A pair of climate scientists are calling for what some may view as a shocking solution to the global warming crisis: a rethinking of the economic order in the United States and other industrialized nations. Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows-Larkin of the influential Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in England say many of the solutions proposed by world leaders to prevent "runaway global warming" will not be enough to address the scale of the crisis. They have called for "radical and immediate de-growth strategies in the United States, EU and other wealthy nations." Anderson says that to avoid an increase in temperature of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the world would require a "revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony."
After more than two months in detention, five members of the Arctic 30 are now free on bail in Russia. The group of 28 activists and two journalists were detained following an attempt to board Russia’s first offshore oil rig. We discuss the case with Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, who says their fate remains uncertain as they continue to face charges of "hooliganism" that carry a maximum prison term of seven years.
As we began our show, hundreds of environmental activists walked out of the U.N. climate change summit in Warsaw, Poland, today over the absence of a binding agreement on curbing global warming. The move comes less than 36 hours after a group of 133 developing nations walked out of a key negotiating meeting amidst a conflict over how countries who have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases should be held financially responsible for some of the damage caused by extreme weather. "Our message to our political leaders is that nature does not negotiate," says Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo. "You can’t change the science — we have to change political will."
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Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi-born scientist with International Institute for Environment and Development, discusses what he calls the key issue at the Warsaw climate summit: With talks on emissions cuts delayed until 2015, poor nations are seeking funding for the "loss and damage" that global warming has already caused. An impasse over the issue prompted a walkout by 133 developing nations and China at the talks earlier today. "The only real decision to be made in Warsaw is whether we have a new mechanism on 'loss and damage' or not," Huq says. "We are now left with the inevitable consequence of failing to mitigate and failing to adapt [to climate change]."
A Russian court has granted bail to nine more people detained in a Greenpeace action against Russian oil drilling in the Arctic. They are among 28 activists and two journalists who have been jailed for two months. "With 30 of my colleagues facing as much as seven years in prison in Russia for a peaceful action to protest arctic oil drilling, and are being accused of hooligans, let’s be very clear: The real hooligans are those CEOs and other leaders of the fossil fuel industry who are not prepared to accept that they have to change," says Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. The Arctic 30 face charges of "hooliganism" which could carry up to seven years in prison. With the latest rulings, 17 of the group have been granted bail so far.
As aid workers in the Philippines continue to dig mass graves amidst the search for possible survivors after Typhoon Haiyan, the executive director of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, Mary Ann Lucille Sering, gave a moving address today to her fellow climate change delegates at the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland. "Every time we attend this conference, I’m beginning to feel that we are negotiating on who is to live and who is to die," Sering says.
"Finance Climate Action, Not Fossil Fuel Subsidies": Activists Blast Priorities of Biggest Polluters
As delegates to the U.N. climate summit debate over how to meet a pledge to provide $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020, critics note industrialized countries spend more than five times as much money on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry as they do on helping poorer countries adapt to global warming. We speak with the activists raising these concerns inside the climate talks in Warsaw, including Stephen Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, which has just released the report, "Fossil Fuel Subsidies Continue to Overshadow Climate Finance."
U.N. Defends Banning Three Youth Activists While Allowing Fossil Fuel Firms to Sponsor Climate Talks
During a press conference, Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman questioned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about whether he would consider banning fossil fuel industry lobbyists from U.N. climate meetings in the same way the World Health Organization has banned tobacco lobbyists from meetings on tobacco regulation. Ban responded: "We need to engage all areas of industry and society in the transition to a low-carbon future, including industries that are presently associated with high greenhouse gas emissions." Goodman also asked Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, whether she would allow three youth activists who protested the influence of corporate lobbyists to be re-admitted to the this year's climate summit after they were stripped of their badges.
A group of 133 developing nations have walked out of a key part of the climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, amidst a conflict over how countries who have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases should be held financially responsible for some of the damage caused by extreme weather in nations with low carbon emissions. The United States, Australia, Canada and other industrialized countries are pushing for the issue — known as loss and damage — to be put off until after the 2015 climate talks in Paris. "When you see developed countries being so bold to tell you that they are not even considering reducing their emissions, that they are not even considering paying for the costs that those inactions have on the life of others, that is really rude and hard to handle it politically," says Claudia Salerno, the lead climate negotiator for Venezuela, which is a member of the G77+China group that walked out. "We are heading to a point in which countries are not ready to take responsibility for their acts, and in this case, even more pathetic, they are not wanting to be." Salerno became famous at the 2009 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen when she banged her hand against the table in an attempt to be heard, hitting it so vigorously that it began to bleed. Her country is set to host a ministerial meeting next year ahead of the 2014 U.N. climate summit in Peru, where it will welcome the input of civil society.
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Newly leaked documents have revealed how U.S. negotiators at the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw are opposing efforts to help developing countries adapt to climate change. According to an internal U.S. briefing memo seen by Democracy Now!, the U.S. delegation is worried the talks in Warsaw will "focus increasingly on blame and liability" and that poor nations will be "seeking redress for climate damages from sea level rise, droughts, powerful storms and other adverse impacts." We speak with Nitin Sethi, a journalist with The Hindu newspaper who first reported on the leaked document.
After the Philippines lead climate negotiator, Naderev "Yeb" Saño, delivered an emotional speech to delegates at the U.N. climate summit, he was greeted by youth activists who held up a banner that read, "2012 Bopha 1,067; 2013 Haiyan 10,000+?" As a result, they were banned from the climate conference for their action. We speak with one of of the activists, 23-year-old Clémence Hutin from Push Europe, and get Saño’s response.
At the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, the lead negotiator for the Philippines, Naderev "Yeb" Saño, joins us minutes after he and climate activists delivered a petition signed by some 590,000 people from around the world demanding urgent and bolder action to tackle climate change. Last week’s massive typhoon in the Philippines has cast a cloud over the summit. The official death toll from the typhoon has risen to more than 4,000, but the actual number is believed to be significantly higher. Saño has just entered the ninth day of a hunger fast to demand an ambitious climate deal. "I will continue to fast until we see a meaningful outcome here in Warsaw," Saño says. "We mean specific reference to certain items on the agenda here including, which is something very obvious for the Philippines, an international mechanism for losses and damages as a result of climate change."
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As it plays host to the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, the Polish government has released a report saying coal will remain the country’s best energy option up to 2060. The nation is also hosting a parallel coal summit in Warsaw organized by the World Coal Association and Poland’s Economy Ministry. Conference organizers have billed it as "the coal industry’s most important event of the year." Poland is one of the world’s largest coal producers, fueling more than 88 percent of the country’s electricity. This was on the mind of many residents who came from Warsaw, Krakow and beyond to join in Saturday’s March for Climate and Social Justice. Democracy Now!’s Renée Feltz speaks to them about their climate concerns.
Ten days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, the United Nations says some four million people have been displaced, up from 900,000 last week. The toll of the dead or missing stands at around 5,000. The massive typhoon has cast a dark cloud over the U.N. climate summit in Poland, with Filipinos and other climate change activists from around the world demanding concrete action on global warming. We’re joined by Gerry Arances, national coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, who is attending the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland.
The "Arctic 30" are back in court today in Russia where they have been held for two months after being detained in a direct action against Russia’s first Arctic offshore oil rig. State prosecutors have asked Russian judges to extend the detention of the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists by three more months, saying they could flee the country if they were released on bail. As hundreds of cities took part in a global day action for the Arctic 30 on Saturday, Greenpeace activists spoke out for their colleagues during a large climate justice rally in Warsaw, Poland — outside the U.N. Climate Change Conference.
Organizers of the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, are facing criticism for accepting corporate sponsorships from major car manufacturers, oil companies, steel manufacturers and coal firms. Meanwhile, the Polish Ministry of Economy has teamed up with the World Coal Association to put on a parallel "International Coal & Climate Summit," also in Warsaw. We speak to Pascoe Sabido of the Corporate Europe Observatory, who has just published the booklet, "The COP 19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying: Climate Crooks and the Polish Government’s Partners in Crime."
We are broadcasting from Warsaw, Poland, where the U.N. climate summit, known as COP 19, has just entered its second week. On Saturday, thousands of protesters marched in Warsaw calling for climate justice, culminating in a rally outside the National Stadium where the climate summit is taking place. Speakers from all over the world addressed the crowd, urging world leaders to take action on global warming, including climate activists from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, and organizers of a chartered train that brought more than 700 people from Belgium, Britain and France to join the demonstration. Polish activists also spoke, including residents of the village of Zurawlow, where resistance to fracking is growing despite massive shale gas concessions.