Southern NGOs join with with Northern NGOs in condemning Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Agreement

(1st June 2017) As Donald Trump finally announced his long-awaited decision for the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, civil society representatives and social movement leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States vowed to build people power to address the climate crisis.

“The U.S. pull-out from the Paris Agreement should be strongly condemned and denounced by all peoples of the world. Not because the Paris Agreement is perfect, certainly not because the Paris Agreement will save the world from climate catastrophe.  But because a U.S. pull-out reveals utter disregard for the fate of humanity in favor of continued hegemony of U.S. elites and big corporate interests. Not to mention a tyrannical refusal to accept scientific findings.” Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

 

“As climate justice movements we stand in solidarity with frontline communities and environmental defenders in the U.S. who have been struggling to ensure the U.S. government takes action on climate change since long before the Paris Agreement. In that spirit of solidarity we call on people everywhere to show up wherever Mr. Trump goes to tell him that his hatred and fear are not welcome in our countries, while we continue to force our own governments to keep fossil fuels in the ground and ensure a just transition for workers.”  Antonio Zambrano Allende, Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (MOCICC)

 

“With the plan by Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, people power and international solidarity are the only hope we have of averting an unimaginable climate crisis which will fan the flames of every existing inequality and injustice. It will take all of us around the world, organising together, to hold the historic emitters like the U.S. under the watch of Donald Trump to account and ensure our governments also do their fair share of climate action in the next four years to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Trump’s decision doesn’t change that.”

Mithika Mwenda, Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

 

“Thanks to historic U.S. pollution, we are already suffering the consequences of a rapidly warming world with droughts, fires, and floods wreaking havoc with livelihoods and lives, even displacing whole communities. Trump wants to add to that historic pollution and condemn present and future generations in the global south to further suffering and death. We cannot allow this, there must be forceful political, legal, and economic consequences levied against the U.S. Trump must realise that in the case of climate, nature has the trump card and not him and his cronies!” Sreedhar Ramamurthi, Environics India

 

“Climate change is not waiting for U.S. action and neither can the rest of the world. Trump has turned the U.S. into a rogue climate state and the world should use economic and diplomatic pressure to compel the U.S. to do its fair share. The majority of Americans do not support Trump and his fossil fuel agenda that puts corporate profits above people. The struggle to create real, deep change continues in the U.S. The resistance to Trump is strong and it is growing.” Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth USA

 

“Our justified outrage at Trump should not blind us to the destructive policies that he pursued before he got out of Paris, and that are still being pursued by many countries that remain parties to the Paris Agreement. Germany, for example, long feted as a champion of international climate politics, is not world leader in renewable energies, but in fact world leader in digging up and burning lignite, the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels. The struggle for climate justice remains one that must be fought at all levels: from the global, all the way to the local. Trump pulling out of Paris only reinforces the key message: if we want to protect the climate, we can’t wait for our governments to do so. We’ve got to do it ourselves.”  Tadzio Mueller, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

 

“I am ashamed of my country’s persistent role in undermining efforts to create a strong and binding agreement, now culminating in Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Here in the U.S. climate justice activists are scrambling hard to find a path forward from within.  We hope our allies will let their voices be heard at U.S. embassies – to both isolate Donald Trump and his ilk – and apply pressure on the U.S. to step up and take responsibility for real and equitable solutions to the escalating climate catastrophe.” Rachel Smolker, BiofuelWatch USA

 

“The Climate Justice Alliance has historically struggled to assure that Indigenous people, women, human rights and a Just Transition are at the forefront of international climate agreements. The shortcomings of the Paris Accord – and Trump’s erroneous and embarrassing decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement – proves more than ever that communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis are the ones to lead us toward a renewable and regenerative future. We will continue to organize for climate justice and stand in solidarity with our international allies who are fighting for survival, resisting extraction, and creating solutions from the ground up.” Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance USA

Bonn talks on Climate change: Old habits die hard as US delays progress

18 May 2017: As the United Nations climate change talks inched slightly closer to finalising a rule book on implementing the Paris Agreement, despite continued U.S. intransigence across a host of technical and political issues. With only a few years before the window of opportunity to meet the 1.5 temperature target closes, civil society groups are urging for progress on a number of vital issues but have been disappointed by apparent US’ bad faith in negotiations.

“The Trump administration has made it perfectly clear that it will be a climate laggard by moving to lower their already abysmally unambitious pledge to the Paris Agreement,” said Meena Raman of Third World Network. “But the U.S. negotiators in Bonn are going a step further by undermining the ability of developing countries to play their part in implementing the Agreement.”

“Developing countries are broadly willing to contribute their fair share of the climate action needed to stay below 1.5,” she added, “but they need the financial and technological support to do so. The U.S. has refused to deliver its $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund, and in Bonn almost point blank refused to engage on finance discussions, especially on any discussions that involved a review of the financial support so far provided – effectively pushing the world to the edge of the climate change cliff.”

A major issue in the talks, which are the first since Trump took office and appointed former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, was the role of non-governmental observers. A previous negotiation session in Bonn had mandated a special workshop, which saw fiery exchanged around the problem of conflicts of interest. Here, too, the U.S. led other developed countries in blocking progress to develop rules that would inhibit polluting industries from weakening climate policy.

“If this round of negotiations has proved one thing, it’s that governments and civil society organizations are determined to create policy to address the corrosive influence of Big Polluters,” said Tamar Lawrence-Samuel of Corporate Accountability International.

“Try as they might, the industry and the Global North governments in their pockets will not be successful in suppressing our voices or undermining this movement. Around the globe, people have already made it clear: those driving this crisis have no role in making the rules designed to constrain the source of their profits. Simply put, despite bullying from corporate trade groups and the governments representing the industry’s interests, the progress made at this session ensures that a process is underway to advance a conflict of interest policy in the years to come.”

With the U.S. reneging on its obligations, civil society groups urged other developed countries to follow through with the spirit of the Marrakech proclamation, which renewed their commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the goal to avert warming above 1.5 degrees.

“It’s time for the EU to live up to its professed green ideals, and go above and beyond its current low-end pledges,” said Rachel Kennerley of Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. “The world can’t wait for a change of U.S. administration to get serious about climate change – so European countries must take more action at home to end their own fossil fuel addictions as well as step up their game by supporting developing countries to do the necessary leapfrog to renewables.”

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Global Civil Society defends African Renewable Energy

18 May, Bonn: Over 100 international CSOs issued a solidarity statement with their African counterparts who are concerned that France and the European Commission might undermine the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative. The statement says that France and the European Commission abused their position as donors to endorse 19 projects which were not subject to the initiative’s own evaluation criteria or social, environmental, and gender safeguards – against the wishes of several Africans on the AREI Board. Neither France nor the European Commission is formally a Board Member. Continue reading

Climate justice group demands action at Bonn meeting on climate change starting this week

2017 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, resulting in record low sea-ice levels in the Arctic, unprecedented flooding displacing 100,000 and affecting  over a million people in Peru, and the threat of  mass deaths in parts of Africa as the worst drought in memory deepens famine conditions.  While this is the world at 1°C of warming, much further warming is inevitable: the window to avoid warming above 1.5°C is rapidly closing, and carbon dioxide levels are already at the record-breaking level of 410ppm. Continue reading

Bangladesh – Rights groups demand reformation of Water Board

Rights groups have demanded reforming the Bangladesh Water Development Board to save the nation’s coastal lands and its people as the board is failing to carry out its duties.They have also demanded ending the illicit ties and business between WDB and its contractors at a human chain on Saturday in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka. Continue reading

Give targetted assistance to LDCs to develop renewable energy urges head of ‘southern’ NGO

17 April 2017: The LDC initiated Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development should be put into action. This new initiative, let us hope, will help improve livelihoods across the LDCs, bringing modern, clean, resilient energy systems to millions of energy-starved people, says Gauri Pradham, international coordinator of LDC Watch.  Continue reading

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) an attack on food sovereignty and must be scrapped, say People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty

In a statement issued on the eve of the RCEP meeting in Japan (March 3)  the PCFS says that any agreement reached will mean the poorest member-countries will suffer.

The PCFS say that RCEP will be a neoliberal trade deal covering 3.5 billion or almost half of the world’s population with a gross domestic product of USD 22.5 trillion, and will strengthen the monopoly control of the biggest agro-corporations within the 10 members of ASEAN, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China and even in the world.

The PCFS adds that the move for a Free Trade Agreement is led by China and will benefit the biggest Chinese capitalists more than any of RCEP member-countries.  Read the full statement below: Continue reading

Bangladesh : NGOs mobilise to stop Rampal coal-fired powerplant

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) joins movements and communities in Bangladesh in their struggle to stop the Rampal coal-fired power-plant from being built.The United Nations has also requested Bangladesh to stop construction.The proposed Rampal coal-fired power plant is located just 14 kilometres north of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading

COP22: The final assessment? “A disappointing result for the poorest countries”, says LDC Watch

climate-change-rally30November 2016: “While there was some small cause for optimism at Marrakesh, the major issues were shuffled off, either never to be seen again or put aside for further ‘negotiation’ in the future. Overall, a disappointing result”, said Azeb Girmai, LDC Watch Climate Lead. Continue reading

Initial Response from Climate Justice Groups to Marrakech Outcomes

dcj-logo-256x256px(November 23, Marrakech) – As U.N. climate change negotiations concluded several hours over time after countries grappled with how to work out the rule book for the Paris Agreement, climate justice advocates issued the following reactions. “At the end of these two weeks we just want to express our extreme disappointment that no clear and concrete increases in climate finance pledges have been put forward by developed country governments,” said Lidy Nacpil of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development. Continue reading