyoto Protocol and will seriously impact the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

· The core elements of this new legal instrument can be already seen due to the results of the negotiations: a) voluntary promises rather than binding commitments to reduce emissions, b) more flexibilities (carbon markets) for developed countries to meet their emission reduction promises, and c) an even weaker compliance mechanism than the Kyoto Protocol.

· The new legal instrument will cover all the States, effectively removing the difference between developing and developed countries. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” already established in the Climate Change Convention will disappear.

· The result will be the deepening of the “Laisser Faire, laisser passer” regime inaugurated in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban which will lead to an increase in temperature of more than 4°C.

3) A Green Fund with no funds

· The Green Fund now has an institutional structure in which the World Bank is a key player.

· The 100 billion is only a promise and will NOT be provided for by the developed countries.

· The money will come from the carbon markets (which are collapsing), from private investments, from credits (to be paid) and from the developing countries themselves.

4) A lifesaver for the Carbon Markets

· The existing carbon markets will live regardless of the fate of the Kyoto Protocol.

· Also, new carbon market mechanisms will be created to meet the emissions reduction pledges of this decade.

· It is a desperate attempt to avoid the loss of the carbon markets, which are collapsing due to the fall of the carbon credits, from 30 Euros per ton to 3 Euros per ton of CO2.

· Developed countries will reduce less than what they promise because they will buy Emission Reduction Certificates from developing countries.

5) REDD: a perverse incentive to deforest in this decade

· If you don’t cut down trees you won’t be able to issue certificates of reduction of deforestation when the REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism comes into operation.

· CONSEQUENCES: deforest now if you want to be ready for REDD.

· The safeguards for indigenous peoples will be flexible and discretionary for each country.

· The offer of funding for forests is postponed until the next decade due to the fact that demand for Carbon Credits will not increase until then because of the low emission reduction promises.

¡Amandla! ¡Jallalla!

In the actions and events of the social movements in Durban, two battle cries emerged: “Amandla” and “Jallalla”. The first one is a Xhosa and Zulu word from South Africa which means “power”. The second word is an expression in aymara which means “for life”. “¡Amandla¡ °Jallalla!” means “¡Power for life!”

This is the “power for life” that we must build, that transcends borders, from our communities, neighborhoods, workplaces and place of study in order to stop this ongoing genocide and ecocide.

(*) Pablo Solón, international analyst and social activist. United Nations Ambassador and Chief Climate Change Negotiator from the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

http://www.facebook.com/solonpablo?sk=wall

http://pablosolon.wordpress.com/


VIDEO: PROTEST of THE PEOPLE inside UN CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS COP17

Monday, December 12th, 2011

TO WATCH VIDEO CLICK HERE: Hundreds of Activists Protest Inside COP17 demanding CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!


This video filmed by Rebecca Sommer (© Sommerfilms) shows parts of the CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! (CJN!) movement’s press conference, and our protest inside the halls at the last day of the UN Climate Change negotiations COP17. Kumi Naidoo , executive director of Greenpeace (member of CJN!) was banned from UN premises after leading this protest. Many others, such as Anne Petermann (member of CJN!) have been thrown out as well., their UN badges revoked because they participated ion the protest. Background why the people protested: A central piece of what is being negotiated here at COP17 is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets (REDD+, CDM), which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters have said they want that their voices are heard.
They are calling for the World Bank to be taken out of climate finance, a reference to the predominance of private financing and market mechanisms in all funding solutions for climate change reduction projects being discussed at the conference. A central piece of what is being negotiated is the Green Clmate Fund, with a goal of raising $100 billion for adaptation and mitigation projects, but most of the funding is being linked to programs like carbon markets and offsets, which allows companies to continue polluting and ignores the need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels, and not simply try to offset them with other projects.
Protesters are also calling for a recognition of historic climate debt: that developed and Northern countries have predominantly been the cause of man-made green house gas emissions, and that they have the responsibility to take a frontline position in cleaning up the problem. This historic reality was included in Kyoto Protocol, but Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent recently called such demands “guilt money”

La COP17 sucumbe ante el apartheid climático. Su antídoto es el Acuerdo de los Pueblos de Cochabamb

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Durban, Sudáfrica – Las decisiones resultantes de la COP17 de Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático constituyen un crimen con la humanidad, de acuerdo a la coalición de movimientos y organizaciones de la sociedad civil, Justicia Climática Ahora! (CJN!).
En Sudáfrica, que inspiró al mundo por la lucha liberadora de la mayoría negra del país, las naciones ricas cínicamente han creado un nuevo régimen de apartheid climático.

“Posponer una acción real hasta el 2020 es un crimen de proporciones globales”, dijo Nnimmo Bassey, Presidente de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional. “Un aumento de las temperaturas globales en 4 grados Celsios, permitido con este plan, será una sentencia de muerte para África, los Pequeños Estados Insulares, y los más pobres y vulnerables del mundo. Esta Cumbre ha amplificado el apartheid climático, en el cual el 1% más rico ha decidido el sacrificio del 99% restante.

De acuerdo a Pablo Solón, anterior líder negociador del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, “es falso decir que un segundo periodo de compromiso de Kioto haya sido adoptado en Durban. La actual decisión ha sido meramente pospuesta para la siguiente COP, sin compromisos de reducciones de emisiones de los países ricos. Esto significa que el Protocolo de Kioto estará vigente hasta que sea reemplazado por un nuevo acuerdo que será inclusive más débil”.

Los contaminadores del mundo han bloqueado acciones reales y nuevamente han escogido sacar de apuros a los inversores y bancos, expandiendo los ya quebrados mercados de carbono, como ocurre con todas las actividades de los mercados financieros actuales, que principalmente enriquecen a unos pocos.

“Lo que se ve como una inacción, en realidad es una demostración de la falla palpable del actual sistema, que conlleva crisis económicas, sociales y ambientales”, dijo Janet Redman del Institute for Policy Studies de Washington. “Los bancos que causaron la crisis financiera ahora están haciendo bonanza, especulando y lucrando con el futuro del planeta. El sector financiero está buscando una manera de salir de la crisis desarrollando nuevas mercancías para tratar de apuntalar este sistema fallido”

A pesar de hablar de un “mapa de ruta”, ofrecido por la Unión Europea, el fracaso de Durban muestra que éste fue un callejón sin salida. Voceros de Climate Justice Now!llaman a la comunidad internacional a recordar que un programa real para enfrentar el cambio climático, debe basarse en las recomendaciones de los científicos, así como en mandato de los movimientos populares emergido en la Cumbre de los Pueblos sobre Cambio Climático y la Madre Tierra de Bolivia en 2010. El Acuerdo de Cochabamba fue presentado para su discusión en la UNFCCC en pero borrado del texto que se iba a negociar.

INFORMACIÓN ADICIONAL

SOBRE TECNOLOGÍA
“Las discusiones sobre tecnología han sido secuestradas por los países industrializados que hablan de parte de sus corporaciones transnacionales” dijo Silvia Ribeiro del la organización internacional ETG Group.

“La crítica al monopolio de patentes, o la evaluación ambiental, social y cultural de las tecnologías, no está entre los resultados de Durban Sin enfrentar estas preocupaciones fundamentales, los nuevos mecanismos tecnológicos serán meramente un brazo del mercado global para el beneficio de las corporaciones transnacionales que venden tecnologías peligrosas a los países del Sur, como son la nanotecnología, la biología sintética o la geoingeniería.

SOBRE AGRICULTURA
“La única manera de avanzar en materia de agricultura es apoyar las soluciones agro-ecológicas, y mantener a la agricultura fuera del merado de carbono” dijo Alberto Gómez, coordinador de la Via Campesina para Norteamérica, el mas grande movimiento campesino del mundo.

“Los negocios agroindustriales, a través de su modelo social, económico o cultural de producción, es una de las principales causas del cambio climático e incrementa el hambre en el mundo. Por eso rechazamos los Tratados de Libre Comercio, los Acuerdos de Asociación y toda forma de aplicación de derechos de propiedad intelectual sobre la vida; los actuales paquetes tecnológicos (agroquímicos, modificación genética) y aquellos otros que ofrecen falsas soluciones (agrocombustibles, nanotecnología o agricultura climática “inteligente”) solo exacerban la crisis actual”.

SOBRE REDD+ Y PROYECTOS DE CARBONO FORESTAL
“REDD+ amenaza la supervivencia de los pueblos indígenas y de las comunidades que dependen de los bosques. Numerosas y crecientes evidencias muestran que los pueblos indígenas están siendo sujetos a violaciones a sus derechos como resultado de la aplicación de políticas y programas tipo REDD” declaró la Alianza Global de Pueblos Indígenas y Comunidades Locales contra REDD y por la Vida.

En su comunicado, lanzado durante la primera semana de la COP17, declaran que “REDD+ y el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (MDL) promueven la privatización y mercantilización de los bosques, los árboles y el aire a través del comercio y compensación de carbono de los bosques, suelos, agricultura, y podría incluir hasta los océanos…Denunciamos que los mercados de carbono son una hipocresía que no detendrán el calentamiento global”.

SOBRE EL BANCO MUNDIAL Y EL FONDO CLIMÁTICO GLOBAL
“El Banco Mundial es un villano en la fracasada economía neoliberal”, señaló Teresa Almaguer de la Grassroots Global Justice Alliance de Estados Unidos.

“Necesitamos un fondo climático manejado con una gobernancia participativa, no por un institución antidemocrática que es en gran parte responsable de los trastornos climáticos y de la pobreza en el mundo”. El fondo Climático Mundial se ha convertido en el Fondo Codicioso Climático”, dijo Lidy Nacpil, de Jubileo Sur. “El Fondo ha sido secuestrado por los países ricos, bajos su términos, y establecido para dar mas ganancias al sector privado”.

SOBRE LA ECONOMÍA VERDE
Las políticas climáticas están dando un giro hacia la llamada “economía verde”; peligrosamente reducen sus compromisos éticos y responsabilidades históricas hacia una economía de calculo de eficiencia, de costo-beneficio, comercio y oportunidades de inversión. La mitigación y adaptación no deben ser tratadas como un negocio, ni tienen que estar condicionadas a la intervención del sector privado, ni menos orientados a una lógica de lucro. La vida no se vende !

SOBRE DEUDA CLIMÁTICA
“Los países industrializados del Norte están moralmente y legalmente obligados a reparar la deuda climática”, dijo Janet Redman, Co-directora de SEEN en el Institute for Policy Studies. “Los países desarrollados se hicieron ricos a expensas del planeta y del futuro de los pueblos, explotando carbón, o petróleo baratos. Ellos deben pagar por las pérdidas y daños resultantes, reduciendo drásticamente sus emisiones ahora, y apoyando financieramente a los países del Sur hacia un camino de energías limpias.

Los países desarrollados, asumiendo su responsabilidad histórica, deben honrar su deuda climática en todas sus dimensiones como base de una solución científica, justa y efectiva, lo que no debe ser solo compensación económica, sino justicia reparadora, entendida como una restitución integral a la Madre Tierra y a todos sus seres vivos. Llamamos a los países desarrollados a comprometerse a tomar acciones en este sentido. Solo esto puede, quizás reconstruir la confianza que se ha roto y avanzar por una camino mejor.

Climate Change negotiations: Durban’s Platform for [Potential] [In]Action

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

By Alex Lenferna

At 5am this morning, the final session of Durban’s COP 17 came to a close over a day and a half  behind schedule, with some delegates having not slept for close on 40 hours after two weeks of grueling negotiations. Many decisions have been rushed through in the last minute, and while there is a self-congratulatory air among those key to the design of the architecture of what is now being referred to as the Durban Package, there is much dismay in the air as well. The Durban Package has come to a number of rather controversial decisions around many of the major issues carried over from the Cancun Agreements, but many of the elements have also been postponed and unfulfilled. Furthermore there is an air of confusion around the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), as many aren’t sure what was just signed onto, as many of the final decisions involving relatively new texts were rushed through at such a fast pace that understanding was hard to attain.

While I was assured by the South African lead negotiator, Alf Wills, that the Durban Package is a comprehensive deal that has taken into account the necessary compromise and has produced a credible outcome, I am not sure I am convinced. The decisions that were passed, despite the COP president’s constant insistency on a transparent and inclusive process, were decried by numerous parties as being one of backdoor intimidation and marginalization guided by the interests of a few parties, with many pointing or alluding towards the USA. In the final plenary discussions on both the Kyoto Protocol and Long Term Cooperative Action, disagreements were gaveled past and disputed texts were forwarded to the main COP plenary despite objections. In the COP plenary decisions were pushed through at an incredibly quick rate, so much so that it was not clear that all parties understood what was going on and many objections from the earlier sessions were not dealt with. At one stage the Russian ambassador declared, that although he did not know what was going on, or what was being passed, he would nevertheless not block progress. Just how many other parties were similarly confused as decisions were gaveled through remains to be seen. So what did they actually decide on, and how is it going to affect our future? I think many of the negotiating teams are going to be spending the next few days figuring out just that, but here is what I have been able to decipher throughout the rushed process.

Firstly, one of the major objectives of the conference was to secure a 2nd commitment to the Kyoto Protocol (KP). While parties were successful with this in so far as we now have a 2nd commitment to the Kyoto Protocol (KP2C), the KP2C is weak and unambitious and does not include many of the major polluters. As far as the legal form of the emission reduction targets under KP2C is concerned, it was decided that quantifiable emission reductions targets, which are only set to be decided on in May 2012, will be “an agreed outcome with legal force”. This statement while seemingly politically potent does not necessarily mean that the targets are legally binding, and is has varied meaning depending on the context. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, simply referred to the implementing reduction emissions in a “legal way”. According to Wills, ambiguity in the text is necessary in order to ensure agreement among divergent parties, but to me because of the ambiguity that means that parties are agreeing to disagree at a later stage, and thus are not really agreeing at all. This will most certainly be a hot spot of controversy in the climate negotiations to come.

Furthermore, the USA, Canada, Japan and Russia are all not party to KP2C and because of lack of ambition in emission reduction targets the KP2C will cover less than 15% of global emissions. Unless ambition is increased drastically at some point then KP2C could potentially lock us onto a pathway to dangerous climate change to the tune of 3.5 degrees, as opposed to the 2 degrees currently aimed for and the 1.5 degrees many claim is necessary for a safe climate future. This, however, is where tonight’s establishment of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-DPEA) comes in to play. According to the Durban Package, the results of a review set to take place from 2013-15 will inform a work plan to raise ambition. Given the resistance of many nations to increase their reduction ambition targets, the AWG-DPEA will have its hands full trying to raise ambition to the necessary level.  Furthermore, there are serious problems with monitoring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Land Use and Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), which is a critical structure under the Kyoto Protocol. Given that current LULUCF loopholes in forest management would allow developed countries to increase their emissions by up to 6 gigatonnes by 2020, the fact that these loopholes weren’t properly addressed remains worrying. What is clear is that the KP2C as currently proposed is weak, lacks much ambition and, as it isn’t legally binding, gives much room for countries to wangle out of their already flexible emission reduction targets.

With a weak KP2c in place this puts a lot of pressure on a post-Kyoto global climate change regime. Decisions on that rather controversial topic, however, have been postponed until COP 18, which is set to take place in the rather controversial Qatar. Throughout COP 17 there has been a stand-off between most developing countries and the EU, who want the new regime to come into place as early as 2015, and developed countries plus China and India, who would like it to only come into force in 2020. The new regime, it is hoped, will be a global climate regime that brings all parties into a legally binding ambitious framework that aims to bridge the ever-increasing gigatonne gap. One thing is clear, if we lock in the low ambition of the KP2C until 2020, the possibility of halting climate change below 2 degrees becomes increasingly difficult, if not politically impossible.

One of the other major outcomes that was expected from COP 17, was the establishment and, so it was hoped, a plan to fill, the Green Climate Fund (GCF). There has been progress on this front, however, nowhere close to the hopes going into COP17. The GCF has a structure in place, however, who will oversee the fund and how they will do so, as well as it’s legal status remains highly controversial, with many (mostly developing) nations vehemently opposed to the Global Environment Fund (which falls under the World Bank) operating the fund because of issues of manipulation that are associated with the World Bank, as well as its perception as being a puppet of the first world. Other countries, unsurprisingly within the developed world (especially America), are more in favour of the proposal.  This is not the only shortcoming, for reliable sources of long-term finance for the GCF are yet to be secured. The much called for financial transactions tax and maritime and aviation tax were hoped to be secured as potential sources, but all that is secured is a reference for a working group to work on securing innovative sources of finance from both the public and private sector. The GCF thus, apart from a few noble pledges from Germany and Norway, remains a largely empty shell, and it’s not clear how funds are going to be scaled up to provide the agreed upon $100 Billion by 2020. Many are unhappy with the progress and Nicaragua, a bit more upset than most, went a step further and argued that by waiting until 2020 we are squandering a crucial window period for meaningful action on climate change. Their spokesperson decried our inability to bail out nature, when we so readily bailed out banks in 2009, as being indicative of a skewed sense of priority.

One of the more worrying developments that was also passed last night, was the inclusion of carbon capture and storage underneath the clean development mechanism. This inclusion, because of the possibility of encouraging and subsidizing further fossil fuel developments that lack environmental integrity, will certainly be an issue of much contention among environmental groups for years to come. Another disappointment was that the programme on National Adaptation Plans is another decision that has been postponed until COP18. Furthermore the heavily contentious issues of hot air or assigned amount units has also been delayed until COP 18. There were many other decisions that were made and not made at COP 17, but to go into them all would get too “wonky” (i.e. too deep in policy), these, however, were the major decisions that were made at COP17.

Given these decisions, how do we go about assessing the progress that was made? Alden Meyer from the Union from Concerned Scientists had the following to say:

“While governments avoided disaster in Durban, they by no means responded adequately to the mounting threat of climate change. The decisions adopted here fall well short of what is needed. It’s high time governments stopped catering to the needs of corporate polluters, and started acting to protect people.”

I am very much in agreement with Meyer. The decisions made under the Durban Package lack much needed ambition, and the gap between political will and scientific dictate is massive. Legal and other ambiguities abound, which will provide fertile soil for disagreement as well as ducking and hiding from responsibilities, both political and ethical, in the future. What we have in Durban is a roadmap, but if the Bali Road Map is something to learn from, we need strict rules and guidance, as well as adequate provisions and will power, in order to ensure we get to the end of the road. The Durban Package so far lacks most of that, and if we are to salvage the road map we are going to have to work incredibly hard to ensure that the correct turns are taken along the way. We need to increase ambition and ensure that it is enforceable, and the sooner the better. For as Faith Biriol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, points out, “delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent to compensate for the increased emissions.”   The Durban Package hasn’t delivered much on the need for immediate action, and thus unless we can drastically alter the rules of the road map or the direction thereof, we may be heavily locked into Biriol’s false economy, complete with the suffering, food insecurity, displacement and global instability that is set to come with climate change above 2 degrees Celsius.

The Durban Package for the moment has created a very loosely bound not-quite-global climate regime, which grants many nations the ability to not contribute to their fair share under a view of climate change guided by the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and equity. During the final hours, the Indian Environment Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, even went so far as to say that equity had been forsaken and CBDR inverted. A compromise was reached after she said so, but for a large part, her statement is still relevant. Our climate regime is far from a just one and the major polluters with the greatest historical responsibility as well as some of the major emerging polluters are under little pressure to change that.

Having arrived at this point the importance of domestic pressures in order to establish the building blocks of a truly just climate regime is of utmost importance, for we cannot deliver a more ambitious package unless civil society acts more decisively to pressure their governments into more meaningful climate action and to take more meaningful action themselves. An important step in order to do this, is an increased recognition of the inextricable link between environmental and social justice, which is fueling movements the globe over. It’s time to reinvent, redefine and grow the global climate movement and work together, globally and locally to ensure that our governments do not use the Durban Package to lead us to disaster. It is ambiguous and flexible enough that they may be able to do so, but it is also ambiguous and flexible enough to provide the climate movement with a few grapples upon which to hoist their movement to the next level. Durban has shown us that we cannot rely solely on international governance to answer our calls for climate justice, we need to take a more active role in doing so ourselves in order to avoid looking back and blaming a faulty international governance system for runaway climate change, when true power for change, lay within our own hands.

It’s 09h30 and I’ve been awake for longer than I care to think about, but I know that rather than allow Durban to drive me to despair, having met truly great people who are fighting for social and environmental justice, I am inspired I am disappointed with our current global governance systems, but I have seen youth stand bravely against the most powerful entities in the world in order to fight for their future and progressive thinkers of the older generation stand with them. Having seen all of this, I aim to continue to fight for climate justice never forgetting inextricable link between social and environmental justice. I will play my part in defining what the Durban road map will actually take us. Will you heed the call for justice and do the same? Because we the people of the world, the rich and the poor, the vulnerable and secure, the present and the future, everyone needs you, I implore you to do so.

Alex Lenferna is the lead tracker of the South African Government during COP 17 under adoptanegotiator.org, as well as chairperson of the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (www.ru.ac.za/rugreen). Follow Alex as he tracks South Africa’s progress within COP 17 on Twitter (@al_lenferna), Facebook/Alex Lenferna or (www.adoptanegotiator.org).


VIDEO: PABLO SOLON warning about what happened at COP17 (September 10th, 2011)

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Pablo Solon, former Ambassador and Bolivia’s lead negotiator at the UN Climate Change negotiations explains why the negotiated text of the UN Climate Change negotiations are a “Bad Deal”.
To watch VIDEO: PABLO SOLON explains the “Bad Deal” UNFCCC COP17 (September 10th, 2011)(filmed by Rebecca Sommer)
 PABLO SOLON explains in Rebecca Sommer's video the "Bad Deal" UNFCCC COP17

VIDEO: Pablo Solon explaining the problems with the United Nations Climate Change negotiations draft text during COP17 to journalist John Vidal from the Guardian

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

To watch VIDEO: Pablo Solon explaining the problems with the United Nations Climate Change negotiations draft text during COP17 to journalist John Vidal from the Guardian (filmed by Rebecca Sommer, Sommerfilms)

Pablo Solon explaining the problems with the United Nations Climate Change negotiations draft text during COP17 to journalist John Vidal from the Guardian (Photo+video ©Rebecca Sommer)

Pablo Solon explaining the problems with the United Nations Climate Change negotiations draft text during COP17 to journalist John Vidal from the Guardian (Photo+video ©Rebecca Sommer)

COP17 succumbs to Climate Apartheid – Antidote is Cochabamba Peoples’ Agreement

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

JCN!, 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.

A Dirty Deal is Coming Down

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

by PATRICK BOND

What, now, are the prospects for a climate deal by Friday at the UN climate summit in Durban?

The biggest problem is obvious: COP17 saboteurs from the US State Department joined by Canada, Russia and Japan, want to bury the legally-binding Kyoto Protocol treaty. Instead of relaxing intellectual property rules on climate technology and providing a fair flow of finance, Washington offers only a non-binding ‘pledge and review’ system.

This is unenforceable and at current pledge rates – with Washington lagging everyone – is certain to raise world temperatures to four degrees centigrade, and in Africa much higher. Estimates of the resulting deaths of Africans this century are now in excess of 150 million. As former Bolivian Ambassadar to the UN, Pablo Solon said at last week’s Wolpe Memorial Lecture, “The COP17 will be remembered as a place of premeditated genocide and ecocide.”

Within the International Convention Centre, everyone in their right mind should resist this. First, it is patently obvious, after the 1997 Kyoto negotiations where Al Gore promised US support in exchange for carbon trading, and after Hillary Clinton’s 2009 promise of a $100 billion Green Climate Fund – both reneged upon – that Washington cannot be trusted. Lead negotiators Todd Stern and Jonathan Pershing should be isolated, an international climate court should be established, and preparations made for comprehensive sanctions against US goods and services.

Second, it appears that the European Union, South Africa and the Climate Action Network – the latter representing big international NGOs mostly without any commitment to climate justice – are pushing what is called a ‘new mandate’. And not surprisingly, Pretoria’s team and the biased pro-Northern chair, SA foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, appear ready to sell out the African continent.

Some countries, led by Mali and Egypt, are holding firm on demands by the African Group, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the Latin American ‘Alba’ countries for binding northern emissions cuts of 50% by 2020 and 95% by 2050. These are critical targets to get the overall climate change to below 1.5 degrees. At 2 degrees, the UN estimates, ninety percent of current African agricultural output will cease.

If African countries fold in coming hours, even the traditional leaders of science-based demands – Bolivia, Tuvalu and a few others – probably cannot block a sleazy Durban deal.

Unfortunately, the SA and EU delegations are behind-the-scenes managers devoted to bringing emissions trading markets into this new mandate, largely because of the vast investment that Europeans have made in now-failing carbon markets. Jacob Zuma’s endorsement of the World Bank’s ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ scheme last week is a return to nakedly neoliberal management of society and nature – an approach that over the last decade proved so disastrous in water privatization and carbon trading.

Explains Anne Maina of the African Biodiversity Network, “Climate Smart Agriculture comes packaged with carbon offsets. Soil carbon markets could open the door to offsets for genetically-modified crops and large-scale biochar land grabs, which would be a disaster for Africa. Africa is already suffering from a land grab epidemic – the race to control soils for carbon trading could only make this worse.”

Zuma is not well advised by is climate team, for the carbon markets upon which the strategy rests are dying. The Union Bank of Switzerland, Europe’s largest, last month estimated the price per tonne collapsing to just 3 euros in 2013, down from a peak of over 30 euros five years ago and around eight euros at present. If forest credits are also sold into the markets, as proponents hope, it will swamp supply and crash the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme to the level of Chicago’s: around zero.

By all accounts we need prices of at least 50 euros/tonne for market incentives to begin substantively switching us out of carbon and into renewable energy and public transport. Can we trust maniac bankers to deliver the planet’s salvation?

Face it, the neoliberal strategy is failing on its own terms. As a result, Trevor Manuel’s idea that half the Green Climate Fund should be drawn from carbon markets instead of stingy Northern governments and corporations is fatally flawed.

There is a tiny remaining hope for COP17, but only if we soon see a 1999 Seattle-style move by African delegates who know their constituents will be fried if the rich countries and SA have their way. Exactly twelve years ago, the African delegates refused to let the World Trade Organisation do a deal against Africa’s interests. SA’s trade minister at the time, Alec Erwin, tried but was unable to prevent this sensible obstructionist approach.

This time it will be harder, not only because Nkoana-Mashabane presides over COP17, but also because of Ethiopia’s tyrant ruler Meles Zenawi, a top African Union negotiator who ‘sold out’ the continent in 2009-10 by halving finance demands and endorsing the Copenhagen Accord, according to Mthika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

Since the African Group represents 53 countries, the Group of Least Developed Countries represents 48, and there are a half-dozen more in the Alba block, it is not impossible that this shifting alliance can overcome the rich countries’ power and the tendency of the four leading middle-income countries – Brazil, China, India and SA – to represent their own national interests.

As German NGO activist Rebecca Sommer of Ecoterra sums up, “Developed nations are trying to shift their responsibilities for drastic emissions cuts onto developing countries that have done the least to cause the problem. Rich industrialized countries are busy trying to carve out new business opportunities for multinational corporations and their financial elites. It would be disastrous if the internationally binding emission reduction commitments  would lapse or end altogether in Durban.”

Most likely, our city will go down in infamy as the site that the temperature was dialed up on Africa. Against that, a spirited march on Saturday passed the ICC but its impact was tempered by what climate justice activists called the ‘Green Bombers’ (named after Robert Mugabe’s paramilitaries).

Complained march organizer Des D’Sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, “About 300 protesters, dressed in official COP17 volunteer uniforms, tore up placards, physically threatened and attacked activists participating in the march. In spite of heavy police presence throughout the march, including mounted police, riot police, air-patrol and snipers, and requests to address this disruption, police did not take any action.”

The group had “green eThekwini tracksuits with city branding and emblems, but acknowledged themselves to be ANC Youth League supporters, displaying pro-Zuma and anti-Malema placards,” says D’Sa, with the message “100% COP17”. And that tells you all you need to know about the stakes and dirty politics in play here in central Durban.