Warsaw must turn its back on corporate interests and their push for failed carbon markets

(cross-posted from http://corporateeurope.org)

Warsaw, 12th November 2013

Civil society calls out the EU’s attempt to push more of the same failed carbon markets favoured by the biggest polluters, and urges countries to leave Warsaw with real climate solutions in the wake of the devastating super typhoon in Philippines.

Simone Lovera from the Global Forest Coalition said, “Super typhoon Yolanda is a stark reminder to everyone at the negotiations. Developed countries, the EU in particular, urgently need to raise their ambition on emissions cuts and finance, and stop their incessant attempts to push yet more failed carbon markets. If the EU and others get their way, the so-called ‘framework for various approaches’ will become a Trojan horse for a global carbon market, waving goodbye to any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change.”

Pascoe Sabido from Corporate Europe Observatory said, “It’s no coincidence that the biggest cheerleaders for new markets are also the biggest polluters. Under the failed ETS, climate crooks like ArcelorMittal and Polish coal giant PGE have not just kept on polluting, but they’ve got filthy rich from windfall profits. And even more unbelievable, they’re both official COP sponsors, pretending to be climate champions alongside fellow sponsors BMW and ALSTOM while lobbying behind the scenes to scupper any real solutions. You wouldn’t ask Marlborough to sponsor a summit on lung cancer, so why is it acceptable at the UNFCCC?”

David Kureeba from the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) / Friends of the Earth Uganda said, “Carbon markets have not just failed to cut emissions but they have devastated communities and environments. In lake Victoria, Uganda, the attempt to sell carbon credits from avoided deforestation has driven local communities off their lands, to be replaced by palm oil plantations. If Europe is serious about fighting climate change, it needs to stop promoting solutions that profit its own bankers and corporations and look to home when identifying emissions cuts. If the tragedy in the Philippines tells us anything, it’s that the time for flexibility has long-passed.”

Contact:

Pascoe Sabido: +48 733 586 333; Pascoe@corporateeurope.org; Simone Lovera: +31 615 345 379;

simone.lovera@globalforestcoalition.org; David Kureeba: +48 733 019 295; kureebamd@yahoo.com

Notes to the Editor

• The Global Forest Coalition (GFC) is an international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations defending social justice and the rights of forest peoples in forest policies.

• Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.

• National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) / Friends of the Earth Uganda is an action organisation committed to sustainable solutions to Uganda’s most challenging environmental and economic growth problems.

• More than 135 organisations, including GCF, CEO and Friends of the Earth International, signed a joint statement prepared before COP19 calling for the immediate end to the corporate takeover of the COP and the expansion of carbon markets: http://scrap-the-euets.makenoise.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/COP19_Statement_English.pdf

• On Monday, CEO released the COP 19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying, exposing which big polluters are behind COP19 becoming the most corporate captured COP of all time http://corporateeurope.org/blog/cop19-guide-corporate-lobbying

Points for press conference:

– Terribly sad to see the drama caused in the Philippines by the failure of governments like the US, Australia, Canada and Poland to accept their responsibility for global climate change and commit to binding action to prevent such loss of human life and livelihoods in countries that have a very low per capita carbon footprint themselves.

– What is “action”? Only real solutions count, this process has wasted far too much time promoting false solutions

– EU and their allies in the UNFCCC Secretariat, which has proven to be everything but neutral, are trying to use the FVA to push through the NMM – manipulation of process and workshops and reporting on workshop. They try to rush the process, try pilot projects next year. E.g in the area of REDD+

– Developing countries have rightfully demanded an evaluation of existing market mechanisms to go first – is only logic. Existing market mechanisms have proven to be a disaster – n safeguards. Many human rights violations. Many harmful environmental impacts. No funding for projects in Africa and most other countries, only a few big countries profited. Price is now down the drain. Trade without caps system. Voluntary markets even more disastrous. Forest carbon offset market has been flooded with credits – there is more than 3 times more supply than demand Lot of talk about private investments but no rational investor would ever invest in this market. Certification has proven to be a scam, in Paraguay CCBA certified projects are violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples and implemented on heavily disputed lands. Market-oriented mechanisms like REDD+ cannot address international drivers of forest loss – new report GFC.

– Meanwhile, non-market based approaches have proven to work. On the one hand: address drivers of climate change and forest loss by simply not subsidizing them! Redirect all subsidies and other investment in destructive fossil fuel exploitation, and forest destruction, including bioenergy and meat production, and support sustainable people-driven energy solutions and forest conservation instead, recognizing the rights and role of Indigenous peoples, women, pastoralists and small farmers.

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