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The Carbon Conspiracy: False Promises, Real Threats

Global Forest Coalition - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 23:35

In the comic book The Carbon Conspiracy, a peaceful rural community’s existence is rocked by the arrival of a carbon offset project. What at first appears to be a win-win deal for all involved is quickly exposed as a con by the Greenfuel Corporation.

The community is hit by the human rights violations and negative environmental impacts of the greenwashing exercise aimed at shifting climate action to the Global South, while corporations in the Global North continue their climate-destroying activities.

The Carbon Conspiracy was created by GFC and CLARA as part of the campaign against false solutions to uphold the climate justice pathway to real solutions. The story is open-source, and you are free to print, use, and share it widely without needing approval.

Story and Illustrations by Ismail Wolff

Click on the links below to:

View the Interactive Online Version (English Only)

View on the CLARA Website

View on the GFC Website

Download in pdf (online viewing) EN I FR I ES

Download in pdf (print quality) EN I FR I ES

If you are interested in translating the book into another language, please contact ismail.wolff@globalforestcoalition.org for more information

 

The post The Carbon Conspiracy: False Promises, Real Threats appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Four ways to reduce emissions from food and farming

Environmental Working Group - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 08:17
Four ways to reduce emissions from food and farming Iris Myers December 11, 2023

Food and farming is a large – and growing – source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

As officials gather for a global climate change conference, here are four steps the Biden administration can take to reduce the emissions caused by food and farming. 

  1. Protect climate-smart spending. While the Biden administration has touted the benefits of the climate-smart spending in the Inflation Reduction Act, it has so far failed to say whether the president would veto a farm bill that would divert climate-smart spending to increase farm subsidies, as some Republicans have proposed. The vast majority of farm programs – including subsidy, conservation and anti-hunger programs – will continue whether or not there is a new farm bill. The president should make clear that no farm bill is better than one that cuts climate-smart spending. 
     
  2. Ensure that more conservation spending is climate-smart. Despite a new commitment to reducing emissions, too much Department of Agriculture conservation spending still flows to practices that do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In some cases, conservation spending goes to practices that actually increase emissions. And too much of the “climate smart” spending provided by the Inflation Reduction Act flows to practices that may not actually reduce emissions, despite USDA claims to the contrary. 
     
  3. Provide consumers more climate-smart choices. Investing in plant-based options and expanding plant-based choices in federal dining facilities, as Biden pledged – would help consumers occasionally choose a healthier alternative that is also healthier for the planet. Investing in plant-based options would also support the farmers and rural workers who have made the U.S. the world’s plant-based leader. 
     
  4. End misleading climate claims on food. Consumers are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their food choices. But misleading food claims make it impossible for consumers to ensure their food choices reflect their values. The Biden administration should reject these misleading claims, especially “climate friendly” claims about beef, which is always the worst choice for the climate

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Areas of Focus Farming & Agriculture Disqus Comments Authors Scott Faber December 11, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

COP28: Une flambée d’annonces optimistes

350.org - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 07:50

La 28ème conférence des parties a débuté ce Jeudi 30 novembre 2023. C’est l’une des COP qui a réuni le plus de personnes, environ 100 000 personnes ont fait le déplacement y compris les jeunes africains tel que Oureya Raïssa Responsable de Programme à l’ONG Jeunes Verts pour apporter leur voix et promouvoir la cause climatique.

Le début de cette COP 28 a été marqué par des annonces de financement notamment sur les pertes et dommages destinés à aider les pays vulnérables à faire face aux conséquences de plus en plus coûteuses et dommageables des catastrophes climatiques.

Des avances ont été faites afin de renforcer la résilience des communautés mais néanmoins de nombreux sujet de discussion sont encore sur la table notamment en ce qui concerne le transfert de technologie et la fin des énergies fossiles reste toujours d’actualité. Ceci dit, actuellement il n’y a pas d’engagement de la part des pays développés pour mettre fin à l’exploitation des énergies fossiles et à faciliter le transfert des technologies dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables pour accélérer la transition juste.

En tant qu’activiste pour la promotion des énergies renouvelables, je pense que c’est un point crucial pour le développement durable des communautés. C’est dans ce sens que ma participation aux différents mouvements, sides events et surtout aux négociations en tant qu’observatrice me permettra d’attirer l’attention de nos gouvernements à travers le plaidoyer sur les décisions importantes à prendre pour la survie des communautés et surtout collaborer avec les milliers de personnes présente pour ensemble partager les expériences, nouer des partenariats, mieux orienter nos actions et surtout montrer l’importance des jeunes dans la lutte contre ce fléau mondiale.

Climate Action Now!

Raissa Oureya
ONG Jeunes Verts, membre de Renewable Energy Coalition

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Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Safe decommissioning work at Russia’s Atomflot imperiled by the war in Ukraine

Bellona.org - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 07:12

It began in the 1960s as little more than a strip of Arctic coastland with a single wooden dock. Known then only as Base 92 — the 92 a wink to the atomic number of uranium — that dock has now multiplied many times over and grown into an enormous port for the world’s first — to say nothing of largest and only — putatively civilian nuclear icebreaker fleet.

The base, now known as Atomflot — short for “atomic fleet” — grew from servicing solely the Lenin nuclear icebreaker, the world’s first such vessel, to eventually hosting eleven more, many of which have since been decommissioned to make way for yet newer and bigger nuclear vessel designs as part of an enormous push to tame the storied Northern Sea Route.

From then until now, the base — which sits at the mouth of the Kola Fjord and mere kilometers from the center of Murmansk and its 300,000-strong population — has amassed its fair share of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Much of that has historically been too overwhelming to handle without foreign assistance.

That’s all the more worrying when considering just how much nuclear-powered hardware the port is responsible for. At the moment, Atomflot handles seven nuclear icebreakers: the Sibir and the Arktika — which are both named for two older icebreakers that have recently been decommissioned — the Ural, the 50 let Pobedy, the Yamal, the Vaigach, and the Taimyr, as well as the Sevmorput, which is a nuclear-powered light freight carrier.

Additionally, Atomflot oversees an array of decommissioned nuclear icebreakers that are now classified as “radiation sources.” These include the Lenin, the Sovietsky Soyuz, and the Rossiya. There are also the Imandra and the Lotte, two conventionally power ships that are used as floating service bases for the icebreakers, fueling and defueling them at sea. The Serebryank and the Rossita are also under the domain of Atomflot, where they are used to shuttle casks of spent nuclear fuel to railheads bound for storage.

On shore, Atomflot also maintains a storage facility for treated nuclear fuel in containers, a spent nuclear fuel loading point, a site for the temporary storage of nuclear fuel transportation containers, as well as facilities for storing solid and liquid radioactive waste.

Now that Moscow is lurching into year two of its invasion of Ukraine, the decades of cooperation with the outside world on pressing issues of nuclear safety are over. When war broke out in February of 2022, numerous European nations and major Western banks that had once helped finance the safe overhaul of the Soviet nuclear legacy suspended their funding in protest of the invasion.

At the time, Moscow responded tartly that it would continue these critical cleanup efforts on its own without millions in foreign assistance. But evidence of progress on several projects left unfinished before the outbreak of war is essentially nonexistent. Efforts to rid the old Soviet sub bases at Andreyeva Bay of spent nuclear fuel accrue s over the decades have slowed to a crawl. Progress at Gremikha, an old fishing village turned storage site for old reactor casings has stalled. A broad plan to raise nuclear waste — including two entire nuclear submarines — from the depths of Arctic oceans appears to have been shelved indefinitely. And those are only the most high profile cases.

Unlike those derelict Cold War sites, however, Atomflot is still very much in use. As home port to seven active nuclear icebreaking vessels — and scheduled to take on as many as three more that are currently under construction by the end of the decade — Atomflot is on the vanguard of Moscow’s environmentally questionable manifest destiny in the Arctic.

The 50 Let Pobedy icebreaker bringing politicians to the North Pole. Credit: Murmansky Vestnik

For years Moscow has insisted that an expanded nuclear icebreaker fleet is critical for opening the Northern Sea Route — a 5,600-kilometer-long sea artery between northern Europe and the Alaska’s Bering Strait running along Russia’s Arctic coast — to year-round commercial navigation.

According to Kremlin projections, most of that traffic will come from bringing vast new Siberian deposits of hydrocarbons to market. The icebreakers are meant to burrow through the ice during the cold, dark months of winter, leading convoys of oil and gas tankers bound for ports in warmer water. As Russian fossil fuels are under sanctions in the west, these ports will increasingly be in Asia. Burning these exports will, in turn, contribute to the deteriorating climatic conditions in the Arctic itself, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Until the ice melts, however, Russia icebreakers will lead the way, charging hefty tolls for their services.

Highlights of past foreign cooperation

In the past, it has taken considerable foreign investment for Atomflot to rid itself of some of its most radioactive holdings. The most conspicuous example of such cooperation is the disposal of the Lepse, an old dry goods ship that was retrofitted for use in fueling and defueling nuclear icebreakers at sea. Launced in 1963 to service the Lenin, the Lepse’s career spanned 18 years until it was again repurposed for use as a floating junkyard for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel produced by the nuclear ships it serviced.  Eventually, in 1988, it was permanently docked at Atomflot having become one of the most dangerous radioactive hazards known to humanity.

The Lepse. Credit: Thomas Nilsen

Within its holds — at the time parked five kilometers from central Murmansk — were some 639 spent nuclear fuel assemblies offloaded from the Lenin, the Sibir and the Arktika nuclear icebreakers, many of them damaged and thus defying removal by conventional means.

It wasn’t until 2012, after years of advocacy by Bellona, that the Lepse was finally towed out of its berth at Atomflot and delivered to a naval shipyard for final dismantlement. Even so, it wasn’t until nine years later, in 2021, that the ship was finally dismantled and its constituent dangers sent for safer storage. Today, 18 damaged spent fuel assemblies from the Lepse’s holds remain and have yet to be safely stored.

This, presumably, would have been done on the considerable foreign funding from Norway — in a process shepherded by Bellona — that allowed the Lepse project to advance as it has. But Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine has prevented any further foreign funding for the project.

The future of decommissioning work at Atomflot

This disconnect from the international community could prove especially vexing once Atomflot progresses in its decommissioning work. According to statements from Russian nuclear officials in December of 2022, ten months into the war, Atomflot had managed to successfully decommission two of its old nuclear icebreakers, the Arktika and the Sibir, despite western sanctions.

But these rosy reports don’t take in to account that fact that most of the technology Atomflot and associated shipyards currently use for megaprojects like nuclear icebreaker dismantlement were provided by Western donor nations in the 1990s. That equipment is now growing old. So long as the war continues, those donor countries are unlikely to replace or repair it.

This distance from the international community is all the more troubling because of what Atomflot still has yet to decommission. Of the current icebreaker fleet, the Rossiya and the Sovietsky Soyuz are slated for decommissioning in 2027, and the Yamal is quickly coming to the end of its engineered lifespan.

Atomflot’s further decommissioning plans are unknown at present. But it is hard to imagine that ongoing work to safely dismantle old vessels with modern methods will be a priority in the current circumstances of war.

This is the third in a series of articles examining the state of nuclear cleanup in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.

 

 

The post Safe decommissioning work at Russia’s Atomflot imperiled by the war in Ukraine appeared first on Bellona.org.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Global Forest Coalition brings together Latin American members to plan future actions in the face of the climate crisis

Global Forest Coalition - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 00:34

Latin American and Caribbean members of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) met on 17 November in a virtual regional assembly to establish thematic priorities and define collective advocacy actions in the face of the loss of forest ecosystems and biodiversity that has led to the current climatic and environmental crisis.

More than 20 members of organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela responded to the call led by Inés Franceschelli, from the Heñói Studies Center, from Paraguay, and focal point of the coalition for Latin America and the Caribbean, and built a general agenda of actions that will allow the regional advocacy work to continue for the defence of the territories, rights of Indigenous Peoples, women, youth and local communities, affected by the development of extractive projects and false climate solutions in the region.

We are in a moment of [climatic] crisis that merits our coordinated work much more, joining efforts until we achieve the objectives that unite us all.

 

“We have to make alliances and stay together at the national, regional and global levels. We have greatly respected the campaigns that the GFC ran, we admire the commitment that members have to the GFC and we hope that the coalition will strengthen,” highlighted Marta Núñez, from the Ecuadorian Defense Coordinator of Ecosystems and the Environment (Cedenma). “We are in a moment of [climatic] crisis that merits our coordinated work much more, joining efforts until we achieve the objectives that unite us all.”

The mapping of false solutions to the climate crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean, an initiative being developed by the Latin American and Caribbean Platform for Climate Justice and the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), was one of the strategic actions highlighted during the assembly. This digital map seeks to document greenwashing schemes and carbon markets in the region, as well as be a reporting and articulation channel for organizations.

“This project to stop corporate capture, carried out by the Platform for Climate Justice and DCJ, is crucial (…) It is important that we present our cases, hopefully from all the countries where we are represented. It would be an important way to make visible the work we are doing to expose the failure of false solutions,” said Johanna Molina, from the Viento Sur Collective of Chile.

The commodification of nature, addressing the climate crisis through a just, feminist and popular transition, as well as the impacts of the development of extractive industries and tourism were other central issues that members committed to addressing and increasing regional actions of the coalition in 2024.

“It is a secret to no one that the Dominican Republic is a privileged place as a tourist destination and we have duly communicated the problems that this produces to GFC, as well as the fight we have had in recent years against mega-mining,” emphasized Darío Solano, from the Afros RD organization.

Establishing a more direct articulation with the coalition is one of the pending tasks, according to Solano, to strengthen the fight against extractive industries and mega infrastructure and tourism projects.

During the regional Assembly, the coordinators of the Climate Change, Gender Justice and Forests, Unsustainable Livestock, and Extractive Industries and Tourism campaigns of the GFC, Coraina de la Plaza (Spain), Valentina Figuera (Venezuela), Andrea Echeverri (Colombia) ) and Kwami Kpondzo (Togo), respectively, presented the objectives, vision and joint actions to strengthen work with GFC members.

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Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Happy Holidays from CELDF – Time is of the Essence!

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - Fri, 12/08/2023 - 13:36

As 2023 draws to a close, we at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) are truly grateful for your friendship and support.

CELDF’s Executive Director, Kai Huschke, shares how with your support, we can deliver the expertise it possesses, provide the outreach and education needed, and support place-based action that works to push for transformational change for people and nature; people are nature. As we have in this year’s end-of-year newsletter as well as last year’s, CELDF subscribes to the need to bring together the fact that we live from nature, with nature, in nature, and as nature.

MAKE YOUR YEAR-END TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION HERE.

READ OUR NEWSLETTER and 2023 YEAR-END APPEAL

THANK YOU for being part of CELDF’s work for People and Nature.

We wish you a very Happy & Healthy New Year! 

The post Happy Holidays from CELDF – Time is of the Essence! appeared first on CELDF.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Reckoning with the truth to get in right relationship with the Great Lakes

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - Fri, 12/08/2023 - 13:16

Law and culture. Culture and law. Which comes first, and how are they related? CELDF and partners hosted Truth, Reckoning, and Right Relationship with the Great Lakes in the fall of 2023 to wrestle with these questions. This impactful compilation video of that full-day gathering reflects a range of truths from doctors, lawyers, indigenous activists, educators, students, religious practitioners, artists, environmental regulators, and community activists – young and old – along with their personal reckonings and the collective challenges that face us all in the current state of the ill health of the Great Lakes and the world at large. CELDF and partners are hosting Part II of this journey in April 2024 focusing on understanding, connecting to, and working towards right relationship with the Great Lakes and each other. Curious to know more? Contact CELDF at info@celdf.org

The post Reckoning with the truth to get in right relationship with the Great Lakes appeared first on CELDF.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030: A Triumph for 1.5 Degrees at COP28

350.org - Fri, 12/08/2023 - 08:29

As the dust settles on COP28, climate activists around the world, including those at 350.org, are celebrating a significant step forward in the fight against climate change following the commitment of 130 countries to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 which leads to a reduction of fossil fuel reliance and limitation of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius .

From November 4 to December 9, 350.org and its partners took to the streets globally under the banner of the “PowerUp“, urging governments to triple their investment in renewable energy and demanding that major polluters take responsibility for the damage they’ve caused. The outcomes of COP28 suggest that these efforts have not been in vain, so let’s keep the momentum going. 

Why 1.5 Degrees Celsius Matters: Let’s Keep It Simple

You might have heard about the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, but what does it really mean? In simple terms, it’s a crucial threshold set by the international community to limit the rise in global temperatures. Why? Because beyond 1.5 degrees the impacts of climate change become more severe and widespread. We’re talking about more intense heat waves, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and threats to our ecosystems and communities.

Now, imagine a world where we limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius . It’s a world where we mitigate the worst effects of climate change, preserving a safer, more stable environment for future generations.

Tripling Renewable Energy Capacity: A Game-Changer

One of the big wins at COP28 is the commitment from 130 countries to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030. But why is this so important in the quest to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees?

The answer lies in the source of our energy. Right now, a significant chunk of our power comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. These activities release massive amounts of greenhouse gas, trapping heat in the atmosphere and causing global temperatures to rise.

Renewable energy, on the other hand, comes from sources like the sun, wind, water, and geothermal heat. When we invest in these clean and sustainable sources, we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, cutting down the emissions that drive climate change.

Africa gets to play a big role in this clean energy party as it is abundant in renewable energy potential in the form of wind, solar and other sources. Tripling the capacity not only reduces our reliance on fossil fuels but also harnesses Africa’s renewable resources for widespread economic and social development like access to electricity, jobs and better lives. We call on decision makers to invest more money to back up plans to triple renewable energy. This means tripling the money already invested into building solar farms, wind turbines, and other cool stuff that give us access to electricity. It’s like having a big toolbox full of cool ways to make power without hurting our planet. To leverage Africa’s potential and realize the tripling of Renewable Energy, substantial funding is required to support the transition. 

The Power of Public Pressure and Activism

The decisions made at COP28 reflect not only the efforts of policymakers but also the power of people coming together to demand change. The PowerUp mobilization, led by 350.org and partners, exemplifies how public pressure can influence political and economic decisions. When we take to the streets, raise our voices, and demand action, decision-makers take notice.

What’s Next? Phasing out oil, coal and gas

While the commitment to triple renewable energy capacity is a major step forward, there’s more work to be done. The scaling up of RE must also be supported by a resolve and concrete plans for the phase out of all coal, oil and gas. Civil society is calling for COP 28 to deliver on a decision to phase out fossil fuels by 2050, and for this decision to be reflected in the formal outcome of the conference.Why? Because we can’t limit global warming to 1.5 degrees unless we break free from fossil fuels. In addition, it is critical big polluters are held accountable for the damage they’ve caused and their role in the climate crisis. This means ensuring that those who contributed the most to the problem bear the responsibility of committing finances to supporting the just transition to renewable energy in developing nations, supporting these nations to adapt to climate change and compensating them for the losses suffered. 

As we celebrate the victories at COP28, let’s remember that our collective voice and action are powerful tools in the fight against climate change. By continuing to push for bold and ambitious measures, we can create a world where the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is not just an aspiration but a reality, safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

The post Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030: A Triumph for 1.5 Degrees at COP28 appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Roots of Resilience Episode 5 Reflections from COP28

Global Forest Coalition - Fri, 12/08/2023 - 02:21
Roots of Resilience Episode 5 Reflections from COP28

 

In this special Episode of Roots of Resilience, we come to you from COP28 in Dubai. We hear how the politics of the UNFCCC continues to relegate Indigenous Peoples, Civil Society, Grassroots Communities, and those most impacted by Climate Change to the fringes of policy discussions and decisions.

Despite corporate lobbying and false solutions continuing to cloud discussions, we hear how so many continue to go above and beyond to make their voices heard and refuse to cede their spaces or back down.

Listen now to hear what’s really happening on the ground at COP28.

 

Tune in to listen now, and please share widely amongst your networks #RootsOfResilience

Available now in the following places and more…

 

Credits:

Chithira Vijayakumar, host, co-producer

Coraina de la Plaza, co-producer

Ismail Wolff, editor, co-producer

Cover Art: Ismail Wolff

Guests

Souparna Lahira, Senior Climate and Biodiversity Adviser, GFC 

Dil Raj Khanal,  GFC Board Member, FECOFUN, Nepal

Audio credits:

‘Black Catbird’ by the Garifuna Collective

Licensor: Stonetree Records

Link & creative Commons license details: https://shikashika.org/birdsong/artists/the-garifuna-collective/

Release date:

8 December 2023

 

The post Roots of Resilience Episode 5 Reflections from COP28 appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Bellona publishes new report on Rosatom’s role in the Ukraine invasion

Bellona.org - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 10:38

As the Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine lurches into its second year, extending the suffering and death of countless thousands, nearly the entire Russian economy has been shifted onto military footing.

Within this process, Rosatom, Russia’s putatively civilian state nuclear corporation, has emerged as a major player on the battlefield. Our new report, “Rosatom during the war: how militarization of the Russian nuclear giant took place,” explores the process that morphed one of the world’s most powerful nuclear energy corporations into one of Moscow’s most potent weapons in Ukraine — and beyond.

This transformation is something Bellona has closely observed, and we have published previous reports outlining Rosatom’s steps toward militarization in the period leading up to mid-2022.

In this new report, Bellona goes further with that analysis, reporting its research from where the last report left off to the present day. The report also explores Rosatom’s prospects, both within Russia and abroad — with special emphasis on the commanding role it often plays in foreign politics.

In preparing this report, Bellona authors proceed from the understanding that the war in Ukraine will lead to sweeping, long-term changes, primarily in the warring countries — which doubtless will affect their respective nuclear industries.

With this in mind, Bellona set the goal of establishing Rosatom’s nature as the war progressed, as well as examining that newly-emerged structure in the context of shifting world economics and politics, particularly sanctions directed against Russian — and whether they are having any effect on Rosatom as a whole.

To achieve this, we have analyzed the following questions:

Chapter 1. How a militarized Rosatom functions  — This chapter gives a brief analysis of the changes that have taken place in the structure of Rosatom since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. In particular, we pay attention to the new non-traditional businesses that Rosatom is currently developing. According to information published before the war began, by 2030 Rosatom intends to increase the percentage of its turnover from new businesses to 30%.

Chapter II. Results of activity of Rosatom’s main divisions in the wartime period. This chapter examines certain features of the activity of Rosatom’s main divisions which appeared in the war period. Special attention is given to the economy of Rosatom’s foreign projects. The nuclear weapons complex is covered in more details, particularly recent events at the Novaya Zemlya Arctic nuclear testing ground.

Chapter III. Rosatom’s foreign projects in the wartime period. Foreign nuclear projects have great significance for Russia and Rosatom in particular. This represents not  just not an economic, but also a military and political state aspiration. Throughout the wartime period, the active re-orientation of Rosatom’s activity has been observed. For obvious reasons, Rosatom is leaving the European and North American markets and actively looking for a foothold in South Asian and African countries. Recently, Rosatom has become more active in South America. To create an anti-western coalition, Russia now needs friends more than ever, and it is unimportant who they are and what authority and international recognition they have. Therefore, Rosatom, remaining in the field of state interests, will continue to look for partners in countries that are “friendly” to Russia.

Chapter IV. Rosatom at occupied nuclear facilities. Bellona provides very detailed coverage of what is happening on occupied nuclear sites in Ukraine. This chapter gives an analysis of certain features of the state of the Zaporizhzhia NPP (ZNPP) and events taking place at this site, in particular information on the presence of IAEA representatives at the nuclear plant and the tasks that they solve there.

Find the report here.

The post Bellona publishes new report on Rosatom’s role in the Ukraine invasion appeared first on Bellona.org.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

EWG recognizes Congress for taking steps to address ‘forever chemicals’ in NDAA

Environmental Working Group - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:31
EWG recognizes Congress for taking steps to address ‘forever chemicals’ in NDAA Iris Myers December 7, 2023

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group applauds Congress for including several provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal year 2024 to tackle the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. 

The NDAA is legislation that Congress passes each year to make changes to the policies and organization of U.S. defense agencies and to guide how military funding can be spent. The House and Senate have finalized text for the fiscal year 2024 NDAA. 

To tackle forever chemicals, the 2024 NDAA includes provisions that will:

  • Require the Department of Defense to develop a separate annual budget proposal for PFAS activities, including efforts to cleanup bases contaminated with PFAS. 
  • Require the DOD to provide and periodically update a PFAS cleanup schedule and cost estimates. 
  • Help communities participate in the PFAS cleanup process.
  • Require the Government Accountability Office to report on PFAS testing and cleanup efforts. 
  • Provide funding to study the impact of PFAS on defense communities’ health, conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

“These provisions will keep the pressure on the DOD to address PFAS contamination at military facilities and reduce exposure to military communities and families,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “However, Congress must do much more to accelerate the pace of cleanup, including more funding.”

Cleanup funding included in the NDAA for FY 2024 is the lowest level since FY 2019, and EWG has found expected cleanup costs are outstripping available funds.

“Defense communities should not have to wait 50 years or more for their neighbor, the DOD, to clean up the toxic plumes threatening their health,” Faber added.

PFAS chemicals have been confirmed at more than 450 DOD installations, and hundreds more sites may be contaminated. Studies show that exposure to very low levels of PFAS can increase the risk of cancer, harm fetal development and reduce vaccine effectiveness.

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals,” because they build up in our blood and organs, and do not break down in the environment.

EWG applauds the work of:

Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Roger Wicker (R-M.S.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-M.I.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-M.A.), Richard Blumenthal (D-C.T.), and Mark Kelly (D-A.Z.).

Reps. Mike Rogers (R-A.L.), Adam Smith (D-W.A.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Madeleine Dean (D-P.A.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H), Marilyn Strickland (D-W.A.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-P.A.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Andy Kim (D-.N.J.), Jennifer Kiggans (R-V.A.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Jasmine Crockett (D-T.X.), Abigail Spanberger (D-V.A.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Kevin Mullin (D-C.A.), Summer Lee (D-P.A.), Salud Carbajal (D-C.A), Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Raul Grijalva (D-A.Z.), Rick Larsen (D-W.A.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-T.X.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Marc Veasey (D-T.X.), Steven Cohen (D-T.N.), Mary Peltola (D-A.K.), Al Green (D-T.X.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Brad Schneider (D-I.L.), Greg Casar (D-T.X.), Sylvia Garcia (D-T.X.), Chris Deluzio (D-P.A.), Jamie Raskin (D-M.D.), Ed Case (D-H.I.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-I.L.), Hillary Sholten (D-M.I.), Matt Gaetz (R-F.L.), Earl Blumenauer (D-O.R.), Jason Crow (D-C.O.), Seth Moulton (D-M.A.), Linda Sanchez (D-C.A.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Mike Levin (D-C.A.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Haley Stevens (D-M.I.), Bill Keating (D-M.A.), Derrick Van Orden (R-W.I.), Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.), Bobby Scott (D-V.A.), Jim McGovern (D-M.A.), and Lizzie Fletcher (D-T.X.)

The NDAA will be brought to the full House and Senate this December, marking the 63rd consecutive year this bipartisan legislation has passed Congress and been signed into law.

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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

Areas of Focus Toxic Chemicals Disqus Comments Press Contact Monica Amarelo monica@ewg.org (202) 939-9140 December 7, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

“TotalEnergies: This is what a total phase-out looks like” outlines how to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry

350.org - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:00

Check our 2022 highlights! Download the full report

 

As crucial climate negotiations are underway at COP28, 350.org and the Multinationals Observatory are launching a new report outlining why it is necessary to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry strategies for the world to transition to clean energy, and how to do it.

For decades, TotalEnergies and other fossil fuel giants have tried to make us believe that there is no alternative to the current fossil fuel industry, and that they are part of the solution to climate change. A record number of close to 2500 fossil fuel lobbyists, including CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné, are at COP28 this year to push this version of the story. Their multiple strategies to delay meaningful climate action, as well as their plans to continue to expand their fossil fuel production and their marginal investments in renewable energy, show that the energy transition we urgently need to tackle the climate crisis won’t come from them.

Multinationals like TotalEnergies thrive on the illusion of being sovereign entities, independent of states. But their power rests on legal, political, and economic conditions—conditions that can be altered. The report delves into three ways to steer TotalEnergies towards a fossil fuel-free future. These strategies aren’t mutually exclusive and might benefit from a combined approach: 

  • A comprehensive climate, environmental, financial and lobbying regulatory reform package in order to ensure TotalEnergies serves public interest, and not just the ones of its leaders and shareholders. 
  • A democratic takeover of the company from within, so that employees and stakeholders beyond only shareholders drive the company’s strategy. 
  • A public takeover of TotalEnergies to transform the corporation into a public interest organisation free from the pressures of the financial market, with an inclusive governance and democratic approach to driving a process of exiting fossil fuel production. 

With this report, we aim to open up a dialogue on an idea which may seem radical but must be included in global climate discussions: if we are to truly start phasing out fossil fuels, we must tackle the economic and political weight of the fossil fuel majors.

Global heating and its impacts are accelerating, just as war and pandemics have done, and this could be a trigger for change, with previously unthinkable scenarios quickly becoming credible or even unavoidable. We want to challenge political leaders to imagine them, and to implement them.

The post “TotalEnergies: This is what a total phase-out looks like” outlines how to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

How EWG saved Christmas: Healthy stocking stuffers under $20

Environmental Working Group - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 07:57
How EWG saved Christmas: Healthy stocking stuffers under $20 Iris Myers December 7, 2023

Rushing downstairs on Christmas morning to check your stocking is one of the oldest and most treasured yuletide traditions. But finding the perfect stocking stuffers isn’t always as enjoyable.

Those small gifts can quickly add up – especially if you have a large family. That’s why EWG is offering safer cosmetic holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Every product below costs less than $20 and most are available on Amazon or from big box stores like CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. 

Using our Skin Deep® database, we’ve found the perfect stocking-size presents. Every product rates either a 1 or a 2 in Skin Deep, meaning a low hazard rating and fair or better ingredient data availability. Or it’s ​​EWG VERIFIED® – meaning it meets EWG’s rigorous standards for health and transparency.

Bubble bath

Bubble bath brings out the child in all of us. But some may contain skin-irritating chemicals and harmful fragrance ingredients. Whether you’re giving the gift of a playful bath-time experience or a relaxing, self-care soak, make sure no toxic chemicals lurk in the suds. 

Babo Botanica Sensitive Baby Bubble Bath, Wash & Shampoo, Fragrance Free

  • Available online at Walmart, $16.50

Honest Bubble Bath, Lavender, Sweet Orange Vanilla, Sweet Almond, Fragrance Free

The Honest Company Comfort Baby Bubble Bath, Sweet Cream

  • Available in store at Walmart, $12.97

TruKid Bubble Podz Sensitive Care, Unscented

Alaffia Everyday Shea Bubble Bath, Lavender

Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Bubble Bath & Body Wash

Alaffia Babies & Kids Bubble Bath Unrefined Shea Butter, Lemon Lavender

Hand lotion

During the dry winter months, a quality hand lotion is essential – hydrated skin is less likely to crack and get irritated. But some lotions could do more harm than good,  with harmful ingredients that can be absorbed through the skin. 

ATTITUDE Sensitive Skin Hand Cream, Chamomile

Bioderma Cicabio Hand Cream, Unscented

Burt's Bees Hand Salve

Yes to Avocado Daily Hand Cream, Fragrance Free

Up & Up Hand Cream

  • Available in store at Target, $5.59

Shikai Borage Therapy Hand Cream

Face masks

Quite possibly the ultimate self-care gift: a face mask. With products that promote hydration, brightening and anti-aging benefits, there’s something for everyone. But some face masks can  include skin-irritating fragrances and chemicals

Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask

Freeman Cosmic Steam Eye Mask, Rose Quartz

  • Available in store at Walmart, $3

Walgreens Refining Pink Clay Mask

  • Available in store at Walgreens, $2.29

Cocokind Clay Mask, Sea Kale

Avatara Brightening Peach Mask, Juicy Peach Beach

Avatara Juicy Hydrating Watermelon Mask

  • Available in store at Target, $3.19; Walmart, $3

Rael Beauty, Vitamin C Brighten + Glow Facial Sheet Masks

Lip balm

Chapped and cracking lips are common during the coldest months of the year. Lip balm adds a protective layer while sealing in hydration. But some brands could expose you to allergens and toxic chemicals. 

Honest Tinted Lip Balm, Blood Orange, Fruit Punch, Plum Drop, White Nectarine, Lychee Fruit, Summer Melon, Dragon Fruit

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm, Rose, Lemon Lime, Naked, Peppermint, Orange Ginger, Cherry Blossom

Attitude Lip Balm SPF 15, Coconut

Attitude Lip Balm Watermelon, Mint, Coconut, Unscented

Hello Vegan Lip Balm, Strawberry

Burt's Bees Rescue Balm with Turmeric, Unscented

  • Available online at Walmart, $7.89

Organic Fiji Lip Balm, Peppermint

Pixi Skintreats Botanical Collagen Lip Gloss

  • Available in store at Target, $16

Eco Lips Mongo Kiss Lip Balm, Vanilla Honey

Cocokind All-Over Moisture Stick, Mymatcha

Aquaphor Immediate Relief Lip Repair

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, Watermelon, Vanilla Bean, Cranberry Spritz, Peppermint, Honey, Tropical Pineapple

Vaseline Original Lip Therapy Stick

Eos Smooth Lip Balm, Watermelon Frose

Eos 100% Natural Organic Lip Balm, Sweet Mint

EWG is on a mission this season to make your holiday shopping experience easy. We polled our staff to find out what they'll be giving their friends and family this year; our 2023 gift guide contains our best ideas for presents that are good for your loved ones and the planet. Or check our guide of EWG VERIFIED gift ideas.

You can also consult Skin Deep to find the best personal care products for you. And use our Healthy Living app for product ratings when shopping on the go. 

Disclaimer: The prices of products in this article were accurate at the time of writing but may have changed since publication. Local availability may vary.

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Areas of Focus Personal Care Products Disqus Comments Authors JR Culpepper Guest Authors Shavonne Strelevitz, Communications intern December 7, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Contaminated cantaloupe: The risk of farm fields near CAFOs

Environmental Working Group - Wed, 12/06/2023 - 14:42
Contaminated cantaloupe: The risk of farm fields near CAFOs Iris Myers December 6, 2023 Al Rabine Scott Faber December 7, 2023

A salmonella outbreak from contaminated cantaloupes produced in Mexico has garnered headlines – eight people have died, 3 in the U.S. and 5 in Canada, at least 45 hospitalized and many others sickened. But many of the U.S. farms where cantaloupes are grown could have a potential risk of contamination, as an EWG analysis finds they are located near factory farms where dairy cows, cattle and poultry are raised. 

Given the quantities of manure produced by these animal feeding operations, their proximity to cantaloupe crop fields is unappetizing and potentially unhealthy. 

Roughly 40 percent of the nation’s cantaloupes are grown in three California counties – Fresno, Imperial and Merced. Other major cantaloupe-growing regions in the U.S. include Monterey County, also in California, and Pinal County, in Arizona. 

Using publicly available data, EWG geospatial analysts mapped the locations of cantaloupe farms in Fresno, Imperial and Merced counties and their distance from industrial livestock operations. (See Methodology for details.) The counties are home to 509 dairy, cattle and poultry animal feeding operations. Two hundred and fifteen fields, with 9,850 cantaloupe acres, lie within a 3-mile buffer zone of these facilities. 

Click below for interactive map:

Image All animal feeding operations and cantaloupe fields in Fresno, Imperial and Merced counties, Calif.

 

Animal waste from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, that raise dairy cows or cattle can contaminate irrigation water sprayed on crops, including cantaloupes, that are ultimately eaten without being cooked. Farmers are not required to test their irrigation water before spraying it on crops, including cantaloupes. 

One field in Mercer County is only five feet from an animal operation, so animal waste could very well seep into the irrigation water and get sprayed onto cantaloupe fields, or drift from the animal operation on dust to contaminate nearby fields. (See image below.) 

Source: 2022 NAIP imagery.

Inadequate regulation

Congress directed the Food and Drug Administration to develop standards for water sprayed on crops.

The rule the FDA first issued, in 2015, required enforceable periodic testing for contaminated irrigation water. But a revised rule, proposed in 2022, abandoned the requirement by allowing farms instead to decide whether to include tests in their “water assessments.” 

The risk of contamination to food grown in the U.S. will continue unless farmers face more stringent regulations to conduct tests of their water, management of manure from industrial agriculture is more rigorously monitored, and the FDA enforces its regulations more aggressively. 

Methodology

For this analysis, EWG identified cantaloupe fields within a 3-mile buffer of an animal feeding operation in Fresno, Imperial and Merced counties. The locations of the 509 animal feeding operations were provided by the California State Water Resources Control Board, and a 3-mile buffer was placed around each animal facility.

We overlaid these buffer zones with a footprint of all fields used to grow cantaloupe in the three counties, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cropland Data Layer, or CDL. 

EWG included in the analysis all fields the USDA says are used to grow cantaloupe, except for the smallest fields. We removed CDL fields smaller than 1.1 acres, because these may be falsely categorized as cantaloupe.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Does the Clean Water Act Protect Wetlands?

Dogwood Alliance - Wed, 12/06/2023 - 05:02

This is a guest post by Fiona Ouma, a 2023 Duke Fellow at Dogwood Alliance. What is the Clean Water Act? The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a federal law in the United States. It plays a significant role in safeguarding the country’s wetlands. Wetlands are an important part of our ecosystem. They’re often vulnerable […]

The post Does the Clean Water Act Protect Wetlands? first appeared on Dogwood Alliance.
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Building a strong and nimble movement happens every day

350.org - Wed, 12/06/2023 - 00:22

Right now, the UN Climate Conference (COP28) is happening in Dubai and making headlines all around the world – bringing the climate crisis and the climate movement to center stage on the news and people’s attention. World leaders make statements and promises, the World Weather Organization sounds the alarm about climate impacts, and we get the megaphone to reach far and wide and help steer the conversation towards ambition and solutions rooted in justice.

This year COP started with some auspicious news: in the first day of the conference, the mechanisms for enacting the Loss and Damage Fund were agreed; and in the first weekend, 100+ countries announced their intention to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 – both things we have been campaigning on and putting pressure for years, and great achievements for the climate movement.

But truth be told: as much as we value and believe in international cooperation, we don’t work all yearlong with COP in mind. For us at 350.org, putting power and agency at the hands of communities is the ultimate goal. COPs are just one stop in the road we build day by day, action by action, person by person. We work hard every and each day to change hearts and minds, redirect resources, exert pressure to increase political will to take the bold actions we so much need to stop what’s causing the climate crisis. And we do that in many ways, which frequently go unseen.

“The environmental group 350.org’s use of a ‘massive, sustained exercise of people power’ to demand action on climate change.”

Article on Politico, November 2023

Recently, the book “Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World,” co-authored by the progressive scholars Deepak Bhargava and Stephanie Luce, was published and mentioned 350.org as an example of how a creative and nimble group of passionate people can help change the status quo.

“I had always thought of the environmental movement, the mainstream environmental movement, as very kind of staid and playing by the rules and writing reports and making a case and doing traditional lobbying, and this [350.org] was just a bolt out of the blue in terms of the level of imagination it took and the risk that it entailed and the fact that it was being powered by young people who were going to fight for their future and not settle for politics as usual.”

– Deepak Bhargava, author of ‘Practical Radicals’

Read Politico’s article about the book and 350 here

The book focuses on strategies used by organizations and movements to achieve social change, suggesting tactics that can be replicated by others. So we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the strategies we used during 2023 to build people power and momentum to achieve the just renewable energy revolution:

1. Building pressure across continents:

We worked with activists, local communities and connect the dots between where the money to finance the fossil fuels industry comes from and where its impacts are most felt. We have shown that grassroots international cooperation and solidarity are stronger than fossil fuels’ greedy lobby – that people on the frontlines need to be heard and are not alone. This tactic has not only helped us reach headlines and influence public opinion, but has also led to very real results with banks, insurance companies and other institutions distancing themselves from fossil fuel projects.

An example of this kind of strategy being used is our work to stop the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). If built, the pipeline would impact thousands in Uganda and Tanzania. But sustained pressure by our teams in Africa, Europe and Asia and together with many partners at the StopEACOP Coalition has made 27 banks drop their support to the project. We have organized international days of action, tours of local community members to other countries, online petitions and more.

 

2. Connecting activists through training and sharing:

The power of human connection cannot be underestimated, and at 350.org we believe that building community and collaboration are at the heart of any successful movement. That’s why we put a lot of energy into organizing webinars and workshops, providing training resources for people to organize local groups in their communities and creating networks where activists know more about each other’s fights and work together.

An example of this kind of strategy being used is our Asia Solidarity Lab, which has happened for the 3rd time now in 2023. The Lab is a dynamic platform that brings together amazing activists, thinkers, and artists from across Asia to address critical social and political issues. It’s a space for meaningful dialogue, collaboration, and creativity – this year with a special focus on “Training and Facilitation” so that this model can be replicated to reach even more people.

 

3. Powering up distributed organizing for a common goal:

Something learned throughout our 16 years is that synergy is really powerful.  Bringing big numbers to the streets or getting thousands of people joining online actions is meaningful, for sure. But a lot of the work also happens every day, rooted in our local realities and within our small groups. 350 works with hundreds of local groups and communities around the world – and when those groups come together in an unified call, nobody can ignore it.

An example of this kind of strategy in use is our “Power Up” global month of actions. To honor the continuous work of the local groups in our network and the power of common goals, just before COP28 started we held over 220 events in 66 countries, and it was a resounding success. From Los Angeles to Nepal, together we motivated people worldwide to unite, demanding a massive scaling up of renewable energy, and a shift away from fossil fuels.

 

These are just some examples of the several tactics we used to achieve the change we want to see. Throughout the year, we organized and joined hundreds of actions, bringing together experienced activists and newcomers, workers and unions, traditional communities, all of us.

We need to come together and demonstrate our power, now and every day!

Join us!

 

The post Building a strong and nimble movement happens every day appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Clean energy advocates decry California’s disastrous decision to slash residential solar program, triggering widespread job losses and bankruptcies in the state’s solar industry.

Environmental Working Group - Tue, 12/05/2023 - 12:07
Clean energy advocates decry California’s disastrous decision to slash residential solar program, triggering widespread job losses and bankruptcies in the state’s solar industry. Iris Myers December 5, 2023

 SAN FRANCISCO – Join clean energy leaders on a webinar on December 7 at 10 a.m. PST for a discussion of the calamitous decision, in April, of the California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, to gut the state’s rooftop solar incentives. That decision has now led to the loss of over 17,000 solar jobs in California, according to a new analysis by the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), with more layoffs and bankruptcies likely by the end of the year.

“The CPUC’s decision caused the nation’s largest-ever loss of clean energy jobs, pushing thriving businesses into bankruptcy and derailing California’s path to a clean energy future,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association.

What: Webinar on the impacts of the once-booming solar industry in California following the CPUC’s gutting of rooftop solar incentives.

When: Thursday December 7, 2023, 10 a.m. PST.

Featuring:

Bernadette Del Chiaro, California Solar and Storage Association executive director.

Dave Rosenfeld, Solar Rights Alliance executive director.

Laura Deehan, Environment California state director.

Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group president, EWG.

Webinar link: https://ewg-org.zoom.us/j/84005811806?pwd=OTcxWDV2NE0vN2tkcC80YzFZTHRJUT09

Passcode: 077580

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Disqus Comments Press Contact Alex Formuzis alex@ewg.org (202) 667-6982 December 6, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Code Rouge mass action against the aviation industry

Stay Grounded - Tue, 12/05/2023 - 06:28

This year, Code Rouge are setting their sights on aviation with their mass action, which will take place between Friday 15th and Sunday 17th December.

The ‘People Not Planes’ mobilisation focuses on the climate injustice of the aviation industry and its determination to keep growing beyond planetary boundaries simply for the 1% of super-rich people who are responsible for 50% of emissions from flying. The aviation industry has a disastrous impact on the climate, maintains precarious working conditions for its employees, and yet still receives a privileged policy environment with huge tax breaks and subsidies.

Not only that, but the aviation industry has become an expert at greenwashing, misleading us with excuses that do nothing but delay the urgent change we need to see: a huge reduction in flights. That’s why, Code Rouge is mobilising activists and taking action to put the aviation industry in check, make a radical U-turn, and ensure that people and planet are put first.

Their demands are:

  1. Ban private jets, short and ultra-short flights
    That means flights within a 500 km radius, flights with less than 50 people on board, empty and domestic flights.
  2. End subsidies and kerosene tax exemptions
    End subsidies and state aid to airports and airline companies, as well as investments in aviation infrastructure. This also includes ending the preferential treatment for aviation in taxation, by taxing kerosine and plane tickets. Use the revenues from taxes to pay for loss and damage, and to subsidise long distance public transport.
  3. Make public transport more affordable than flying
    Invest in affordable and sustainable public transport for all, particularly long distance transport by rail, in Belgium and across Europe. This requires infrastructure alignments and subsidies. Cut taxes on train tickets to begin with, and raise awareness on the climate impact of flying.
  4. Degrowair freightby relocalising production chains and stimulating a circular economy, as well as shifting cargo transportation to sustainable means of transportation such as rail.
  5. Stop all expansion of airports in Belgium
    Expansion in terms of capacity, and surface area such as in Liège-Bierset and Brussels-Zaventem should be stopped to halt the additional climate and health impact of an expansion.
  6. Close down Flemish regional airports
    Flemish regional airports should be closed, as suggested by the societal cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the Flemish government.
  7. Preserve the health of airport workers, neighbours, flora and fauna
    Limit noise pollution and adopt a flight curfew, meaning no more planes take off or land between 22h and 7h. Carry out permanent air and noise pollution measurements to ensure compliance with WHO recommendations, and apply the industrial emission norms on airports, too.
  8. Provide a just transition for airport workers
    The industry and the authorities should engage in negotiations and concerted planning with airport workers, in order to create sustainable, qualitative jobs with similar or better conditions and pay, and support workers in the transition towards those jobs.
  9. Stop industry greenwashing, such as carbon offsetting
    Carbon offsetting schemes and greenwashing talk of technological fixes allow pollution to continue because they distracts from the absolute need to reduce destructive air traffic emissions.
  10. Ban ads for flying
    Just like ads for cigarettes are banned because they harm our health, so should ads for flying be banned.

Despite millions of people coming together over the past few years to demand urgent, systemic change we’ve seen politicians and industry continue to delay and distract from the change we need to see. Code Rouge is inviting activists to join their ‘People Not Planes’ mobilisation to take the next step together and demand urgent action.

Code Rouge is a civil disobedience movement. This year’s mass action, follows on from Code Rouge’s action last October against Total Energies where several hundred activists called for the French fossil fuel giant to abandon several projects, including the construction of an oil pipeline in Uganda and Tanzania.

To get involved in their ‘People Not Planes’ mobilisation join an upcoming information or training session, either in person or online. For more information visit their website.

Der Beitrag Code Rouge mass action against the aviation industry erschien zuerst auf Stay Grounded.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Global Leaders Urged to Urgently Reject Corporate-Backed Deceptions and Redirect Funding to Real Climate Solutions

Global Forest Coalition - Tue, 12/05/2023 - 03:01
Global Leaders Urged to Urgently Reject Corporate-Backed Deceptions and Redirect Funding to Real Climate Solutions Billions of dollars of public finance have been pledged to prop up carbon markets, offsets, bioenergy, afforestation/reforestation monocultures

 

[DUBAI, 5 December 2023] — Global leaders must urgently reevaluate and overhaul their climate finance strategies, which direct billions of dollars into false solutions, and instead redirect financial and policy commitments towards inclusive, community-driven solutions that prioritise gender justice and human rights, the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) said today at the UNFCCC COP28.

In a context where there is no room for false solutions or offsets, the GFC observes a concerning surge in climate finance flows supporting deceptive strategies by corporations and governments to evade imperative reductions in fossil fuel emissions. Vulnerable communities, left to grapple with the increasing impacts of climate change alone, are further marginalised by the allocation of public finance from the global north to perilous false solutions that worsen climate change.

In a world teetering on the brink of Code Red, false solutions are not an option. We need urgent, decisive action to redirect financial resources to where they truly matter—the communities on the front lines of climate change.

“Dangerous distractions and false solutions do not consider our future, and there are no real processes in place to address the bigger problems. We must combat the finance destroying our land and forests,” said Maureen Santos of FASE, Brazil. Significant research and evidence shared at a press conference on 2 December expose the alarming trend of using public finance to support initiatives such as REDD+ and sustain carbon markets, with substantial backing from entities like the UN Development Program (UNDP), Norway, the United Kingdom, and others.

“More than $1100 billion from the global north is tied to monoculture plantations, including the African Forest Restoration Initiative 100, the Bonn Challenge, and similar pledges. In a world teetering on the brink of Code Red, false solutions are not an option. We need urgent, decisive action to redirect financial resources to where they truly matter—the communities on the front lines of climate change,” said Souparna Lahiri. “The influence of corporations and governments over global policymaking and UN negotiations has created an environment where real solutions seem remote and are unrecognised and inadequately supported.”

 

Souparna Lahiri, GFC’s senior climate and biodiversity advisor, speaking at a press conference at COP28, 2 December, 2023

“Land grabbing is a synonym of oppression – and false solutions are one of the biggest drivers of this,” added Kwami Kpondzo, from the Centre for Environmental Justice, Togo. “There is a deluge of false solutions in Africa. In terms of plantations, we have the African Forest Reforestation initiative, which aims to restore 100 million hectares by 2030 – many countries have already exceeded this by 25 million hectares. This amounts to a 91% increase in land area used by commercial tree plantations. The main funders behind this are Germany, France, Norway and the United States.”

Corporate involvement in promoting these false solutions is undeniable, with carbon markets, offsets, bioenergy, afforestation/reforestation monocultures, and unproven techno-fixes allowing corporations to maintain business as usual, sidestepping necessary emissions cuts. However, these systems not only fail to address the climate crisis but also inflict negative, gender-differentiated impacts on frontline communities and ecosystems globally.

Land grabbing is a synonym of oppression – and false solutions are one of the biggest drivers of this,

“Women in local communities and rural areas in places like Nepal have started to manage their forests based on community governance and traditional knowledge and have successfully been able to halt deforestation. However, there is a gap between ground-level practices and global policy documents,” said Dil raj Khanal, FECOFUN, Nepal. “Our concern is that local communities have their own systems of ecosystem management, but these customary and community practices must urgently be accepted in the international documents.” 

All this comes at a critical juncture, as the world faces the imminent breach of Code Red, necessitating urgent and drastic emission reductions. Of particular concern is the expenditure of billions of dollars in subsidising bioenergy generation, despite evidence indicating its failure to significantly reduce emissions. GFC underscores the urgency for a paradigm shift away from these misleading strategies and towards genuine climate actions.

GFC also urged governments, international organisations, and the public to join the call for divestment from false solutions and a redirection of resources to empower communities and enact real climate solutions.

About the Global Forest Coalition:

The Global Forest Coalition is a non-profit organisation dedicated to advocating for equitable, gender-just, and rights-based climate policies, with a focus on protecting forests and the communities that depend on them.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Chithira Vijayakumar +91 96339 90688 (WhatsApp, Signal) chithira.vijayakumar@globalforestcoalition.org

Ismail Wolff +33 7 88 85 28 59 (WhatsApp, Signal) ismail.wolff@globalforestcoalition.org

The post Global Leaders Urged to Urgently Reject Corporate-Backed Deceptions and Redirect Funding to Real Climate Solutions appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

6 points to guarantee renewable energy solutions are fair, safe and clean

350.org - Mon, 12/04/2023 - 10:31

At the UN climate talks (COP28)- from November 30 to December 12 – the potential for a global renewable energy target is high on the agenda. To keep our world safe, not only do we need to phase out fossil fuels immediately but it is essential that we power up renewable energy fast and implement it widely.

We must not transition from one broken system to another. The fight against the climate crisis is also a fight for justice, and there needs to be engagement with social, environmental, and community justice issues as part of the process to ensure renewable energy is accessible by all.

To help understand what a truly ‘just transition’ looks like we’ve put together six points that outline what needs to happen:

1. Renewable energy solutions must have a direct impact on reducing emissions

 

Fossil fuels are at the root of the climate crisis and make up more than 90% of global emissions. We must urgently demand that political leaders act quickly to phase-out fossil fuels, as well as triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. Any attempt to delay and shift the conversation away from these goals risks worsening the climate crisis.

We should also be skeptical of unproven methods sold by the fossil fuel industry, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The oil industry is often more interested in appearing like they are acting on climate change, than actually acting on climate change. That’s why we must hold them to account for the solutions we need. These technologies are still very expensive and complex to construct for most, especially in countries in parts of Africa, South America and Asia. These unproven methods risk extending the life of the failing fossil fuel industry.

 

2. Renewable energy solutions must be accessible by all and not prioritize the rich over the poor

 

History shows that when rich countries extract fossil fuels in poorer countries there are usually consequences like worsening social and economic inequalities on top of deepening the climate crisis. Instead of replicating the same systems that worsen inequalities, we must support affordable and energy saving solutions over expensive, individualistic transport technologies.

We also need to put decision-making power in the hands of the many instead of the elite few. People should be actively involved in making decisions. Community-centered, community-led and community-owned renewable energy projects are the models that will bring us closer to climate justice. Renewable energy solutions must uphold the rights of frontline communities and should be produced close to them while not threatening the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and their livelihoods. Energy that doesn’t require kilometers of pipelines, long-distance planning and centralized management, like solar and wind, for instance, are preferred. This will help move us away from the unequal control, access and use of energy by the rich and privileged.

A woman demanding community-centred renewable energy during Africa Day 2023 in Benin

 

3. The responsibility to pay for renewable energy solutions must be on the countries that have historically contributed the most to the climate crisis

 

Countries who are historically not responsible for the climate crisis are experiencing the worst climate impacts. We must push governments in rich countries to prioritize resources to countries least responsible for the climate crisis and most vulnerable to its impacts. In other words, money needs to flow from those who have caused the climate crisis to those who have not. The most impacted communities should be supported to adopt affordable and modern renewable energy.

 

4. We cannot replace a broken system with another when building renewable energy projects

 

Investment in countries in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia needs to be seven times the current levels and their debt needs to be canceled. And when we scale up renewable energy solutions, the demand for raw materials and minerals will inevitably rise. Not only do we need democratic and transparent regulation for them but as we move forward, we must also explore ways to reduce the need for these materials. Currently, recycling renewable energy materials costs several times more than sending it to waste. In many instances, the necessary means for recycling don’t even exist yet. Governments and the private sector must act to promote recycling over disposing.

 

5. Renewable energy solutions must ensure clean water, air, and a healthy environment for all

 

We must do what we can to invest in solutions that maintain the crucial agricultural land of communities and preserve important food and water sources. We need clear policies for renewable energy projects against deforestation of forests on national and international levels.

 

6. Implementation is everything

 

There is no single technology, policy or investment that will solve a challenge at the scale of the climate crisis. It will take many different complementary solutions to provide the transition that we need. How just a renewable energy project is cannot be determined by its technology, but how and where it will be used. A renewable energy solution is only just if it fits community needs, and is rolled out in a way that supports people’s rights.

At COP28, a global renewable energy objective in line with the 1.5°C target has taken center stage and is positioned to likely be adopted in the conference’s final text. This objective holds the promise to realign our course and bring us back on track. We’ve researched and written a groundbreaking report that shows how the world can end coal, oil and gas fast, and transition to 100% renewable energy fairly and equitably.

Can you help us get the report in front of decision makers? Send a message:

Commit to 100% renewable energy now!

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