As the UN Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) works to complete a review of sources of climate funding by the end of October, climate justice groups are voicing increasing concern over the focus of the AGF and the process through which its report is being developed.
Ilana Solomon, Policy Analyst for ActionAid USA, said, “Constituencies advocating for climate justice fear the Advisory Group’s report will be framed in the context of the Copenhagen Accord. This is inappropriate, particularly as the Accord, which has not been adopted by the Conference of Parties, is extremely limited in its scope on finance.”
The Copenhagen Accord sets out a goal of mobilizing only $100 billion in public and private sources for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. “This is far short of what is really needed to support those already experiencing the effects of climate change,” Solomon added.
New report from Focus on the Global South: Carbon Offsets & Climate Finance in India: The Corporate-driven Climate “Solutions” of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank & United Nations
by Konrad Fisher
India is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, yet it has played a central role in a counterproductive global climate agenda pushed by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and large corporations. India now hosts more registered greenhouse gas emission reduction projects – via the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – than any nation except China. In theory, these CDM “offset” projects – a form of “carbon trading” – supposedly reduce global emissions when developed nations avoid emission reductions at home by funding less expensive emissions reductions in developing nations. In reality, offset projects produce large quantities of greenhouse gases, pollute the local environment, and displace local livelihoods.
The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have become leading proponents of offset projects in India by committing their own resources, and by controlling international funding sources that would otherwise be managed within the more democratic, albeit flawed, United Nations climate framework. Moreover, these two institutions have repackaged their existing corporate-friendly agenda as a solution to the climate crisis, while creating new climate governance programs intended to replace those of the United Nations.
Although it must overcome corporate influence and eliminate existing carbon trading programs, the United Nations – not International Financial Institutions – remains the most viable multilateral body available to manage climate-related finance and international agreements.
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Reparations for Climate Debt
Statement by Climate Justice Now!
Delivered by Hemantha Withanage of Sri Lanka, December 12, 2009
1. Thank you for the opportunity to address this meeting.
2. We are movements gathered under the Climate Justice Now! Network – many from the South, from developing countries. Thousands of our members are here in Copenhagen, joining thousands of other citizens in a historic march towards Bella Center.
3. We are calling for Reparations for Climate Debt, the debt that is owed by northern countries (Annex 1 countries), multinational corporations, and international financial institutions to the peoples and countries of the South. This debt is owed by the North for using up more than their fair share of the earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, and in the process depriving the peoples of the South of their share, thus creating this climate crisis. Yet it is the people of the South who bear the worst effects.
4. What developed countries have put on the table, however, is nothing less than an insult to the dignity of the peoples of the South. It demonstrates complete disrespect for the value of our lives.
5. 2.4 billion Euros a year until 2012! No long term financing! This a mockery. Where are the reparations by developed countries for the damage they have done so far in the developing world?
6. We are not asking for aid or assistance, but for the North to make good on their climate debt. We are their creditors.
7. We do not require – or want – the existing multilateral financial institutions. They are part of the problem and the plunder. Climate finance must be provided in a democratic manner-at every level- through a multilateral fund under the authority of the COP.
8. Finance must be public, not private. It must not involve carbon markets. Such markets are part of the problem, not the solution!
9. We demand nothing less than climate justice now!
Waste management practices are an important, although oft-neglected, contributor to climate change. Waste disposal drives climate change directly through the release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from incinerators and methane (CH4) from landfills. Waste disposal also drives climate change indirectly by depriving the economy of reused, recycled and composted materials, thus requiring increased extraction of raw materials, an extremely energy-intensive process.
A climate-friendly alternative, known as Zero Waste, radically reduces greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the efficiency in managing materials. This reduces the need for extraction, processing, and transport of raw materials, while also avoiding emissions from disposal (incineration, landfilling, open dumping and open burning). However, rather than investing in Zero Waste, the waste industry continues to promote disposal technologies. It is currently engaged in greenwashing these technologies to take advantage of subsidies available to “climate-friendly” technologies – thus accelerating climate change and simultaneously depriving truly climate-friendly technologies of needed financing.
GAIA recommends that:
Governments should adopt Zero Waste as an essential strategy to combat climate change.
Mitigation funds which are to be used in the waste sector should support Zero Waste projects.
Incinerators, landfills, and other “waste-to-energy” projects which undermine Zero Waste should be ineligible for mitigation funds, offset credits and other forms of climate-related financing and subsidies.
Wastepickers are workers in the informal economy who recover recyclable materials from waste. They are invisible entrepreneurs on the frontlines of the fight against climate change, earning livelihoods from recovery and recycling, reducing demand for natural resources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet their successes are being undermined by “waste-to-energy” technologies.