Contours of Climate Justice – Ideas for shaping new climate and energy politics
Critical currents No. 6, October 2009
The climate is changing in more ways than one. Not only has an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere been wreaking havoc in the global biosphere, but there has also been a significant shift in the way the issue of climate change is debated. From being a marginal ‘green’ issue, it is now central to many a strategy for political and economic renewal. It has become ever more obvious that the image of climate change is not primarily the drowning polar bear, but the farmer without crops, the migrant without a home, the worker with no future. Yet international efforts to slow climate change have not advanced much beyond square one. At the same time, a new global cycle of struggle seems to be coalescing around the call for climate justice, in particular in the mobilisation around the 15th international climate summit in Copenhagen.
This collection of interventions contributes to the re-conceptualisation of climate change as an issue of justice, and therefore also of struggle. It further seeks to strengthen a climate and energy politics that will prove capable of solving the multiple crises that climate change is part of, and which humanity is facing.
Carbon Trading – How it works and why it fails
Carbon Trading: how it works and why it fails outlines the limitations of an approach to tackling climate change which redefines the problem to fit the assumptions of neoliberal economics. It demonstrates that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the world’s largest carbon market, has consistently failed to ́cap ́ emissions, while the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) routinely favours environmentally ineffective and socially unjust projects. This is illustrated with case studies of CDM projects in Brazil, Indonesia, India and Thailand.
New Internationalist special on Climate Justice
The impending climate crisis will make the meltdown look like a teddy bears’ picnic – and it’s the world’s poor and marginalized who will suffer most. We know what’s coming, and we have the means to prevent it. And yet we’re just staring climate oblivion in the face. As the world continues to belch out greenhouse gases, and governments and corporations champion false solutions, a movement for climate justice is building. Its aim is to tackle perhaps the greatest challenge of our troubled times – how we can dramatically reduce global emissions, while at the same time raising the quality of life for the majority of the world’s people. This magazine will explore what can be done.
Offsetting: a dangerous distraction
The report examines the record of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and asks what the effects are likely to be of expanding offsetting as proposed in the UN climate talks. The report finds that in practice offsetting is not leading to emissions reductions or benefits to developing countries. Instead, it is simply leading to more ingenious ways to avoid cutting emissions.
The report finds that offsetting is profoundly unjust, fundamentally flawed and cannot be reformed.
“Turbulence is a journal/newspaper that we hope will become an ongoing space in which to think through, debate and articulate the political, social, economic and cultural theories of our movements, as well as the networks of diverse practices and alternatives that surround them. Read more here“
Turbulence 4 – Who will Save us from the Future? – loosely based around the theme of futures, is out now! This time round, we’ve used a newsprint magazine format but once again we’ve printed loads and will be handing them out for free at various events throughout the summer. If you’re interested in getting a bundle to distribute or can help out in any other way, click here.
Turbulence 1 – What Would it Mean to Win? – The Turbulence collective produced 7,000 copies of a free 32-page newspaper distributed at the camps, blockades and alternative summits that made up the mobilisation against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in June 2007. The theme of the 14 articles from individuals and groups from across the world tackled the difficult question of ‘What would it mean to win?’.
DO IT YOURSELF
A Handbook for Changing Our World
Edited by The Trapese Collective
‘A Radical Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Living’
Climate change, resource wars, privatisation, the growing gap between rich and poor, politicians that don’t listen. Massive issues, but how can we make any difference?
This book shows how
It’s not a book about what’s wrong with the world, but a collection of dynamic ideas which explore how we can build radical and meaningful social change, ourselves, here and now. Covering nine themes, the book weaves together analysis, stories and experiences. It combines in-depth analytical chapters followed by easy to follow “How to Guides” with practical ideas for organising collectively for change.
Do It Yourself is part of a growing response from the global social justice movement. Written and edited by activists and grassroots campaigners from across the world, the book reflects on their experiments in taking back control of their lives from governments and corporations.
A Critical Conversation on Climate Change,Privatisation and Power
According to the World Bank, the market in carbon dioxide will soon be worth billions.
Tony Blair is doing it. Coldplay does it. The World Cup can’t get enough of it. What’s so appealing to politicians, celebrities and sports organizers alike? They are all trading carbon dioxide. By giving cash to eco-entrepreneurs they can ‘offset’ responsibility for their pollution by paying someone somewhere else to reduce emissions for them. This is all part of the hottest new global market to erupt since the dot.com explosion. According to the World Bank, the market in carbon dioxide will soon be worth billions.
Beneath the celebrity sheen, however, lies a more sordid tale told brilliantly in this book – one in Development Dialogue’s new What Next? series. If the words ‘carbon trading’ make your brain go numb, this is for you. Lohmann adopts, quite literally, the form of a conversation, a dialogue with the reader, interspersed with case studies and images. In so doing he vividly reveals the world of international politics, NGO co-option, carbon colonialism and inspired grassroots movements. Shocking stories from India to Guatemala show how pollution, land-grabbing and human rights abuses are being perpetrated in the name of ‘carbon trading to save the world’.
Yet through all the doom and gloom Lohmann’s book is bursting with strategies for tackling climate change from a social justice perspective. It might even leave you feeling quite upbeat. One word of warning though – do not try to read Carbon Trading in one sitting. Take it slowly; it’s invitingly dip-in-able.
The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism
Global Spin reveals the sophisticated techniques being used around the world by powerful conservative forces to try to change the way the public and politicians think about the environment. Large corporations are using their influence to reshape public opinion, to weaken gains made by environmentalists, and to turn politicians against increased environmental regulation.
The corporations’ techniques include employing specialized PR firms to set up front groups that promote the corporate agenda whilst posing as public-interest groups; creating ‘astroturf’ – artificially created grassroots support for corporate causes; deterring public involvement by imposing SLAPPS-strategic lawsuits against public participation; getting corporate-based ‘environmental educational’ materials into schools; and funding conservative think-tanks, which have persistently tried to cast doubt on the existence of environmental problems and to oppose stricter environmental regulations.
In the media, corporate advertising and sponsorship are influencing news content, and industry-funded scientists are often treated as independent experts. In the shops, ‘green marketing’ is being used to reassure consumers that corporations are addressing serious environmental problems.
Global Spin shows how, in a relentless assault on democracy and its institutions, the massive, covert power of large corporations has enabled corporate agendas to dominate the international debate about the state of the environment and the most effective means of solving environmental problems.
HOODWINKED IN THE HOTHOUSE
False Solutions to Climate Change
The 20 page pamphlet — “Hoodwinked in the Hothouse” — covers topics as diverse as Clean Coal, Agrofuels, Geoengineering, Carbon Offsets and over a dozen other non-solutions to the climate crisis, all in concise, colorfully illustrated and information packed essays.
You can order these booklets *FREE* from Rising Tide by contacting FalseSolutions-AT-RisingTideNorthAmerica-DOT-org. (If you cover shipping costs that’s great, and of course donations to our 100% volunteer run organization are greatly appreciated!).
The book includes contributions from the World Development Movement, Corporate Watch, the World Rainforest Movement, Rachel Smolker, Rory Cox, the Transnational Institute, Oscar Reyes, and Alter Eco, as well as photography and artwork from Ben Powless, Tamra Gilbertson, Mike Wells, Appalachian Voices, Jorge Alcoreza, Andy Singer and the Beehive Design Collective.
Hoodwinked in the Hothouse
The G8, Climate Change and free-market environmentalism
The Carbon Neutral Myth
Offset Indulgences for your Climate Sins
Carbon offsets are the modern day indulgences, sold to an increasingly carbon conscious public to absolve their climate sins. Scratch the surface, however, and a disturbing picture emerges, where creative accountancy and elaborate shell games cover up the impossibility of verifying genuine climate change benefits, and where communities in the South often have little choice as offset projects are inflicted on them.
This report argues that offsets place disproportionate emphasis on individual lifestyles and carbon footprints, distracting attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change. Promoting more effective and empowering approaches involves moving away from the marketing gimmicks, celebrity endorsements, technological quick fixes, and the North/South exploitation that the carbon offsets industry embodies.
Forget Penguins and Polar Bears, THIS is what Climate Change looks like
From one of the world’s great geopolitical analysts, here is a terrifying glimpse of the none-too-distant future, when climate change will force the world’s powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival.
Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Spreading epidemics. Drought. Rising sea levels. Plummeting agricultural yields. Crashing economies. Political extremism. These are some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Prescient, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research and interviews, Climate Wars promises to be one of the most important books of the coming years.
Nuku Alofa Declaration
Declaration from Pacific workshop on REDD held in Tonga 29-31 July 2009
the Global Forest Coalition held a workshop on REDD and its implications/obligations in relation to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“analyses, research and advocacy with the aim of linking issues, of stimulating informed discussion and strategic thought on critical environmental and social concerns, and of encouraging broad alliances to tackle them.”
- Financialization, Quantism and Carbon Markets Variations on Polanyian Themes
- Hold the Applause A Critical Look at Recent EU Climate Claims
- Chronicle of a Disaster Foretold? REDD with Carbon Trading
- Climate Crisis: Social Science Crisis
- The CO2 Alibi (video)
- Cooling It! No Hair Shirt Solutions to Global Warming
- A Death in Durban Capitalist Patriarchy, Global Warming Gimmickry and our Responsibility for Rubbish
- Aid, the Clean Development Mechanism and Some Open Questions An Article for Development Today
- Carbon Offsets Not Welcome Here An Article for Climate Change Corp
- Pictures from the Emissions Market
- Pictures from the Carbon “Offset” Market
- Pictures from the Carbon “Offset” Market: Part 2
- How Carbon Trading Undermines Positive Approaches to the Climate Crisis
- Toward a Different Debate in Environmental Accounting The Cases of Carbon and Cost-Benefit
- Carbon Trading: Solution or Obstacle?
- Carbon Trading, Climate Justice and the Production of Ignorance Ten Examples
- A Chicago Conversation on Carbon Trading (video)
- Offset Standard Is off Target
MORE FROM THE CORNERHOUSE HERE
A Fair Share of the Atmosphere
Friends of the Earth Australia
sustainability criteria and indicators for bioenergy
Núcleo Amigos da Terra Brasil, FOREN, Instituto Vitae Civilis, February 2006
Download PDF (216 KB)
gas flaring in nigeria
a human rights, an environmental and economic monstrosity
Friends of the Earth Nigeria, June 2005
Download PDF (5.6 MB)
the clean development mechanism – the difficult balance between dutch climate policy and sustainable development in the south
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Both Ends, 2004
islands are lost even before the sea-level rises
Friends of the Earth Australia, 2003
Download PDF (405 KB)
changing the future of the world’s poor?
Friends of the Earth Australia, 2003
Download PDF (104 KB)
leaking pipelines – shell in south africa
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, 2003
how safe is safe enough : chernobyl reactors in the eu?
Friends of the Earth Europe, 2000
victims of their own fortunes: ongoing environmental problems in the niger delta in nigeria
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, 2000
Download PDF (439 KB)
Friends of the Earth Netherlands & Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 2000