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Climate Justice Now!
| Montreal, Canada: 1st December 2005 – Kyoto fails indigenous peoples on climate justice |

Today in the Climate Justice Centre in Montreal, indigenous peoples gathered to tell their stories of on-the-ground impacts of the fossil fuel industry and climate change in their communities.

“We are hit first and hit hardest,” said Faith Gemmel of the Indigenous Environment Network (IEN). “In the Gwich'in community living near the oil industry in Alaska, asthma rates have rocketed to 80% in the last two decades....we are also being affected by climate change as glaciers are melting, we lost 15% of our caribou herds from changing weather patterns. This is important because we are one with the caribou. We have the heart of them and they have the heart of us. When one is affected it is devastation to us culturally, spiritually and physically.”

The Kyoto negotiations in Montreal are focusing upon the use of the financial mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism that allows industrialised countries to fund projects that reduce emissions in developing countries instead of reducing pollution at home.

Clayton Muller-Thomas of IEN warned “The Kyoto Protocol has put its faith in markets. How can we as indigenous peoples put our faith in these approaches when it is the market's unquenchable thirst for consuming resources that has caused the problem in the first place.” He continued that the Kyoto Protocol is exacerbating the problems they face as further pollution and oil exploration is allowed to continue through the financial mechanisms which act as a license for business-as-usual.

“There are 400 oil spills in my region every year. Only 5% of the Arctic North Slope is left untouched by the oil companies and now they want to take that too,” states Faith Gemmel. The event explored many communities stories of peoples suffering from impacts of oil and coal being extracted from native lands.

Casey Camp of Turtle Island (the USA) broke down as she recounted tales of her people living in the shadow of the petrochemical industry. “I can tell you the names of the children with asthma. I can tell you the names of the old people with cancers. This is environmental racism. They are committing cultural genocide against my people.”

At this point she could not continue speaking and silence fell. Clayton's voice raises and his passion fills the void, “227 tribes in Alaska are affected by both the oil industry and climate change. The forests are burning, the fish are diseased, trees are dying because the permafrost they are rooted in is melting and the ecosystem is being destroyed by oil companies activities. We don't have time to wait, the solutions must come now.

For more information on climate justice issues and indigenous peoples see:


The Climate Justice Centre is open every day during the official talks at 2074 Rue Clark in Montreal and you can see the programme at http://www.carbontradewatch.org/durban

by: ProfMKD @ 6:11 PM | 0 comments links to this post

| Durban Coalition holds press briefing |
On Thursday, December 1, the Durban Coalition - a growing network of climate justice organizations - held a press briefing at the Palais des congrès, at which experts condemned the growing prominence of the World Bank and carbon trading. Click here to read the press release in full. [pdf]

Key quotes:

"We reject the notion that carbon trading will halt the climate crisis. This crisis has been caused more than anything else by the excessive consumption of fossil fuels and by deforestation. Carbon trading gives the illusion of action, while countenancing continuing massive public investment in fossil fuels and deforestation," said Jutta Kill coordinator of the EU forest campaign group Fern.

“People in India are being thrown off their land to make way for massive tree plantations. Individual activists, and even groups of villages who resist are threatened, arrested, forcibly thrown off lands they have inhabited for generations, labeled as terrorists or shot dead: adults, women and children alike. We cannot ignore these social injustices instigated by carbon trading added to the social injustices of climate change if we are to succeed in reversing climate instability,” said Anastasia Pinto Director of the Indian NGO CORE, an Indigenous Peoples research organization from India.

"The World Bank is developing a monopoly position, profiting from carbon trading while investing heavily in fossil fuels. This is made worse by the G8 suggesting they should lead the way in a 'new framework' on climate change," said SEEN co-director Daphne Wysham.

"These negotiations are all about making money off the climate crisis, not about bringing about a change in the current system of heavy subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. The truth of the global environmental crisis is beyond economic perspectives," said Arief Wicaksono of OilWatch International, headquartered in Ecuador.

by: ProfMKD @ 10:07 AM | 0 comments links to this post


Please find the link to our latest collective book effort, just published jointly in South Africa and The Netherlands by University of KwaZulu Natal Press and the TransNational Institute (TNI), respectively, titled:

Trouble in the Air: Global Warming and the Privatized Atmosphere.

While the text is focused on South Africa and some of the havoc carbon trading is bringing there, it is still very relevant for all those that continue to hold faith in market solutions, trading or otherwise, to the climate crisis.

The overall book was pulled together by a host of comrades around the world (many of whom are in Montreal) led brillantly by Patrick Bond and Rehana Dada at the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

The first piece will be especially relevant to scholars and NGO representatives, inter alia, who are still pushing Kyoto and the trading regime/scheme.

I think the piece will give everyone a great deal more to think about in terms of the challenges we face and what is really needed, far beyond the rather, dare I say, pithy demand of "USA Join the World" and other pro-Kyoto/pro-carbon trading suggestions.

I welcome your comments--positive and negative.

Please share the pdf as you deem necessary--especially with other colleagues on the road to Montreal.

by: ProfMKD @ 3:53 AM | 0 comments links to this post

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