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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…



Chithira Vijayakumar, host, co-producer

Coraina de la Plaza, co-producer

Ismail Wolff, editor, co-producer

Cover Art: Ismail Wolff


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:

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 - 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

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.


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 (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 - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:00

Check our 2022 highlights! Download the full report


As crucial climate negotiations are underway at COP28, 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.


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. 


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 - 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, 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’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 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 [] 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 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.


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:

Passcode: 077580


Disqus Comments Press Contact Alex Formuzis (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)

Ismail Wolff +33 7 88 85 28 59 (WhatsApp, Signal)

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 - 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!

The post 6 points to guarantee renewable energy solutions are fair, safe and clean appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Unsafe for wildlife

Environmental Working Group - Mon, 12/04/2023 - 10:31
Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Unsafe for wildlife Iris Myers December 4, 2023

From Milwaukee to Buffalo, the Great Lakes span over 500 miles and contain 84 percent of North America’s surface freshwater. But the iconic lakes – and the wildlife they’re home to – may be in danger.

The lakes are polluted with alarming amounts of the tiny plastic particles known as microplastics. If left unchecked, microplastic pollution in the lakes could harm the communities that rely on them for food, water and income. The contamination threatens the 300,000 jobs they support, their ecosystem of over 3,500 species of plants and animals, and the drinking water supply of more than 40 million people.

Ninety percent of water samples taken from the Great Lakes over the past 10 years are contaminated with microplastics at levels that are unsafe for wildlife, according to a recent study from the University of Toronto. 

Where microplastics come from 

Microplastics are defined as plastic particles under 5 millimeters in size. They can be intentionally manufactured or formed from the degradation of larger plastics. 

Fibers from clothing or debris from larger pieces of plastic can contribute to microplastic pollution in waterways like the Great Lakes. This pollution can also come from “nurdles,” small pieces of plastic used to produce larger plastic products. The breakdown of single-use plastics is a major contributor to microplastic pollution.

Microplastics end up in the lakes from many sources, including city water runoff, heavy winds and rain storms. Because they’re so small and come from many different sources, they take a lot of time for policymakers and scientists to study.

Possible health risks

Microplastics have been found in human blood, organs and even breast milk. We don’t know exactly how they affect human health, but the harm they can cause wildlife has been well documented.

It can come from material pollution and the chemical pollution that microplastics take up and release. Microplastics have been known to absorb chemicals like flame retardants, the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, and many others absorbed by the plastic and then ingested by wildlife. 

Studies have also shown that animals that have come in contact with microplastics may experience developmental delays, reduced mental processing, infertility and weakened immune systems. 

Widespread pollution

An estimated 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year. A study of three Lake Michigan tributaries discovered that 85 percent of the fish sampled had microplastics in their digestive tracts.

Microplastic pollution can be found in every part of the food web, including mussels, algae, invertebrates and birds. Ingested microplastics can fill up an animal’s stomach, causing it to think it’s full without providing any nutrition. 

Because microplastics have become so ubiquitous in water environments, animals do not have to actively eat microplastics to become contaminated. They can absorb plastic through drinking lake water, ingesting sediment or simply coming in contact with it as it floats through the ecosystem.

Contaminated fish and other lake-dwelling animals are consumed by people throughout the Great Lakes region and beyond, with unknown health consequences.

Tackling plastic pollution

Because microplastics are so widespread, they have been hard to regulate. Some cities have begun to address this issue. Areas like Chicago have started installing filters on storm drains and sewage systems to catch macro and microplastics before they enter the water systems. 

But much of the microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes comes from airborne particles, not water runoff, making these filters a less effective protective measure. 

Many experts say we must use less plastic if we are to curb the flow of microplastics into the Great Lakes. The U.S. is among the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste, and the amount we use is only expected to increase. 

Instead of trying to get manufacturers to clean up plastic pollution, experts urge them to cut back on the amount of plastic they produce in the first place.

International efforts

The pollution researchers are beginning to uncover in this region is only a small piece of the microplastic puzzle. While ocean plastic pollution is often in the spotlight, plastics in freshwater are just as pervasive. Only about 3 percent of the earth’s surface water is freshwater, so it’s crucial to make the protection of these ecosystems a priority. 

The European Union prohibits intentionally added microplastics in all products, with the goal of reducing microplastic waste by 30 percent by 2030. The ban includes microplastics in cosmetics, detergents, fertilizers, glitter, toys and medicine, among other products. The timeline for the EU’s ban on these products ranges anywhere from four to 12 years, depending on the availability of alternatives, and it affects both products the EU imports from the U.S. and those made in the EU.

The U.S. has also taken some steps, for example, with a ban on  “rinse off” microplastics, in 2015 – those added to products that will get washed away. Any product that contains microplastic beads that get washed down the drain, like facial cleanser or toothpaste, is considered a rinse-off product.

But the U.S. needs to do more to ensure meaningful change.

How you can help

There are some steps you can take to help reduce the use of plastic and, in turn, fight microplastic pollution. You can:

  • Reduce personal plastic consumption. For instance, dispose of plastics properly and lower your consumption of single-use plastics like straws and bottles. 
  • Perform car maintenance regularly. Tire wear and other car-related mechanical processes can release microplastics into the atmosphere, especially with poorly maintained tires. 
  • Use public or alternative transportation when possible. This is a great way to reduce the amount of microplastics released from driving. 
  • Rethink how you do your laundry. Microplastics are released in mass during the laundry process, especially by your dryer. Polymer fabrics like acrylic, polyester and nylon can shed them in the washing machine. Doing laundry less often, air drying or using a washing bag or filter can help.


Areas of Focus Toxic Chemicals Disqus Comments Guest Authors Kendall Rozen, Communications Intern December 5, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

2023 Year-end Newsletter: Living with Nature

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - Mon, 12/04/2023 - 07:11

If you are interested in receiving our newsletter, the Susquehanna – either electronically or by mail – sign up here.

Make your 2023 Tax-deductible Donation TODAY! 

As 2023 draws to a close, we at CELDF are truly grateful for your friendship and support. 

With your support, CELDF 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.

If you haven’t already, please make your 2023 year-end, tax-deductible gift in support of Community Rights and Rights of Nature TODAY.

Consider donating to CELDF in your end-of-the-year planning. Your financial gift means having the funding to pay for communications, content development, staff time, travel, partner collaboration, and countless hours of pro bono support to communities on the leading fronts of community rights actions. With your donation, the probable becomes possible. Time is of the essence.

Thank you for your gift in support of our work.



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

We wish you a very Happy & Healthy New Year! 


Thank you!

The post 2023 Year-end Newsletter: Living with Nature appeared first on CELDF.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Letter To The President: SA Eco-Warriors Call Out Government Hypocrisy

The Green Connection - Mon, 12/04/2023 - 05:17
In a letter to President Ramaphosa, the country’s five (5) Goldman Environmental Prize winners – Liziwe McDaid and Makoma Lekalakala […]
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Delay, Distract and Deceive: BECCS Developments in South America, Africa and Asia

Global Forest Coalition - Mon, 12/04/2023 - 01:34

Analysis: Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technologies are among the most problematic in carbon removal geoengineering. This two-part series analyses the status of BECCS in South America, Africa, and Asia and shows that BECCS is far from being the silver bullet to climate change that some actors portray it to be.

by Coraina de la PlazaKwami Kpondzo and Souparna Lahiri

picture: ETC Group, Biofuelwatch und Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
licence: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Geoengineering is being increasingly promoted as a “necessary” and “viable” solution to the climate crisis. Overall, there is concern not only about the lack of research regarding the potential impacts of these emerging technologies, but also about the lack of international governance frameworks and regulations to control their testing and deployment. These technologies are mainly supported by countries like the USA, Saudi Arabia, UK, Japan and the EU. At the policy-making multilateral level, while there are United Nations (UN) bodies like the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that have a moratorium on geoengineering, others like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are not only more welcoming of it, but are even facilitating working streams where geoengineering approaches can proliferate, such as Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement and the oceans and climate change dialogues.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is one of the main proposals of geoengineering, and encompasses a wide array of approaches that claim to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, including Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). BECCS technologies consist of burning very large quantities of cultivated crops, trees, or plant residues from farmlands and forests to generate electricity, and then capturing and storing the carbon dioxide emissions arising from the combustion process underground. The CO2 is then transported and stored underground, theoretically, for long-term storage using extremely energy-intensive and often water-intensive processes or/and machines to capture the CO2 in large-scale underground pipeline networks.

We have analyzed the status of BECCS in South America, Africa, and Asia, and as this two-part series of articles show, BECCS is far from being the silver bullet to climate change that some actors portray it to be, as we simply do not have enough land to take BECCS to scale and if roll-out, it would have significant negative impacts on land, communities, the climate, and the environment.

Part One: South America and Africa Brazil: the cradle of land-based geoengineering in South America

Land-based geoengineering, and in particular BECCS, is still a relatively new technology in Latin America. According to various sources and actors that promote BECCS such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global CCS Institute, BECCS has the potential to be deployed on a larger scale in the short to medium term. There are multiple feasibility studies underway in countries like Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil, with Brazil being the most likely to host the region’s first BECCS plant.

The current position of the Brazilian government on CCS, and in particular on BECCS, is not clear yet. While Brazil has expressed concerns in the past about CCS leakage risks, and its feasibility in Global South countries, it was also one of the few countries that – together with Petrobras, a major state-owned petroleum corporation – was involved in the research and development of CCS technologies. Currently, the private sector and other interested stakeholders are pushing for a regulatory framework to make CCS projects commercially interesting and available. The senate has approved a bill to regulate the carbon market, which now awaits congressional and Presidential approval.

There are currently three CCS projects in Brazil: i) CCUS-EOR, Petrobras, in the Tupi, Mero and Búzios offshore fields, which aim to inject. 80 million tons of CO2 by 2025; ii) capture of CO2 (using zeolites) from coal-fired thermoelectric power generation in Criciúma, which is in the pilot phase and iii) BECCS, FS Bioenergia. We will focus on the latter in this article, but it is important to note that agriculture has not been included so far in the aforementioned draft bill on CCS, and thus, it is not clear how the bill could affect and be applied to this project.

Fueling Sustainability (FS) is a Brazilian biorefinery that prides itself in using corn in 100% of its production, and is the fourth largest producer of biofuel in the country. FS is a joint venture between the Summit Ag Group and Tapajós Participações S.A.  The former controls corn-based ethanol plants in the U.S., and the latter is owned by Brazilian businessmen and operates as holding companies and non-financial institutions. FS is located in Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso.

FS has several businesses, including ethanol production, animal nutrition, corn and corn oil, biomass for energy production, and a considerable carbon agenda. The carbon agenda includes the use of biomass to source energy, mainly from “planted eucalyptus forests”, but also from other types of materials, such as bamboo, cotton ratoons, açaí seeds, and sawmill residues. According to various sources, there will be a shortage of biomass for power generation in the coming years, and to overcome this and continue operations, FS plans to establish partnerships with eucalyptus and bamboo producers, and convert 40,000 hectares of degraded lands in the State of Mato Grosso into renewable biomass plantations. However, it is unclear what FS means by “degraded lands.”

One of FS’ 2030 Agenda targets is to achieve negative carbon emissions for ethanol through the implementation of a BECCS plant at the Lucas do Rio Verde unit, which will be opened in 2024. The estimated investment for the implementation of the technology is BRL 342 million and the project is now entering phase 3, which means they are drilling and exploring where the carbon will be injected.  FS also aims to continue selling carbon credits from the expected sequestration and goes as far as stating that “Lucas do Rio Verde may be a pioneer in RenovaBio 1 , with a negative carbon footprint through BECCS” 2 . In 2022, through Renovabio, FS sold 441,000 CBIO credits (Decarbonization Credits) and aims to reach 32 million CBIOs by 2030. However, carbon markets are yet another false solution that does not address the root causes of the problem they are trying to address, in this case also the climate crisis, and that has proven during the last decades to be a failure. This makes this project all the worse.

Corn is the main agricultural product in Brazil after soybean. However, it is now heavily used to produce biofuels and animal feedstock instead of food for human consumption.  In fact, the Brazilian market for corn-based ethanol, most of it located in Mato Grosso, has grown 800% during the last five years, and exports have largely increased during this period. A study published this year links FS’ executives to illegal deforestation in Mato Grosso and areas surrounding the plants. The research also links the expansion of corn and eucalyptus plantations to this illegal deforestation.

FS is part of the portfolio of AndGreen, a Foundation established in the Netherlands in 2017 that acts as a financial intermediary giving grants and loans to projects and companies like Marfrig, one of the largest meat and food processing companies in Brazil and globally. Marfrig has repeatedly been linked to deforestation and human rights violations. AndGreen committed a USD 30 million loan for a term of 8 years last year. It also states that “additional investments of over USD 100 million to fund future expansion activities are expected from a combination of banks and bilateral and multilateral investors”.

Coincidentally, in July 2023, AndGreen submitted  a project for approval of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). During the GCF  board meeting in July 2023, funding proposal 212, ‘Investing in Inclusive Agriculture and Protecting Forests’, was approved and will provide USD 185 million loan and USD 9.35 million grant. In the funding proposal, FS Agriculture is mentioned as part of the AndGreen portfolio. However, it is not clear what amount of funds from the GCF could actually reach FS’ BECCS facility. This could constitute one of the first cases of multilateral climate finance going to a BECCS project.

Africa: caught in the loop of geoengineering financiers

According to Geoengineering Monitor, there have been several ongoing attempts to develop geoengineering projects in Africa. These include a project in Tanzania that aimed to promote large-scale marine permaculture by creating artificial upwelling in Tanzanian marine waters, and a project in Morocco that aimed to fertilise the ocean. In South Africa, the ocean European Iron Fertilisation Experiment (EIFEX) was conducted and currently, ClimateWorks and Great Carbon Valley are exploring the development of a Direct Air Capture project  in Kenya. There is no updated information available about most of  these projects, and some of them, such as the project in Tanzania, were cancelled owing to financial reasons..

Despite the potential risks of geoengineering, it continues to be pushed in Africa, including research into Solar Radiation Management (SRM). The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) is involved in Solar Radiation Management (SRM) discussions. Workshops were held in Africa in 2012 and early 2013 on the governance of research into SRM, and their resulting reports concluded that there is not enough information available about SRM to conclude whether it is helpful or harmful for managing climate risks, and that more research is needed to understand its full implications.

In August 2023, AMCEN also called for a global non-use mechanism for SRM, and cautioned against the promotion of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) approaches until the risks are better understood.

Studies show that the implementation of IAMs would deploy large amounts of BECCS in sub-Saharan Africa, as the region has large areas that could contribute biomass energy and storage capacities. There have also been suggestions made that the USA could meet its ambitious national emissions targets in 2050 by buying offsets from African BECCS projects. However, as noted earlier in this article, this would be an expensive experiment with far reaching consequences for forests, biodiversity, human rights, and the right to food and livelihood.

Part Two: BECCS in Asia: worsening forest loss and the climate crisis

Japan’s government is an early and strong supporter of CCS, and CCS technologies are considered key to achieving Japan’s carbon neutrality goal by 2050. The country’s industry ministry is working to create a legal framework for CCS, and released a long-term road map earlier in 2023 that targets commercial  deployment and aims for the storage of 6-12 MtCO2/yr by 2030, and 120-240 MtCO2/yr by 2050.

Japan is also a key actor in pushing for the establishment of a common international legislative framework for CCS projects and creating rules to govern them at the regional level. This is particularly important for Japan since there is a scheme in the regulatory framework that allows Japan to transport CO2 and store it in other countries whenever it is not possible to store it in Japan itself. Thus, it is not surprising that Japan already has a few CCS operations facilities, including a BECCS project.

Japan has been a significant importer of Palm Kernel Shells (PKS), a byproduct of palm oil crushing, ever since palm oil by-product became authorised as biomass for the Feed in Tariff (FIT) system  in 2012. Estimates point to imports of 2.5 million MT of PKS and other palm residues in 2019, used as feedstock by medium and large (over 20 MW) FIT-eligible biomass power plants. This figure is expected to reach 5 million MT by 2025, due to an increasing number of biomass power plants requiring reliable and cheap feedstock. As of April 2022, palm oil and its derivatives used in biomass power plants in Japan were not required  to be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The Japanese market includes a mix of certified,  and non-certified, and illegally sourced commodities, referred to as a ‘leakage market’. The Japanese government incentivizes the use of “renewable energy” and has spurred the use of palm oil, palm kernel shells, and wood pellets for so-called renewable power generation.

In October 2020, Toshiba Corporation announced that “it has started the operation of a large-scale carbon capture facility” and that “the new facility to commence operation will be the world’s first Bio energy power plant to be applied with a large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) capability.” This is the Mikawa Plant, operated by Toshiba ESS’s subsidiary, SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation (SPAC), in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture. It is funded by Japan’s Ministry of Environment (MOE)  and uses PKS as its primary fuel source.

Research  shows that 70% of PKS burned in power stations in Japan comes from Indonesia – the largest exporter of oil palm kernel shells used in biomass power plants in Japan.- and 30% from Malaysia.

Another biomass power plant in Mikawa using PKS sources its raw material from the provinces of Johor, Sarawak, Sabah, in Malaysia and West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi of Indonesia.

The growing demand for PKS in Japan has resulted in a series of harrowing environmental, political, and social impacts in SouthEast Asia. For instance, palm oil development is a root cause of Indonesia’s forest and peatland fires, which reportedly led to the destruction of some 4.4 million ha of land between 2015 and 2019. Exports of palm oil linked to deforestation in Indonesia is estimated to be around 12 Mt, worth US$6 billion in 2019 alone. Forest Trends estimates that 89% of Indonesia’s forest loss was driven by commercial agriculture, almost half for oil palm plantations. A review by Indonesia’s Supreme Audit Agency concluded that 81% of oil palm concessions violated one or more laws or mandatory management standards.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has found that these plantations are also sites of human rights abuses, including violations of Indigenous rights and labour rights. Forest Trends also cites reports by NGOs like the Anti Forest Mafia Coalition on the illegalities in the commercial agriculture sectors. Indigenous Adat communities have reported violations of legal requirements for compensation and benefits sharing, and free, prior, informed consent (FPIC).

In Malaysia, 3.3 Mha of forest was lost between 2013 and 2019, which is 4% of all forest loss across the tropics. Two-thirds of this forest loss was reportedly driven by commodities like oil palm. The phenomenon is similar across Peninsular and Bornean Malaysia. A review by the Sabah Forestry Department found only two-thirds of 37 Forest Management Units, allocated to more than 1.8 Mha, could meet even the minimum standards. Four had to be terminated altogether. In 2019, Malaysia exported at least US$6.5 billion in palm oil linked to deforestation, much of it potentially illegal.

All the Forest Trends case studies found abuse of indigenous and local communities’ land rights and land conflicts.

At the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference COP26, 141 countries signed the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use which includes a list of six commitments to conserve and restore forests, strengthen incentives and policies for more sustainable commodity production that does not drive forest loss, and increase available financing for sustainable agriculture and forest management. While voluntary and non-binding, the Glasgow Commitment is the first declaration to bring heads of state together on deforestation including those from countries with tropical forests, and the largest palm oil producers, Malaysia and Indonesia. An accountability framework, which is now being considered for COP28, could strengthen the Declaration and may give it some teeth, impacting both the palm oil sector in Southeast Asia and the increasing use of PKS in biomass and BECCS plants as inexpensive feedstock.


Despite what its advocates say, BECCS largely remains an implausible option to address the climate crisis. The massive amounts of land required for its implementation would lead to, among other things, land-grabbing, conflict with and displacement of communities, deforestation and biodiversity loss. Even in modelled pathways where warming is limited to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot, BECCS is anticipated to remove 30 to 780 GtCO2 cumulatively until 2100. These figures correspond to around 199 to 482 million hectares of cropland that will be needed of biomass supply for bioenergy by 2050. The upper end of the range is one and a half times the land area of India. These unrealistic amounts of BECCS prove the critical importance of swiftly and completely phasing out fossil fuels to achieve the 1.5°C target. Instead, reliance on CDR can be a risky distraction, potentially delaying necessary actions and leading to dangerous, possibly irreversible temperature overshoot of 1.5°C. As we saw in the example from Brazil, biomass feedstock for BECCS will have to rely on establishment and further expansion of monoculture tree plantations, which will compound all their negative impacts, including freshwater depletion, soil erosion and degradation, increased risks of fires and pests, emissions (that are usually not accounted for) from land clearance and disturbances, gender-differentiated impacts, and loss of food sovereignty and security since more land will be dedicated to crops for burning than food. It is important to remember that all this would be intensified by other CDR technologies.

Geoengineering is a dangerous distraction to real climate solutions. These climate geoengineering approaches are risky and could damage ecosystems, including marine life, stall plant growth, damage the ozone layer, and reduce rainfall while increasing warming in other areas. These technological fixes will not solve the problem of human-made climate change. It is only a way to distract and delay the urgently needed reduction of CO2 emissions.

A version of this article was originally published by Heinrich Böll Stiftung on November 27, 2023

The post Delay, Distract and Deceive: BECCS Developments in South America, Africa and Asia appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Blockbuster GAO report reveals skyrocketing costs of federal Crop Insurance Program, enriching wealthy farmers, insurance companies and agents

Environmental Working Group - Fri, 12/01/2023 - 13:45
Blockbuster GAO report reveals skyrocketing costs of federal Crop Insurance Program, enriching wealthy farmers, insurance companies and agents Iris Myers December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON – A shocking new report by the Government Accountability Office published on Monday reveals an alarming surge in the cost of the federal Crop Insurance Program, with wealthy farmers, insurance agents and companies each reaping millions of dollars in 2022, at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.

The report, requested by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), underscores a disturbing trend of fiscal irresponsibility, a lack of transparency and a blatant waste of taxpayer dollars within the federal Crop Insurance Program administered by the Department of Agriculture.

The most shocking findings from the report: The top 1 percent of crop insurance policyholders, farmers with the highest incomes, got over $2.5 billion in premium subsidies in 2022 – an average of almost $500,000 per farm. The 19 largest policyholders each received more than $3 million in subsidies, with the recipient who received the most taking in $7.7 million in 2022 alone.

The following is a statement from EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber:

It’s unfair to the vast majority of farmers – not to mention taxpayers – that some farmers are receiving more than $3 million in government subsidies to buy crop insurance. Fourteen times, crop insurance companies earned commissions over $1 million per policy, to cover some of America’s largest farms.

EWG is proud to endorse Sen. Booker’s Insuring Fairness for Family Farmers Act and calls on Congress to pay attention to how the Crop Insurance Program is enriching a few at the expense of the rest.

EWG’s Midwest Director and agricultural economist Anne Schechinger said:

This report confirms what EWG has found – that one-third of the cost of the Crop Insurance Program, around $3 billion a year, goes to insurance companies instead of farmers. This money goes to just 13 companies, 9 of which are publicly traded corporations, worth billions of dollars, whose CEOs make millions of dollars every year.

Crop insurance companies are making billions of dollars each year, while some small farms cannot even get access to crop insurance policies. Congress needs to address the record profits being made by crop insurance companies, and instead use some of that money to improve insurance access for small, diversified but struggling farms. 


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 Farming & Agriculture Disqus Comments Press Contact Alex Formuzis (202) 667-6982 December 4, 2023
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

COP28 Takes Historic Step in Addressing Climate Loss and Damage: A Call for Accountability in Africa - Fri, 12/01/2023 - 12:17

In a groundbreaking move at COP28 in Dubai, the international community has taken a significant step towards addressing the profound impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities. The adoption and operationalization of the Loss and Damage (L&D) fund mark a critical milestone in recognizing the urgent need for financial support in regions disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.

Understanding Loss and Damage

We’ve all once heard a story of a family or community losing their lands, crops, homes and loved ones due to the impacts of climate change. Some of those stories tell about heavy rainfalls, coastal erosion, or desertification causing loss and damage. In the climate space, the concept of Loss and Damage acknowledges that some climate change impacts are beyond the scope of adaptation, leading to irreversible losses for communities. From extreme weather events to slow-onset impacts like rising sea levels, vulnerable regions, particularly in Africa, bear the brunt of these consequences. Communities are grappling with economic losses, displacement, and the inability to rebuild in the aftermath of devastating climate events.

Operationalizing the Fund: Hope for Africa

Africa, a continent facing the severe consequences of climate change, stands to benefit significantly from the operationalization of the Loss and Damage fund. The COP28 decision signals a commitment to providing financial assistance and support for African nations grappling with the escalating impacts of climate change. This includes measures to address both immediate and long-term losses, enabling communities to rebuild and adapt to a changing climate.

“The step towards operationalizing the Loss and Damage fund is a promising start to the climate talks. The urgency of the climate crisis requires that we move with speed to translate this to action and work towards the delivery of financing to communities that continue to bear the brunt of the climate crisis in the most climate-vulnerable regions. It is time for big polluters in line with their historic emissions to pay up to deliver justice to those disproportionately affected by their reliance on fossil fuels” says Landry Ninteretse, Director of

The Call for Accountability

While appreciates the establishment of the fund, it is concerning that wealthy nations have swiftly attempted to downplay its significance by proposing inadequate contribution thresholds. The requirements of affected communities amount to hundreds of billions, not mere millions. This should be seen as just the beginning, and there is an urgent need for substantial increases in pledges to address the magnitude of the issue.

The international community has taken a commendable step in addressing Loss and Damage yet, but there remains a critical aspect of accountability that must not be overlooked. Big polluters and fossil fuel companies, historically responsible for a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions, are called upon to participate in the Loss and Damage fund.

This is not merely a financial contribution; it’s a recognition of the need to rectify the historical injustice imposed on vulnerable communities.

As COP28 unfolds in Dubai, the global community must seize the opportunity to set a precedent for corporate responsibility in the face of the climate crisis. The Loss and Damage fund, when supported by major polluters and fossil fuel companies, can become a powerful tool for redressing climate-related injustices and supporting the resilience of communities in Africa and beyond. The world is watching, and the decisions made in Dubai will echo for generations to come. It’s time for all stakeholders, including corporate giants, to step up and take responsibility for healing our planet and ensuring a sustainable future for all.

The post COP28 Takes Historic Step in Addressing Climate Loss and Damage: A Call for Accountability in Africa appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

COP28 - a fossil-fuelled summit as the world heats up

Campaign against Climate Change - Fri, 12/01/2023 - 04:35

The annual UN climate summit, COP28, arrives as 2023 is set to be announced the hottest year the planet has ever experienced. Accumulated heat in the oceans and on land has driven a series of climate disasters and the urgency of the crisis has never been greater - but still the fossil fuel industry is determined to block action.

COP28 is hosted by the United Arab Emirates. The COP President, Sultan Al Jaber, is CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, planning a massive expansion of its own oil and gas production (the biggest expansion of any single company), and UAE is reportedly planning to use the summit as an opportunity to strike oil and gas deals. COP28 will see record numbers of fossil fuel lobbyists, as well as representatives of other polluting industries - and of course government delegations who are closely linked to vested interests. Greenwash measures such as carbon capture and storage are expected to be heavily pushed.

The UAE also has a dismal human rights record with concerns about the impact of mass surveillance and repression on climate activism at COP28.

No prizes for UK

The UK government is deliberately blocking the path to a green transition, intending to grant over 100 new oil and gas licenses and giving consent for the massive Rosebank oil field which would generate more CO2 emissions in total than the 28 lowest-income countries do in a year.

Rishi Sunak even boasted in his speech at COP28, “We’ve scrapped plans on heat pumps and energy efficiency, which would have cost families thousands of pounds,” showing a remarkable lack of shame about his backtracking and his ignorance that these measures are essential to actually cut energy bills.

Climate finance for climate justice

Last year’s COP27 saw a crucial victory  for countries on the frontline of climate breakdown. After decades of blocking by rich nations, a Loss and Damage Fund was finally agreed for countries most affected by climate change to cover devastating impacts like flooding and drought. The fund was formally set up at the start of COP28. For the first four years it will be hosted by the World Bank, a temporary arrangement reached in negotiations against the wishes of countries in the Global South who wanted an independent body to control the fund under the UN. The World Bank model is based on loans not grants, and is not set up to allow rapid access to funds after climate disasters. They also fear the dominance of the US over World Bank decision-making.

The history of climate finance has not encouraged trust. In 2009 in Copenhagen, rich nations pledged to provide US$100 billion a year to less wealthy nations by 2020, to help them adapt to climate change and develop sustainably. That target was not met in 2020. It was claimed to have been reached in 2023. However, analysis by Oxfam found that the majority of climate finance was in the form of loans to be repaid. Project funding which was not genuinely climate-related was also included - leaving the real value of funding just a fraction of the claimed total.

Take action

Communities and activists around the world will take to the streets on 9 December for the Global Day of Action. You can find events near you here.

Read more

COP28 Coalition global demands for climate justice based on human rights.

Follow updates on COP28 via CarbonBrief

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Keeping Asia’s Net-Zero Dream Alive - Thu, 11/30/2023 - 18:13

by Tamara Amalia. This article was first published in The Diplomat. 

Energy serves as the backbone of human and economic progress globally. However, the escalating consumption of fossil fuels has led to a surge in carbon dioxide emissions, changing the global climate. The impact is notably severe in Asia, with numerous weather-related disasters disproportionately affecting the region. According to the World Meteorological Organization, Asia had 81 such disasters in 2022, 83 percent of which were floods and storms, claiming over 5,000 lives and more than $36 billion in property damage and losses.

Individuals in vulnerable communities, exemplified by Afsari Begum* in Matarbari, Bangladesh, experience the adverse effects of fossil fuel consumption. In 2014, the government acquired her family’s salt land for a coal power station, resulting in the loss of their livelihood. Health challenges stemming from the coal-fired power plant led to her husband’s premature death. Afsari and 20,000 others in Matarbari also face socioeconomic devastation due to unfulfilled promises of employment training by the Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This underscores the tangible impacts, broken assurances, and the adverse consequences associated with fossil fuel development.


Transitioning to renewable energy not only addresses these issues but also paves the way for a more just and equitable world. It ensures widespread access to employment opportunities and electricity for all, fostering a more sustainable and inclusive global community.

But how practical is it for developing nations in Asia to completely phase out fossil fuels by 2050?

Asian countries have made progress in adopting renewable energy, but the transition away from fossil fuels remains challenging for developing nations like Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. China and Japan, in particular, heavily rely on fossil fuels, with over half of China’s power generation in 2022 coming from coal. Japan’s reliance on coal and gas hinders its capacity to meet the growing demand for renewables.

As leaders convene at COP28, here are four vital discussion points that should be addressed and agreed upon to advance the clean energy transition.

First, governments around the world need to shift subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Financial aid and investment for renewable energy projects in developing nations is an area of increasing importance and focus. As highlighted in the 350’s recent report launched on November 22, in 2022, only $260 billion was invested in the Global South despite it being home to approximately 5 billion people.  In Asia alone, while numerous Southeast Asian countries have pledged to achieve decarbonization by 2050, the shift to renewable energy production requires a substantial financial commitment. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Southeast Asia will need a minimum of $367 billion to stay on track in achieving its decarbonization objectives over the next five years. Therefore, developed nations must triple their financial support to ensure a successful transition from fossil fuels.

Second, wealthy countries must advance action on climate adaptation and loss and damage. Despite the growing evidence of climate change impacts, those least responsible bear the brunt of the devastation. Current levels of action and financing for communities to build resilience are insufficient. Developing Asian countries need $340 billion annually by 2030 for climate adaptation, but received only $29 billion – less than one-tenth of the required amount – in 2020. At COP28, developed nations must provide the necessary finance for adaptation and aid in recovering from losses and damage in the most affected countries, thereby facilitating a seamless transition to renewable energy to ensure long-term sustainability and resilience.

Third, governments must implement clear and robust policies at COP28. Building upon policies implemented in previous years, leaders must go beyond rhetoric and implement clear and robust policies. This involves reviewing and setting new targets, refining regulations for changing circumstances, and ensuring ongoing clarity for both public and private sectors. Efforts should prioritize gradually reducing fossil fuel subsidies, maintaining a fair playing field for renewable energy, and reinforcing stable regulatory frameworks.

Fourth, the developed world must offer cutting-edge technology for renewable energy infrastructure in developing countries. Acknowledging the efforts made in initiating renewable energy infrastructure projects in developing nations, leaders at COP28 should focus on ensuring that advanced technologies reach these markets at reasonable prices. This assistance may include knowledge transfer, training programs, and collaboration on research and development initiatives. Developed nations, with advanced technological capabilities, can partner with developing nations to deploy innovative and cost-effective renewable energy technologies.


In celebration of Indigenous People’s Month, 360 Indigenous Kalanguya students and teachers from Binalian Elementary School and Binalian Integrated National High School came together to champion community-driven renewable energy solutions.


To attain a full transition to renewable energy by 2050, developed nations must enhance their commitment. Achieving net-zero targets demands a collective effort, underscoring the necessity for collaboration between the developed and developing worlds. The dream of universal access to a just and fair transition is not just an aspiration; it is an imperative that requires immediate and concerted action. Realistically, this goal becomes achievable if developed nations step up their game, ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a sustainable and inclusive energy future.

The post Keeping Asia’s Net-Zero Dream Alive appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green


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