Ex apartheid regime spy to become new head of UN talks?
A well known Climate Justice activist based in South Africa had this to say of the leaked announcement…
“If you are immediately made nautious by the announcement that follows, that shows you are in good health and your body is reacting appropriately, no worries. However, if we reflect upon this a bit more, it makes sense for those of us advocating climate justice to welcome – indeed cheer – the apartheid spy van Schalkwyk as chief organiser of the world’s elites on climate strategy.”
This may just be the best news we’ve heard all year. The appointment of this scumbag may be just what is needed to erode the whats left of UN climate legitimacy and generate the dissent we need to see build in the real world.
Green lobby unhappy with Van Schalkwyk UN nomination
March 09, 2010 Edition 2
Environmental lobby groups and civil society bodies are not all convinced that South Africa’s nomination of Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk for the top UN climate-change post is a good thing, with some questioning his track record.
Director of the Centre for Civil Society Professor Patrick Bond questioned Van Schalkwyk’s “integrity”, saying that quality was required to head the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“The UNFCCC post must be headed by someone of integrity, and that’s not a characteristic associated with Van Schalkwyk, thanks to his chequered career as an apartheid student spy and a man who sold out his political party for a junior cabinet seat,” said Bond.
He added that the nomination “doesn’t make sense, because if Van Schalkwyk was a world-class climate diplomat, why did (President Jacob) Zuma demote him by removing his environment duties last year? Judging by Van Schalkwyk’s silence when Eskom proposed huge new coal-fired plants, and Alec Erwin was doing more cheap electricity deals with multinational corporations, he’s shown himself unfit to tackle the other big global polluters.”
Bond said Van Schalkwyk’s nomination would be viewed as “a sign of Pretoria’s further disrespect to the UN, after Zuma last December signed the Copenhagen Accord, which demolishes the UN Kyoto Protocol and weakens the momentum needed to save the planet”.
Although South Africa had been approached by numerous countries, business institutions and NGOs to forward a name to fill the post vacated by Yvo de Boer last month, Bond said Van Schalkwyk’s nomination was “ironic, dysfunctional”.
“As tourism minister Van Schalkwyk is blithely promoting more air travel to South Africa – and yet the UNFCCC will soon have to start putting carbon taxes on planes, as well as all South African exports.”
Groundwork, an environmental lobby group, said it would not support the appointment of a South African because the country had undermined the UNFCCC by signing the Copenhagen Accord.
Groundwork director Bobby Peek said appointing a South African to head the UNFCCC “would not be in the global interest for climate justice”.
“South Africa has a vested interest in keeping the carbon economy alive and increasing, which is in direct contradiction to what we need globally. This (nomination) is done to extend South Africa’s international political influence rather than ensure the country’s economy is service orientated,” said Peek.
Spokesman for Earthlife Africa Tristen Taylor said Van Schalkwyk did not have a good record in cutting carbon emissions while minister of environmental affairs.
Taylor questioned how Van Schalkwyk would be able to convince the world’s “powerful multinational polluters” and countries belonging to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries when he failed to address pollution issues within the country.
“Van Schalkwyk has to address these very large businesses and make them account. He was not able to do it here, so what will make him do it on a global scale?” asked Taylor.
Greenpeace climate campaigner Nkopane Maphiri, however, was rooting for Van Schalkwyk to get the nod from UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon.
Moon is expected to consult with the board of the UNFCCC before deciding on the post.
Encyclopedia > Jeugkrag Jeugkrag (or Youth for South Africa) was a short-lived South African youth group, surreptitiously funded by the apartheid government’s department of Military Intelligence in an operation known as Project Essay. Led by Marthinus van Schalkwyk (ironically now member of parliament for the ANC) it operated exclusively on Afrikaans university campuses and sought to influence the political views of Afrikaans-speaking students. Van Schalkwyk was the national chairman.