Pages tagged "climate"


World’s Top Coal-Financing Banks Still Won’t Touch Abbot Point

 

 RAN_Great_Barrier_Reef_share_graphic_-_bank_list_FINAL.png

 

This week, BankTrack launched their latest report on the top coal-financing banks in the world. The ranking, topped by JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, includes several other U.S. banks in the top 20 based on their total financing for coal mining and coal-fired power since 2005.  

As the piece we’ve cross-posted below notes, it’s telling that even the top financiers of coal in the world have decided to stay away the proposed coal terminal expansion at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef. But unfortunately, even though most of their competitors have concluded that expanding Abbot Point would be a disaster for the climate and the reef, Bank of America still hasn’t gotten the message.

By Ben Collins (RAN), Yann Louvel (BankTrack) and Julien Vincent (Market Forces), cross-posted from RenewEconomy:

The proposed expansion of the Abbot Point coal export terminal is running out of friends in the banking world. This week’s news that U.S. giants Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase will not finance the proposed coal export terminals at Abbot Point bring the total number of banks to have made this commitment to nine. Even Morgan Stanley, currently in business with Adani over the partial sale of the existing coal export terminal at Abbot Point, acknowledge the environmental risks associated with the proposed new terminals and won’t provide funding to expand the coal port.

And a new report from global banking watchdog BankTrack underlines the significance of these commitments.

The report lists the top twenty global banks in terms of their investments in the coal industry over the past decade. Leading the list are JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, having financed the global coal industry to the tune of US$105 billion since 2005.

However, these major coal-funding banks are also doing something good.

They have all signalled that they are not going to fund the proposed expansion of the Abbot Point coal port, the focal point for exports out of what would be a series of new mega coal mines proposed in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

It says a lot about the unacceptability of the proposals to build two massive new coal export terminals in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area that banks with the strongest record of financing the sector have all opted out. In fact, six of the top ten and nine of the top twenty coal funding banks have now stated that they don’t plan to fund the expansion of Abbot Point, although holdouts such as U.S.-based Bank of America have so far refused to state their position on financing Abbot Point.

Despite poor market conditions, high costs and the massive outpouring of concern over the environmental impacts of their projects, Indian companies GVK and Adani remain hell-bent on opening up the Galilee Basin in Queensland. When we say “mega” coal mines, we really mean it. The smallest is as large as Australia’s biggest operating coal mine and the largest, twice the size. All of the proposals in the Galilee Basin would produce enough coal to chew up 7% of the world’s remaining carbon budget, drastically reducing our chances of keeping a lid on global warming.

Adding insult to environmental injury, the coal would be shipped out through new coal export terminals to be built in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, turning the region into a coal shipping superhighway. All for the sake of feeding the world dirty and expensive fuel when renewable energy options are already more economically viable.

The more international banks acknowledge that building coal ports in the Great Barrier Reef to massive expand exports is a bridge too far, the sharper it brings Australia’s “big four” banks into focus.

report last week from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis confirmed that if the Galilee Basin mega mines are going to go ahead, they would need the support of the likes of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac. Historically, these banks have loaned the most money and taken part in far more fossil fuel deals than any other bank, so their importance to financing the new mega mines and coal export terminals in the Reef is obvious.

So far, the banks have been coy about saying anything about the proposals to expand coal exports through the Great Barrier Reef, falling back on sustainability policies that have, in recent years, seen them lend nearly $20 billion to fossil fuels. It has created an absurd situation where banks headquartered in Paris, London, and New York are doing more to stand up and defend the Reef than Australian banks.

It is already costing the banks. Several thousand customers have so far joined the rapidly growing divestment movement, moving to other banks in protest of the big four’s massive lending to the fossil fuel industry. And thousands more, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, sit in waiting, ready to shift their business based on whether the Australian banks will stand up and defend the Reef or fund its demise.


Groups to Bank of America: Don't Finance Great Barrier Reef Destruction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 30, 2014

 

contact:

Claire Sandberg, Rainforest Action Network, claire@ran.org, 646-641-6431

Joe Smyth, Greenpeace, 831-566-5647, joe.smyth@greenpeace.org

Groups to Bank of America: Don’t Bankroll Reef Destruction

Australian coal port threatens global climate, Great Barrier Reef

San Francisco—An international coalition of groups called on Bank of America to rule out financing the controversial Abbot Point coal port in Queensland, Australia, days after three major U.S. investment banks pledged to steer clear of the project. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs all issued public-facing statements vowing not to finance the expansion of Abbot Point, but Bank of America has so far refused to take a position. The project would significantly harm the Great Barrier Reef--construction of the new port would require dredging part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area--and would drive global climate change by drastically increasing carbon emissions.

"Not only do numerous reports show that the Galilee Basin projects are poor investments, but groups in India, such as Conservation Action Trust, have stated that exporting Australian coal to be burnt in India will threaten the health and livelihoods of people in India. These projects are not just bad for people, they are bad business.,” said Sierra Club International Campaign Representative Nicole Ghio.

"Smart investors understand that dumping money into speculative coal mining and export projects makes no sense, especially as the largest coal consuming countries begin to move away from coal to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions," said Kelly Mitchell, Greenpeace USA energy campaign director, "The Abbot Point expansion would serve the interests of a shrinking and desperate coal industry, at the expense of one of the great natural treasures of the world. Bank of America should promise not to finance it, and avoid this risky and extremely controversial coal export proposal."

“We've seen the world's biggest banks in the U.S. and Europe abandon the Abbot Point Coal Port project one by one. These banks understand that financing the project would devastate the Great Barrier Reef and unleash one of the world's largest stores of carbon. Bank of America needs to act responsibly, and commit to not financing the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef as well,” said Paul Ferris, SumOfUs Campaigns Director.

“Bank of America has publicly stated its commitment to accelerate the transition from high-carbon to low-carbon energy societies,” said Alex Levinson, executive director of Pacific Environment. “But if it bankrolls the destructive Abbot Point coal port expansion, the only thing it will accelerate is global climate change.”

“It’s unbelievable that in the midst of a climate emergency, Bank of America would even consider bankrolling a carbon bomb on the scale of the Alberta tar sands. On top of it, Abbot Point poses an immediate threat to one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, the Great Barrier Reef. Bank of America needs to join the rest of its peers by rejecting this terrible project immediately,” said RAN Climate and Energy Program Director Amanda Starbuck.

Earlier this year, Bank of America proclaimed that “society needs to transition from high-carbon to low-carbon energy, and the bank has a responsibility to accelerate this transition.” Last month, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan reiterated the bank’s commitment to climate action when he spoke at the U.N. climate summit in New York. But Bank of America’s stated environmental position clashes starkly with the bank’s refusal to rule out bankrolling the expansion of Abbot Point.

Building a new, larger export facility at Abbot Point is a key component of the plan to dramatically increase coal production in Australia’s Galilee Basin, one of the largest stores of carbon in the world. If the plan goes forward, Australia’s coal exports would likely double, and make the the country the number one coal exporter in the world. The proposed expansion has strong backing from the Australian government, but will require financial support from global investment banks to move ahead. Five major European banks (Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, and Credit Agricole) publicly ruled out investment in Abbot Point earlier this year after months of campaigning from an international coalition. That group was joined yesterday by U.S. banks Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, which issued public-facing statements as evidence of their commitments.


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Tell Bank of America: Don't Finance the Destruction of the Great Barrier Reef

The coal industry is trying to move forward with a deal that would threaten Australia’s treasured Great Barrier Reef and turbocharge climate change—but they can’t do it without major financial backing. Three of the biggest Wall Street investment banks have said they won’t fund the deal.1 But Bank of America won’t commit to staying away.

Tell Bank of America—don’t finance the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef!

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Right now, the coal industry is pushing an incredibly destructive plan: to build out one of the biggest coal ports in the world right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. A huge corporation called Adani is attempting to dredge 3 million cubic meters of seabed, wrecking part of the biggest stretch of coral reef in the world and one of the planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems. 

The Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of species, including the endangered Green Sea Turtle, and it’s a crucial area for humpback whales giving birth and raising their young. Expanding Abbot Point coal terminal and massively increasing dangerous coal ship traffic would put a global treasure—in fact, a protected World Heritage Site—at grave risk.

It would also cook the climate. The coal industry wants to build out Abbot Point so it can dig new mega-mines in a vast reserve called the Galilee Basin. That would double coal production in Australia, already the world’s second-biggest coal exporter. Unbelievably, in the midst of a climate emergency, Bank of America is considering bankrolling a carbon time-bomb on the scale of the Alberta tar sands. 

Without the backing of major financial institutions, this deal cannot go ahead. Tell Bank of America to stay away from the Abbot Point coal port expansion.

For the last two months, RAN has been working behind the scenes, asking the biggest Wall Street investment banks to commit to not finance reef and climate destruction. An international coalition of environmental groups has joined the fight, and tens of thousands of you added your voices to a petition calling on Wall Street to stay away from this reckless deal. 

Your pressure is working! In the last three weeks, we’ve won public commitments from three of the biggest Wall Street banks—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup—to not finance the Abbot Point terminal expansion.

But Bank of America is still holding out. Tell them to commit: don’t fund a deal that would wreck the Great Barrier Reef and cook the climate!


RAN to Bank of America: Don’t Bankroll Reef Destruction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28, 2014

 

contact:

Claire Sandberg, claire@ran.org, 646-641-6431

 

RAN to Bank of America: Don’t Bankroll Reef Destruction

Australian coal port threatens global climate, Great Barrier Reef

 

San Francisco—Rainforest Action Network (RAN) called on Bank of America to rule out financing the controversial Abbot Point coal port in Queensland, Australia, a day after three major U.S. investment banks pledged to steer clear of the project. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs all assured RAN in writing that they would not finance the expansion of Abbot Point, but Bank of America has so far refused to take a position. The project would significantly harm the Great Barrier Reef--construction of the new port would require dredging part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area--and would drive global climate change by drastically increasing carbon emissions.

Earlier this year, Bank of America proclaimed that “society needs to transition from high-carbon to low-carbon energy, and the bank has a responsibility to accelerate this transition.” Last month, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan reiterated the bank’s commitment to climate action when he spoke at the U.N. climate summit in New York. But Bank of America’s stated environmental position clashes starkly with the bank’s refusal to rule out bankrolling the expansion of Abbot Point.

“If Brian Moynihan’s public remarks on climate mean anything, then Bank of America needs to reject Abbot Point,” said RAN Climate and Energy Program Director Amanda Starbuck. “It’s unbelievable that in the midst of a climate emergency, Bank of America would even consider bankrolling a carbon bomb on the scale of the Alberta tar sands. On top of it, Abbot Point poses an immediate threat to one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, the Great Barrier Reef. Bank of America needs to join the rest of its peers by rejecting this terrible project immediately.”

Building a new, larger export facility at Abbot Point is a key component of the plan to dramatically increase coal production in Australia’s Galilee Basin, one of the largest stores of carbon in the world. If the plan goes forward, Australia’s coal exports would likely double, and make the the country the number one coal exporter in the world. The proposed expansion has strong backing from the Australian government, but will require financial support from global investment banks to move ahead. Five major European banks (Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, and Credit Agricole) publicly ruled out investment in Abbot Point earlier this year after months of campaigning from an international coalition. That group was joined yesterday by U.S. banks Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, which all made public commitments under pressure from RAN.


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RAN Applauds Move by U.S. Banks to Reject Australian Coal Port

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2014

contact:
Claire Sandberg, claire@ran.org646-641-6431


Rainforest Action Network Applauds Move by U.S. Banks to Reject Australian Coal Port

Abbot Point coal export project presents dire threat to climate and to the Great Barrier Reef

San Francisco—Rainforest Action Network commended the move by leading U.S. investment banks to rule out financing the Abbot Point coal export project in Queensland, Australia. Under pressure from RAN, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase all issued written commitments—released publicly for the first time today—to not bankroll the controversial project, which would involve dredging part of the Great Barrier Reef.

“We’re pleased to see some of the biggest banks on Wall Street reject this destructive project that presents a grave threat to the Great Barrier Reef and to the global climate,” said RAN Climate and Energy Program Director Amanda Starbuck. “These banks have clearly taken a good look at the Abbot Point plan and decided that dredging a World Heritage Site to make way for coal ships is obviously a terrible idea.”

The chilly reception to Abbot Point from U.S. banks follows five major European banks (Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, and Credit Agricole) publicly ruling out investment in Abbot Point earlier this year after months of campaigning from an international coalition. BlackRock has also warned investors to steer clear of the project. This new move by major U.S. banks signals that the Adani Group and GVK may be unsuccessful in their bid to secure an estimated $26.5 billion in external financing necessary for the planned expansion of coal export facilities and associated mine and rail infrastructure.

Rainforest Action Network is campaigning to stop Abbot Point due to concerns over how terminal construction and operation would impact the Great Barrier Reef; building the terminal would require dredging an ecologically sensitive area of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Additionally, if Abbot Point moves forward it could unlock one of the world’s largest untapped stores of carbon, the Galilee Basin, by providing critical export infrastructure. Nine new mega coal mines are currently planned for the Galilee Basin, five of which would be bigger than any coal mine currently operating in Australia. Galilee basin mines, if fully developed, would produce up to 330 million metric tons of coal per year for export, more than doubling Australia's exports. Australia is already the number two exporter of coal in the world.

“Stopping Abbot Point is a top priority for us, because this single project is the key to whether one of the largest stores of carbon on the planet, the Galilee Basin, stays in the ground where it belongs, or is sold on the global market and released into our atmosphere,” said Starbuck.

 

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Wall Street: Don't Destroy the Great Barrier Reef!

In the coming months, big Wall Street banks could finance the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

Raise your voice to stop them! 

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Photo: Shutterstock

The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia, is the world's biggest stretch of coral reef and is probably the planet’s richest area in terms of animal diversity. It’s home to 1,500 species of fish, 400 kinds of coral, and at least 30 types of whales and dolphins—it’s an important area for humpback whales giving birth and raising their young. The reef is also a key habitat for two endangered—and beautiful—species: the green sea turtle and the dugong, or “sea cow.” And it’s a global treasure, a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.1

Now the Great Barrier Reef is facing a massive threat. A huge corporation, Adani, wants to expand the Abbot Point coal terminal into the one of the world’s biggest coal ports, right in the middle of the reef World Heritage Area. To do that, they’re planning to dig up 3 million cubic meters of seabed, wrecking the habitat of thousands of species. Analysts project that, if the port is expanded, thousands more coal ships would pass through the reef each year, polluting the ocean as they go and posing a constant threat of catastrophic spills.

But the port can’t go forward unless Adani finds several big banks to fund their astonishingly reckless plan. Thanks to the efforts of a worldwide coalition of environmentalists, a number of European banks have pledged not to underwrite the project. So now the company is looking to Wall Street—and so far, the big U.S. banks haven’t yet committed to not financing the project.

Tell Wall Street not to bankroll the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef!

There’s another reason we need to stop this plan, besides the acute threat to the reef: the Abbot Point port expansion would light the fuse on a carbon bomb on the scale of the Alberta tar sands. The port is a key piece of infrastructure in a coal industry plan to build a cluster of new mega-mines in a vast coalfield called the Galilee basin. Australia is already the world’s second-biggest coal exporter, and these new mines would double the country’s output. With the world hurtling toward devastating levels of global warming, the next few years are crucial for us to change the course of climate history, and the fight over Abbot Point is one that we have to win. We have the technology to meet our energy demand from clean, renewable sources—there’s no need to unlock these vast reserves of dirty coal for the sake of corporate profits.

Rainforest Action Network has a long track record of pressuring banks to quash dirty energy deals, and we’re already talking to the biggest players on Wall Street to push them not to bankroll the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. We’re telling bank executives: destroying a World Heritage Site and cooking the climate for the sake of as little as a few million dollars in fees is not a good deal. But we can’t win in the boardroom unless Wall Street knows that this is one deal the public won’t let them get away with. In the coming months, Adani will be reaching out to the big banks to secure financing, so we need to raise our voices now.

Add your name to our petition today.


Challenging Corporate Power at the Biggest Climate March in History

This post is by the RAN staff who were in New York as part of the People's Climate March: Lindsey Allen, Ginger Cassady, Susana Cervantes, Adrienne Fitch-Frankel, Chelsea Matthews, Scott Parkin, Claire Sandberg, Amanda Starbuck, Laurel Sutherlin, Emm Talarico, Christy Tennery-Spalding and Todd Zimmer. 

Wow, these past few days have been an exhausting and exhilarating whirlwind of activity and activism here in New York City. 

As world leaders gathered yesterday for the UN Climate Summit, much of RAN’s staff and network was recovering from back to back, power-packed days of nonstop organizing, training, marching, meeting, movement building and risking arrest to challenge corporate power at the heart of the global financial system. 

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You’ve likely heard the superlatives. Sunday’s People’s Climate March was the largest demonstration for climate action in history, with more than 400,000 people — from all walks of life and all over the country and across the world — joining together in the streets of Manhattan to demand a change of course from the dangerous path towards climate chaos we are all headed down. The global media coverage of the march meant that, for once, the old chant was true: "The whole world is watching!" 

Of course no one is naïve enough to think a big march is going to solve climate change overnight. But equally, all of the great social movements of our time have been catalyzed by pivotal mass mobilizations that ratcheted up pressure on the power structures of the status quo and spurred those present — and those watching — into further action. 

The vibrant and wildly diverse display of humanity we witnessed in the streets was breathtaking and truly inspirational — there is just nothing quite like the electricity of glimpsing the immense power of people joined together in mass collective action. The fossil fuel industry may be the wealthiest in history, but on Sunday we reminded the world that money is not the only form of power.1 

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But we did not start or stop our work here with the march. The network, from board to staff, from Eugene, Ore., to Charlotte, N.C., from former interns to celebrity supporters, has been busy helping to support and add strength to many facets of this week’s sprawling mobilization. 

We organized an all day workshop on Friday to share tactics and strategies for challenging corporate power to a large and enthusiastic crowd of supporters. Afterwards we hosted hundreds of activists and change makers for a Happy Hour for Hellraisers networking extravaganza that was part reunion, part relationship building and part letting off steam. 

It was after the march, though, that things got really exciting. Responding to a call from the Climate Justice Alliance for civil disobedience actions to add urgency to Sunday’s march, local organizers issued an invitation to Flood Wall Street. As both the symbolic and literal epicenter of global capitalism, Wall Street’s main players must be held accountable for funding the current climate crisis as well as actively opposing organized efforts to wean our economy off fossil fuels. 

Unlike Sunday’s permitted march, the Flood Wall Street protest Monday morning was in direct defiance of business as usual and the thousands of people who gathered knew we were risking arrest by participating. After listening to rousing speeches by Indigenous and frontline community leaders and Naomi Klein about the stakes we face at this moment in history, the crowd, all wearing blue, streamed into the streets and overwhelmed traffic, bringing it to a halt. 

FWS.jpg

The raucous but peaceful procession flooded the streets surrounding Wall Street’s iconic bull and then sat together in the streets, unfurling a 10-foot wide, 300-foot long banner, legible only to those in the office towers, helicopters and drones overhead, that read "Capitalism = Climate Chaos: Flood Wall Street"

For many hours the protest shut down one of the busiest thoroughfares in any financial district in the world, chanting the anthem of the day: 

        People gonna rise with the water 
        We’re gonna calm this crisis down 
        I hear the voice of my great granddaughter 
        Saying: “Shut down Wall Street now!”2 

Yesterday took us from the streets to the halls of power. RAN's very own Lindsey Allen and Laurel Sutherlin attended the U.N. Climate Summit, where they saw encouraging steps by governments and companies,3 and witnessed a huge campaigning victory firsthand. They watched as the CEO of one of RAN’s oldest and most intransigent targets, Cargill, stood next to U.S. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and announced an unprecedented zero-deforestation pledge. Cargill is the biggest importer of palm oil in the U.S. and the largest private company in the world, and this sweeping global commitment covers its entire empire.4 

That massive climate, human rights and biodiversity milestone follows years of hard, committed campaigning by RAN and its allies. It’s a bracing reminder that while — as Frederick Douglass said — power concedes nothing without a demand, together we can challenge corporate power and win. 

More than ever, this week affirmed for all of us that executives and politicians will not and cannot save us now. Only a strategic, determined and diverse social movement like the one we saw in New York can truly change the course of history. 

The RAN crew returns to San Francisco with new allies and fresh resolve to double down on our efforts to keep carbon in the ground and to lift up the voices of those ready to enact real climate solutions. We are reinvigorated in our fights to protect the forests of Indonesia, to prevent reckless coal mining in Australia and Appalachia, and to end extraction of the North American tar sands. 

References:

1. "Challenge Corporate Power in the Streets of NYC," September 21, 2014, Rainforest Action Network
http://www.ran.org/challenge_corporate_power_in_the_streets_of_nyc

2. "#FloodWallStreet," September 22, 2014, Rainforest Action Network
http://www.ran.org/_floodwallstreet

3. "The Proximity of Hope at the U.N. Climate Summit," September 23, 2014, Lindsey Allen, Rainforest Action Network
http://www.ran.org/the_proximity_of_hope_at_the_un_climate_summit

4. "Cargill commits to zero deforestation across entire global supply chain: all commodities," September 23, 2014, Rhett A. Butler, Mongabay
http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0923-cargill-zero-deforestation.html


RAN responds to the UN Climate Summit 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

CONTACT: Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161 Laurel@ran.org | Bill Barclay, 415. 659. 0512 BBarclay@ran.org | Christopher Herrera Christopher@ran.org

The past few days have been exhilarating as hundreds of thousands of people around the globe display their insistence and commitments to tackling the imminent threats of climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to be commended for initiating this effort. However, we are past the point where non-binding declarations from governments and corporations will have the forceful and immediate impact necessary to avert the imminent crisis we face.

It is time for action. It is time for global officials to learn from Indigenous and local communities who have been creating effective solutions for maintaining forests for years. It is time for globally binding commitments, the recognition of the traditional and customary rights of forest-dependent communities, and the actionable enforcement of these policies. Real and coordinated global commitments are needed to address the underlying drivers of climate change: blind market demand for deforestation commodities; poor forest governance and corruption; distorted fiscal priorities; and destructive and unaccountable corporate activities.

We need more commitments like those from Norway, Germany, and Peru – who have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent deforestation in a number of countries including the Peruvian Amazon. Perhaps most importantly their funding will include support for local communities in these programs. The Peruvian agreement will explicitly respect the rights and proposals of indigenous communities in this process, as well as increasing indigenous land rights by at least 5 million hectares.

Time and time again, the best solutions to salvage our planet’s bio-diversity and stabilize our climate (i.e., stopping the imminent extinction of many endangered species and protecting crucial forests that protect the planet from further global warming) have come from local communities. It is imperative that those on the front lines of climate change be represented at the decision-making table in these types of negotiations. Many of these voices were sorely missed at the Climate talks in New York – such as the dozens of community groups who are part of the Climate Justice Alliance and who were excluded entry to the UN Summit. Full statement from Climate Justice Alliance here: http://www.ourpowercampaign.org/sept-23-cja-press-release-world-leaders-prefer-photo-ops-with-community-members-rather-than-real-talk/ 

On the other end of the spectrum, it is encouraging that big corporate players have taken the opportunity of the Climate Summit to publicly acknowledge their responsibility in forging a new path toward climate stability, even if many of these are re-statements of existing commitments. And in this respect, the support for The New York Declaration on Forests has been encouraging – including the support for this declaration from some of RAN’s most prominent targets over the past decade.

However these are still only voluntary commitments in a public forum. These corporations still must turn these statements into actionable policies and demonstrable shifts in practice throughout their global supply chains.

But the opportunity for change is here. At this point RAN is confident in one thing: the only way to ensure we will have a healthy planet for future generations is if we take it upon ourselves to make it happen.

Governments have had the opportunity to lead for decades. Now it is time for them to listen.


The Proximity of Hope at the UN Climate Summit

The past few days have been exhilarating as hundreds of thousands of people around the globe display their insistence and commitments to tackling the imminent threats of climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to be commended for initiating this effort. However, we are past the point where non-binding declarations from governments and corporations will have the forceful and immediate impact necessary to avert the imminent crisis we face.

Lindsey Allen at UN Climate Summit

It is time for action. It is time for global officials to learn from Indigenous and local communities who have been creating effective solutions for maintaining forests for years. It is time for globally binding commitments, the recognition of the traditional and customary rights of forest-dependent communities, and the actionable enforcement of these policies. Real and coordinated global commitments are needed to address the underlying drivers of climate change: blind market demand for deforestation commodities; poor forest governance and corruption; distorted fiscal priorities; and destructive and unaccountable corporate activities.

We need more commitments like those from Norway, Germany and Peru – who have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent deforestation in a number of countries including the Peruvian Amazon. Perhaps most importantly their funding will include support for local communities in these programs. The Peruvian agreement will explicitly respect the rights and proposals of indigenous communities in this process, as well as increasing indigenous land rights by at least 5 million hectares.

Time and time again, the best solutions to salvage our planet’s bio-diversity and stabilize our climate (i.e., stopping the imminent extinction of many endangered species and protecting crucial forests that protect the planet from further global warming) have come from local communities. It is imperative that those on the front lines of climate change be represented at the decision-making table in these types of negotiations. Many of these voices were sorely missed at the Climate talks in New York – such as the dozens of community groups who are part of the Climate Justice Alliance and who were excluded entry to the UN Summit.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is encouraging that big corporate players have taken the opportunity of the Climate Summit to publicly acknowledge their responsibility in forging a new path toward climate stability, even if many of these are re-statements of existing commitments. And in this respect, the support for The New York Declaration on Forests has been encouraging – including the support for this declaration from some of RAN’s most prominent targets over the past decade.

However these are still only voluntary commitments in a public forum. These corporations still must turn these statements into actionable policies and demonstrable shifts in practice throughout their global supply chains.

But the opportunity for change is here. At this point RAN is confident in one thing: the only way to ensure we will have a healthy planet for future generations is if we take it upon ourselves to make it happen.

Governments have had the opportunity to lead for decades. Now it is time for them to listen.

 

Lindsey Allen

Executive Director RAN


Challenge Corporate Power in the streets of NYC

Early Sunday morning RAN joined the hundreds of thousands of people making their voice heard world wide. RAN's message of the day was Challenge Corporate Power!

 

But events like this are neither the begining or the end. They are part of an arc... moments to the next action.

 

Join RAN tomorrow in NYC at the Flood Wall St Event and if you can't join in person you can join by sharing what is happening via twitter: #FloodWallStreet

See you in the streets and on the internet.

Brad @BradASchenck

 


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