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Activists: Climate Talks Have Done Nothing to Avert Catastrophe, But Hope Lies in People's Action

Democracy Now - Fri 07 46 AM

We wrap up our week-long coverage from Lima at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where negotiators are hours away from the formal end of the talks. "If developed countries don’t put down the resources that the poor countries need to prepare for climate change to protect themselves from the real impacts they are facing already, then you are going to leave poor people around the world facing hunger, facing increasing poverty without being able to cope," says Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam. "Yet they didn’t create the crisis of climate change, and they don’t have the means of solving the problem of climate change on their own. So it is an issue of justice, an issue of human rights." We also speak with Dipti Bhatnagar, climate justice and energy coordinator at Friends of the Earth International, who helped plan a die-in at COP20 to call attention to those ignored in the global agreement under negotiation.

Pipe Dreams? Labor Researchers Say Keystone XL Project May Kill More Jobs Than It Creates

Democracy Now - Fri 07 31 AM

While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has claimed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would create 250,000 jobs, labor researchers say the jobs figures have been vastly distorted. We speak to Sean Sweeney, director and founder of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University, and Bruce Hamilton, vice president of Amalgamated Transit Union.

As Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Grows, U.N. Negotiators Consider a "Zero Emissions" Future

Democracy Now - Fri 07 24 AM

For the first time ever, delegates at the U.N. Climate Change Conference are talking about entirely phasing out fossil fuels by 2050, setting up a showdown with the energy industry that profits from their extraction. We speak to Jamie Henn of 350.org about the state of the U.N. talks, the world’s growing divestment movement, and President Obama’s comments casting doubt on the Keystone XL this week on "The Colbert Report."

Silencing Dissent: U.N. Bars Climate Protesters from Putting "Keystone," "Kerry" or "U.S." on Signs

Democracy Now - Fri 07 19 AM

We speak with youth activist Alyssa Johnson-Kurts of the group SustainUS about rules at the United Nations Climate Change Conference that require protesters to submit banners and slogans for approval. She says the regulations bar mention of specific names, officials and projects. "We tried to submit a banner that would have an arrow with Keystone XL in one direction and a liveable future in the other direction, and they rejected that proposal," Johnson-Kurts says. Civil society faces increasing separation from what takes place inside the conference. "The irony of course is that very few restrictions are placed on the fossil fuel companies that come here," notes our guest Jamie Henn, co-founder and communications director of the climate group 350.org.

Former VP Al Gore Urges Obama to Reject Keystone XL as Kerry, Top U.S. Negotiator Stay Mum

Democracy Now - Fri 07 17 AM

With an impassioned plea for climate action on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to attend the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference since President Obama took part in the 2009 Copenhagen talks. While Kerry spoke for 30 minutes, he never addressed an issue on the minds of many: the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Kerry must make a final recommendation to Obama about whether the $8 billion pipeline should be approved. Amy Goodman speaks to former Vice President Al Gore, who attended Kerry’s speech, about why he wants Obama to reject the Keystone XL. She then tries to raise the issue with Kerry and top U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern, but both refuse to answer.

"We are on a Course Leading to Tragedy": At U.N. Talks, Kerry Delivers Urgent Plea on Climate Change

Democracy Now - Fri 07 10 AM

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, has entered its final day of scheduled talks. Deep divisions remain between wealthy and developing nations on emission cuts and over how much the world’s largest polluters should help poorer nations address climate change. On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Lima and made an impassioned plea for all nations to work for an ambitious U.N. climate deal next year in Paris. Kerry said time is running out to reverse "a course leading to tragedy."

Peru's Deadly Environment: Host Nation of U.N. Summit is Among Most Dangerous for Land Defenders

Democracy Now - Thu 07 42 AM

The United Nations Climate Conference is being held in Peru, which is now the world’s fourth most dangerous country for environmental defenders. Four were killed in September alone. In a brutal incident in a remote region of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, leading indigenous activist Edwin Chota was ambushed as he traveled to neighboring Brazil for a meeting on how to address the region’s illegal logging crisis. Illegal loggers allegedly killed and dismembered Chota along with his colleagues Jorge Ríos, Francisco Pinedo and Leoncio Quinticima. Chota is among at least 57 environmental activists who have been assassinated in Peru since 2002. The Peruvian government has recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections, which has increased the pace of such murders. We are joined by Chris Moye, the environmental governance campaigner for Global Witness and author of their new report, "Peru’s Deadly Environment."

Peruvian Protester: My Brother Was Disappeared in 1993 at El Pentagonito, the Site of Climate Summit

Democracy Now - Thu 07 35 AM

The U.N. climate summit in Lima is being held at the Peruvian army headquarters, known as "El Pentagonito." It is a site with a dark history, built in 1975 by the dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado. The army, under President Alberto Fujimori, later used the base to torture and interrogate political prisoners. We speak with Marly Anzualdo Castro, whose brother, Kenneth Anzualdo Castro, was disappeared in 1993 during Fujimori’s reign. Last year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights determined the state was responsible for Kenneth’s forced disappearance. To this date, his whereabouts remain unknown. Anzualdo Castro joined Wednesday’s climate march in Lima holding a sign reading "No Olvidamos," which means "We don’t forget." Anzualdo Castro says her brother was committed to student activism. "I join young people today [at the climate protest] because my brother had that spirit," Anzualdo Castro says. "So for me it is a way to see him alive now."

From the Streets to the Suites, Protesters Call for Climate Justice at Corporate Gathering in Lima

Democracy Now - Thu 07 29 AM

In Peru, thousands marched in Lima on Wednesday calling on world leaders at the United Nations climate summit to do more to tackle climate change. After the main march, hundreds headed across town in a spontaneous action against a corporate meeting called the World Climate Summit. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz files a report from the streets.

Putting People Before Profit: Thousands March in Peruvian People's Climate March in Lima

Democracy Now - Thu 07 16 AM

On Wednesday, climate justice activists from around world marched in Lima at the people’s climate march. We hear voices from Uganda, Mozambique, Australia, Canada, Peru, Nigeria and more. "We the people have come together to stand up against injustice. We are saying enough is enough," says Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. "In the COP, negotiations are taking place. The developed countries are putting profit before people. And we say, ’No, you need to put people first, before profit."

"We Are Like the Walking Dead": Latin American Indigenous Groups Decry Corporate Destruction of Land

Democracy Now - Thu 07 11 AM

As the United Nations Climate Conference in Peru enters its final phase, thousands of people marched in downtown Lima on Wednesday to call for action on global warming. We hear from some of the voices who took to the streets: frontline indigenous and rural communities from across Latin America who are among the most impacted by both the industrial practices that fuel climate change and the impacts of global warming.

As U.N. Summit Enters High-Level Talks, Protesters Gather for Historic Climate March in Lima

Democracy Now - Wed 07 55 AM

As the U.N. climate summit continues, protesters are gathering in downtown Lima for what organizers hope will be the largest climate march in the history of South America. Democracy Now! visits Casa de Convergencia TierrActiva, a house that has become a key organizing hub ahead of the march, to see how demonstrators are preparing.

Brazilian Indigenous Leader: Carbon Trading Scheme "REDD" a False Solution to Climate Change

Democracy Now - Wed 07 44 AM

The controversial carbon trading scheme known as REDD, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, has set off protests not only in Africa, but also in South America, especially in the Amazon region. We speak to Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, president of the Federation of the Huni Kui, an indigenous group in Brazil. He has traveled to the U.N. climate summit in Lima to voice his opposition to REDD.

From South America to Africa, "Capitalist" Solutions to Climate Change Seen as Path to Catastrophe

Democracy Now - Wed 07 34 AM

We are broadcasting from the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru, where high-level talks have just gotten under way. On Tuesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales called on delegates to include the wisdom of indigenous people in the global agreement to address climate change and criticized the summit for failing to address capitalism as the root of the crisis. We discuss the state of the climate talks with Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian environmental activist, director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, and author of "To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa." Bassey says the carbon trading included in the draft agreement could increase deforestation, displace farmers and contribute to the food crisis in Africa.

"These Are Crimes": New Calls to Prosecute Bush Admin as Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture

Democracy Now - Wed 07 14 AM

Graphic new details of the post-9/11 U.S. torture program came to light Tuesday when the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of its investigation into the CIA with key parts redacted. The report concludes that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al-Qaeda and other captives in secret prisons worldwide between 2002 and 2006, and details a list of torture methods used on prisoners, including waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks, and medically unnecessary "rectal feeding." The report also confirms the CIA ran black sites in Afghanistan, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Thailand, and a secret site on the Guantánamo Naval Base known as Strawberry Fields. So far no one involved in the CIA interrogation program has been charged with a crime except the whistleblower John Kiriakou. In 2007, he became the first person with direct knowledge of the program to publicly reveal its existence. He is now serving a 30-month sentence. We speak with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, who has written several reports on prisoner mistreatment in the war on terror, including a 2011 report which called for a criminal investigation of senior Bush administration officials.

Climate Justice Activists from Around the World Show Solidarity with Philippines

Democracy Now - Tue 07 57 AM
Among the many protests at the United Nations Climate Change Conference was a solidarity action with the Philippines, which was hit by Typhoon Hagupit over the weekend. Some 900,000 people were forced to evacuate. We speak with participants from Chile, Africa and New Zealand, who all say the negotiators at COP 20 are taking positions that fail to reflect the urgency that is needed to address climate change for countries that are already being impacted.