The U.N. climate summit has come under scrutiny for its unprecedented level of corporate sponsorship—more than 50 companies, with some of them counted by climate activists as being among the world’s worst industrial polluters. On Friday, climate activists gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris protesting the COP21 "Solutions" exhibition, where businesses were pushing for corporate and privatized responses to climate change. Several protesters were evicted from the premises by the large security presence at the event.
Negotiators from 195 countries at the United Nations climate summit have approved draft text for what they hope will form an accord to curb global carbon emissions by the end of this week. Among the issues still under discussion is whether the deal will mention indigenous rights. On Sunday, indigenous people from around the world took to the waters here in Paris to defend their rights and the environment. "We’re very, very concerned about the fact that reference to indigenous rights and human rights have been moved into an annex in the Paris text," Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller says. "It means that they’ve been put aside to be discussed after the weekend."
- President Obama Calls San Bernardino Shooting "Act of Terrorism"
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- France: Le Pen's Far-Right Party Wins 30% Vote in Regional Elections
- Venezuela: Right-Wing Opposition Wins Majority in National Assembly
- Climate Negotiators Approve Draft Text for Global Accord
- Belgium: 10,000 March to Demand Action at U.N. Climate Summit
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- Israeli Authorities Kill Palestinian, as Swedish PM Warns of "Extrajudicial Executions"
- North Carolina: Protesters Interrupt Donald Trump's Speech 10 Times
- Justice Dept. to Launch Wide-Ranging Investigation of Chicago Police
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Despite restrictions on protests following the November 13 attacks that killed 130 people, activists attempted to stage a mass sit-in at the Grand Palais in Paris today to protest corporate sponsors pushing for so-called "solutions" to climate change that include genetically modified foods, privatized water and biofuels. We get an update from Pascoe Sabido of the Corporate Europe Observatory.
Africa has been praised here in Paris for leading the way on renewable energy, with the African Development Bank announcing this week it would spend $12 billion on energy projects over the next five years. But as Africa forges ahead, will it leave behind women, who often bear the brunt of impacts from climate change? Across the continent, African women are creating their own solutions. We’re joined by climate justice activists from both sides of the African continent. Priscilla Achakpa is a delegate from Nigeria and is with the Women’s Caucus and the Women and Gender Constituency here at the U.N. Climate Summit. She is the Executive Director of the Women Environmental Programme in Nigeria. Edna Kaptoyo is with the Kenya-based Indigenous Information Network. She is a member of the Indigenous People’s Caucus and the Women and Gender Constituency here at the U.N. Climate Summit.
In 1988, James Hansen first warned about the dangers of climate change when he testified before Congress. At the time he was NASA’s top climate scientist. He would go on to become the nation’s most influential climate scientist. This year he is making his first appearance at a U.N. climate change summit. He has come to Paris to warn world leaders that they are on the wrong track to prevent dangerous global warming.
In Nicaragua, thousands of rural residents from across the country flocked to the capital Managua in October to protest the construction of a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The $50 billion project will be larger than the Panama Canal and could displace up to 120,000 people. Many Nicaraguan residents traveled days to attend the protest in Managua. Police reportedly set up multiple roadblocks in a bid to prevent them from reaching the capital. Farmer Rafael Ángel Bermúdez was among those calling for the repeal of a 2013 law allowing a Chinese firm to expropriate land in order to build the canal. We speak to Nicaragua’s chief climate negotiator Paul Oquist.
The first week of U.N. climate talks is wrapping up. On Monday, nearly 150 world leaders, including President Obama, gathered in Paris on the first day of the talks. Obama praised fellow world leaders for submitting voluntary pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but others criticize what they see as empty promises. "President Obama said that the developed world and the United States will assume its responsibility and will do something about it to combat climate change," says Meena Raman, climate change coordinator for the Third World Network. "However, that is quite rhetorical. If you look at the way the negotiations are going, the United States negotiators and their positions in the talks are far away from assuming any responsibility. What they’re doing is shifting the responsibility to the developing world… So what President Obama says is ringing hollow."
On Monday, President Obama praised fellow world leaders for submitting voluntary pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions. "Already, prior to Paris, more than 180 countries representing nearly 95 percent of global emissions have put forward their own climate targets," Obama said. "That is progress. But a handful of nations are refusing to make pledges." We speak to Nicaragua’s chief climate negotiator, Paul Oquist, about why his country refused to submit a pledge.
- San Bernardino, CA: Thousands Mourn Victims of Mass Shooting
- NY Post Under Fire for Headline on San Bernardino Shooting
- Germany Approves Military Support for U.S.-Led Fight in Iraq & Syria
- Pentagon Opens All Combat Roles in U.S. Military to Women
- 8 FIFA Officials Plead Guilty to Corruption Charges
- Chicago Cop Van Dyke Played Role in Cover-Up of 2005 Fatal Shooting
- Greece: Moroccan Refugee Dies in Border Fence Electrocution
- 100 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Security Forces in Last 2 Months
- MSF: U.S.-Backed Bombing Campaign Hits Mobile Clinic in Yemen
- Somalia: Journalist Killed by Planted Car Bomb
- Protests Erupt in Ecuador Over Reforms Lifting Term Limits
- West Virginia Coal Baron Don Blankenship Guilty over 2010 Mine Explosion
- A Dozen Mayors Call for Cities to Divest from Fossil Fuels
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Wednesday that authorities had carried out more than 2,200 raids since a state of emergency was declared following the November 13 attacks that killed 130 people. Under the state of emergency, French police can raid any home without judicial oversight. In addition, police have held 263 people for questioning – nearly all have been detained. Another 330 people are under house arrest, and three mosques have also been shut down. The vast majority of those targeted in the raids have been Muslim. We speak with Yasser Louati, spokesperson and head of the International Relations Desk for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.
On Wednesday morning, a man and woman armed with assault rifles and semiautomatic handguns opened fire at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding at least 17. The suspects, identified as married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were later killed by police. The shooting took place about 60 miles east of Los Angeles at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that provides services to people with disabilities. It was the worst mass shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., nearly three years ago, when a gunman killed 26 people, most of them first graders. Wednesday’s shooting came just five days after a gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing three people and wounding nine. According to a tally maintained by ShootingTracker.com, there have been 355 mass shootings in the United States this year – an average of more than one a day. We speak with California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who has been an advocate for stricter gun control.
As Democracy Now! broadcasts from the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, France, we examine the connection between a warming planet and increasing conflicts around the globe. “If we want to deal with the issues of conflict, go to the root cause: inequality and climate change,” says Asad Rehman, former national organizer of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK, who now serves as Head of International Climate for Friends of the Earth. He notes that from 2006 to 2011, Syria suffered from five years of the worst drought ever in the country’s history. Nearly two million people moved from rural to urban areas, and 80 percent of livestock died. Asad compares this to the Arab Spring, which was driven in part by an agricultural collapse that prompted food prices to triple and generated mass social unrest.
"For those who stand in solidarity with the Syrian people, we cannot say the decision to send more bombs by UK airplanes will help them," says Asad Rehman, former national organizer of the Stop the War Coalition in the United Kingdom, reacting to the British airstrikes on Syria just hours after lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for bombing the country. "Nobody has invented a bomb yet that is magically precisioned that can take out the so-called terrorists but can keep innocent civilians alive. We know there will be a tragic loss of life, and that is a blemish on British political history."
British warplanes have begun bombing targets in Syria just hours after British lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for airstrikes. The warplanes took off from an airbase in Cyprus. They struck oil fields in eastern Syria controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The decision to bomb Syria divided the opposition Labour Party in Britain. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opposed the bombing but was challenged from within his own party by foreign affairs spokesperson Hilary Benn. Lawmakers held a 10 hour debate on Wednesday, and we air an extended excerpt of Corbyn and Benn along with Prime Minister David Cameron.
- 14 Killed in Mass Shooting in San Bernardino, CA
- Britain Begins Bombing Syria, Hours After Parliament Approves Strike
- Pentagon: 100 U.S. Special Operation Forces to Be Deployed to Iraq
- CIA-Trained Afghan Forces Killed 6 Civilians in Recent Home Raids
- Report: Pentagon Spent $150M on Private Villas in Afghanistan
- India: Flooding Kills 269 People, Cuts off Services for 3 Million
- One Person Displaced By Climate-Related Weather Every Second
- Justice Dept. Drops Manslaughter Charges Against BP Supervisors
- Zurich: Top FIFA Officials Arrested in a Pre-Dawn Raid on Luxury Hotel
- South Africa: Appeals Court Rules Pistorius Guilty of Murder
- Brazil: Congress Opens Impeachment Proceedings Against Dilma Rousseff
- Chicago: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Faces Increasing Pressure to Resign
- Minneapolis: Police Raid and Destroy 4th Police Precinct Protest Camp
- Harvard Drops Title “Master” for Dorm Heads after Student Protests
The Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), an organization that uses art to inspire social change, brought a delegation of poets from around the world to Paris to highlight the impacts of climate change and inspire climate action. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a poet and climate activist from the Marshall Islands, led the group. She shared a poem at a protest at COP21 called “Tell Them,” calling for fossil fuel divestment.
A new report by Oxfam has found the richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil fuel emissions. The poorest half – about 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Oxfam’s report is titled “Extreme Carbon Inequality: Why the Paris climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first." We speak with the report’s author Tim Gore, head of policy for Oxfam International on food, land rights and climate change.
Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, says the U.N. Climate Summit reveals the "scoreboard" for activists pushing governments to take action on global warming, and shows "how much more work we have to do." He argues whatever agreement comes out of the meeting "won’t be enough" to avoid putting the world on a path to higher temperatures and an "uninhabitable world." As France continues to ban protests at the summit, McKibben says he was moved to tears by the the outpouring of solidarity actions this weekend in 2,200 places around the world.
One of the world’s leading climate campaigners is missing from the U.N. climate summit in Paris, because he is sitting in a prison cell after being deposed in a military coup. Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed was a key voice at the 2009 U.N. climate summit for island nations threatened by rising sea levels. "Nasheed promised to take his whole country carbon neutral by 2020. Instead, the dictators running it now are inviting the oil industry in to drill," says our guest Bill McKibben. "If you want to think about irony, it doesn’t get much better than that."