Posts Tagged ‘Green Economy’

Global: Rio+20 – Eine Bilanz

Mittwoch, Juli 4th, 2012

“Rio+20: An undesirable U-turn

By Vandana Shiva | Jun 25, 2012

Rio de Janeiro is a city of U-turns. The most frequent road sign in the city is “Retorno” — return. And Rio+20 or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development followed that pattern. It was a great U-turn in terms of human responsibility towards protecting the life-sustaining processes of the planet.
Twenty years ago at the Earth Summit, legally binding agreements to protect biodiversity and prevent catastrophic climate change were signed. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) propelled governments to start shaping domestic laws and policies to address two of the most significant ecological crisis of our times.
The appropriate agenda for Rio+20 should have been to assess why the implementation of Rio treaties has been inadequate, report on how the crises have deepened and offer legally binding targets to avoid deepening of the ecological crises.
But the entire energy of the official process was focused on how to avoid any commitment. Rio+20 will be remembered for what it failed to do during a period of severe and multiple crises and not for what it achieved.
It will be remembered for offering a bailout for a failing economic system through the “green economy” — a code phrase for the commodification and financialisation of nature. The social justice and ecology movements rejected the green economy outrightly. A financial system which collapsed on the Wall Street in 2008 and had to be bailed out with trillions of taxpayers’ money and continues to be bailed out through austerity measures squeezing the lives of people is now being proposed as the saviour of the planet. Through the green economy an attempt is being made to technologise, financialise, privatise and commodify all of the earth’s resources and living processes.
This is the last contest between a life-destroying worldview of man’s empire over earth and a life-protecting worldview of harmony with nature and recognition of the rights of Mother Earth. I carried 100,000 signatures from India for the universal declaration on the rights of Mother Earth, which were handed over to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
It is a reflection of the persistence and strength of our movements that while the final text has reference to the green economy, it also has an article referring to Mother Earth and the rights of nature. Article 39 states: “We recognise that the planet earth and its ecosystems are our home and that Mother Earth is a common expression in a number of countries and regions and we note that some countries recognise the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development. We are convinced that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature.”
This, in fact, is the framework for the clash of paradigms that dominated Rio+20 — the paradigm of green economy to continue the economy of greed and resource grab on the one hand, and the paradigm of the rights of Mother Earth, to create a new living economy in which the gifts of the earth are sustained and shared.
While the Rio+20 process went backwards, some governments did move forward to create a new paradigm and worldview. Ecuador stands out for being the first country to have included the rights of nature in its Constitution. At Rio+20, the government of Ecuador invited me to join the President, Rafael Correa, for an announcement of the Yasuni initiative, through which the government will keep the oil underground to protect the Amazon forest and the indigenous communities.
The second government, which stood out in the community of nations, is our tiny neighbour Bhutan. Bhutan has gone beyond GDP as a measure of progress and has adopted gross national happiness. More significantly, Bhutan has recognised that the most effective way to grow happiness is to grow organic food. As the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Thinley, said at a conference in Rio: “The Royal Government of Bhutan on its part will relentlessly promote and continue with its endeavour to realise the dreams we share of bringing about a global movement to return to organic agriculture so that the crops, and the earth on which they grow, will become genuinely sustainable — and so that agriculture will contribute not to the degradation but rather to the resuscitation and revitalisation of nature.”
Most governments were disappointed with the outcome of Rio+20. There were angry movements and protests. More than 100,000 people marched to say this was not “The Future We Want” — the title of the Rio+20 text.
I treat Rio+20 as a square bracket — in the UN jargon the text between the square brackets is not a consensus and often gets deleted. It is not the final step, it is just punctuation. Democracy and political processes will decide the real outcome of history and the future of life on earth. Our collective will and actions will determine whether corporations will be successful in privatising the last drop of water, the last blade of grass, the last acre of land, the last seed, or whether our movements will be able to defend life on earth, including human life in its rich diversity, abundance and freedom.

The writer is the executive director of the Navdanya Trust

 

(Quelle: The Asian Age.)

Siehe auch:

Wachstum und Herrschaft

UN / Brasilien: Alles so schön grün hier

Mittwoch, Juni 20th, 2012

“The Elephant in Rio

Don’t bank on a new “green economy” to solve our climate challenges

By Janet Redman

Janet Redman

A close friend of mine in Fairfax, Virginia, is expecting her first child. By the time this baby girl turns 60, she’ll live in a world that’s warmer than it’s ever been since humans began walking the Earth 2.5 million years ago, according to a new study.

The world already looks much different than it did just a generation ago. The alarming rate at which plants and animals are disappearing has scientists asking if we’re entering a sixth mass extinction. The oceans’ fish stocks — the main source of protein for more than a billion people — are declining, and mysterious coral reef die-offs in recent years will likely make a bad situation worse. More than half of the planet’s surface now has “an obvious human footprint.”

This is exactly where world leaders hoped we would not be when they gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the historic 1992 Earth Summit.

Twenty years ago, decision-makers knew human activity could hurt the environment. But they were also grappling with the fact that about half of the world’s population was living in poverty, and needed access to land, water, food, dignified work, and other essential ingredients for a better life.

To bring these two realities together, the Rio summit embraced “sustainable development” — an economic model that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Governments adopted a roadmap for sustainable development heading into the 21st century called Agenda 21 and launched global environmental agreements on biodiversity, climate change, and desertification.

The global community is gathering in Rio again to face the painful fact that little progress has been made. In the back of everyone’s mind are the global financial crisis, destabilizing economic inequality, and a lack of political will to do anything perceived as threatening corporate competitiveness.

What went wrong? Part of the answer is that the original Earth Summit avoided two of the biggest elephants in the room. One, that infinite growth on a finite planet is an exercise in futility. And two, that the 20 percent of the world’s population living in North America, Europe, and Japan gobbles up 80 percent of the Earth’s natural resources. It doesn’t seem likely that Rio+20, as this new meeting is known, will recognize those elephants either.

The leaders heading to Rio are touting a mythical new “green economy” they say will solve all our climate challenges. While still ill defined, they’re generally referring to a model of economic growth based on massive private investment in clean energy, climate-resistant agriculture, and ecosystem services — like the ability of a wetland to filter water. Under this new concept, Wall Street gets to reap profits from a whole new line of business, and governments get to spend less protecting the environment.

Not surprisingly, peasant farmers, indigenous communities, anti-debt activists, and other grassroots groups reject this “green economy” rubric as corporate “greenwashing.”

The fear — echoed by many environmentalists and anti-poverty groups — is that by putting a price on things like water or biodiversity as a way of managing their use, we turn them into commodities and risk having basic needs and services fall victim to speculators who make money off volatile prices.

Think about it. Does it make sense to put the future of our remaining common resources — forests, genes, the atmosphere, food — into the hands of people who treated our economy like their personal casino?

It’s no coincidence that when people are in charge of managing the land and water they live and depend on they do a better job than some hedge fund manager in a remote office building. Instead of concentrating decision-making power about nature in the financial sector, the Rio+20 summit should support local, democratic control of natural resources.

That way, when my friend’s daughter is old enough to vote, she’ll have a planet worth fighting for. 


Janet Redman is the co-director of the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies. www.ips-dc.org
Distributed via OtherWords (OtherWords.org)

 

(Quelle: OtherWords.)

Siehe auch:

Rio+20: Shell sitzt mit am Tisch
Rio+20: “Die Unverbindlichkeit wird noch gesteigert”
“Das Konzept des grünen Wachstums ist eine Farce”
The social costs of putting a price on nature
The dismal prospects of Rio +20

Brasilien: “Gegen die Rio +20 – Show”

Montag, Juni 4th, 2012

“Reclaiming our future: Rio +20 and Beyond

La Vía Campesina Call to action

On 20-22 June 2012, governments from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to commemorate 20 years of the “Earth Summit”, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that first established a global agenda for “sustainable development”. During the 1992 summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Convention to Combat Desertification, were all adopted. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was also established to ensure effective follow-up of the UNCED “Earth Summit.”

 

 

Twenty years later, governments should have reconvened to review their commitments and progress, but in reality the issue to debate will be the “green economy” led development, propagating the same capitalist model that caused climate chaos and other deep social and environmental crises.

La Vía Campesina will mobilize for this historical moment, representing the voice of the millions of peasants and indigenous globally who are defending the well-being of all by implementing food sovereignty and the protection of natural resources.

20 Years later: a planet in crisis

20 years after the Earth Summit, life has become more difficult for the majority of the planet’s inhabitants. The number of hungry people has increased to almost one billion, which means that one out of six human beings is going hungry, women and small farmers being the most affected. Meanwhile, the environment is depleting fast, biodiversity is being destroyed, water resources are getting scarce and contaminated and the climate is in crisis. This is jeopardizing our very future on Earth while poverty and inequalities are increasing.

The idea of “Sustainable Development” put forward in 1992, which merged “development” and “environment” concerns, did not solve the problem because it did not stop the capitalist system in its race towards profit at the expense of all human and natural resources:

- The food system is increasingly in the grips of large corporations seeking profit, not aimed at feeding the people.

- The Convention on Biodiversiy has created benefit sharing mechanisms but at the end of the day, they legitimize the capitalization of genetic resources by the private sector.

- The UN Convention on Climate Change, instead of forcing countries and corporations to reduce pollution, invented a new profitable and speculative commodity with the carbon trading mechanisms, allowing the polluter to continue polluting and profit from it.

The framework of “sustainable development” continues to see peasant agriculture as backwards and responsible for the deterioration of natural resources and the environment. The same paradigm of development is perpetuated, which is nothing less than the development of capitalism by means of a “green industrialization.”

The “Green Economy” – Final Enclosure?

Today the “greening of the economy” pushed forward in the run-up to Rio+20 is based on the same logic and mechanisms that are destroying the planet and keeping people hungry. For instance, it seeks to incorporate aspects of the failed “green revolution” in a broader manner in order to ensure the needs of the industrial sectors of production, such as promoting the uniformity of seeds, patented seeds by corporation, genetically modified seeds, etc.

The capitalist economy, based on the over-exploitation of natural resources and human beings, will never become “green.” It is based on limitless growth in a planet that has reached its limits and on the commoditization of the remaining natural resources that have until now remained un-priced or in control of the public sector.

In this period of financial crisis, global capitalism seeks new forms of accumulation. It is during these periods of crisis in which capitalism can most accumulate. Today, it is the territories and the commons which are the main target of capital. As such, the green economy is nothing more than a green mask for capitalism. It is also a new mechanism to appropriate our forests, rivers, land… of our territories!

Since last year’s preparatory meetings towards Rio+20, agriculture has been cited as one of the causes of climate change. Yet no distinction is made in the official negotiations between industrial and peasant agriculture, and no explicit difference between their effects on poverty, climate and other social issues we face.

The “green economy” is marketed as a way to implement sustainable development for those countries which continue to experience high and disproportionate levels of poverty, hunger and misery. In reality, what is proposed is another phase of what we identify as “green structural adjustment programs” which seek to align and re-order the national markets and regulations to submit to the fast incoming “green capitalism”.

Investment capital now seeks new markets through the “green economy”; securing the natural resources of the world as primary inputs and commodities for industrial production, as carbon sinks or even for speculation. This is being demonstrated by increasing land grabs globally, for crop production for both export and agrofuels. New proposals such as “climate smart” agriculture, which calls for the “sustainable intensification” of agriculture, also embody the goal of corporations and agri-business to over exploit the earth while labeling it “green”, and making peasants dependent on high-cost seeds and inputs. New generations of polluting permits are issued for the industrial sector, especially those found in developed countries, such as what is expected from programs such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD++) and other environmental services schemes.

The green economy seeks to ensure that the ecological and biological systems of our planet remain at the service of capitalism, by the intense use of various forms of biotechnologies, synthetic technologies and geo-engineering. GMO’s and biotechnology are key parts of the industrial agriculture promoted within the framework of “green economy”.

The promotion of the green economy includes calls for the full implementation of the WTO Doha Round, the elimination of all trade barriers to incoming “green solutions,” the financing and support of financial institutions such as the World Bank and projects such as US-AID programs, and the continued legitimization of the international institutions that serve to perpetuate and promote global capitalism.

Why peasant farmers mobilize

Small-scale farmers, family farmers, landless people, indigenous people, migrants – women and men – are now determined to mobilize to oppose any commodification of life and to propose another way to organize our relationship with nature on earth based on agrarian reform, food sovereignty and peasant based agroecology.

We reject the “Green Economy” as it is pushed now in the Rio+20 process. It is a new mask to hide an ever-present, growing greed of corporations and food imperialism in the world.

  • We oppose carbon trading and all market solutions to the environmental crisis including the proposed liberalization of environmental services under the WTO.
  • We reject REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) which allows rich countries to avoid cutting their carbon emissions by financing often damaging projects in developing countries.
  • We expose and reject the corporate capture of the rio+20 process and all multilateral processes within the United Nations.
  • We oppose land grabs, water grabs, seeds grabs, forest grabs – all resources’ grabs!
  • We defend the natural resources in our countries as a matter of national and popular sovereignty, to face the offensive and private appropriation of capital;
  • We demand public policies from governments for the protection of the interests of the majority of the population, especially the poorest, and landless workers;
  • We demand a complete ban on geoengineering projects and experiments; under the guise of ‘green’ or ‘clean’ technology to the benefit of agribusiness. This includes new technologies being proposed for adaptation and mitigation to climate change under the banners of “geo-engineering” and “climate smart agriculture”, including false solutions like transgenic plants supposed to adapt to climate change, and “biochar” purported to replenish the soil with carbon.
  • We resolve to protect our native seeds and our right to exchange seeds.
  • We demand genuine agrarian reform that distributes and redistributes the land – the main factor in production – especially taking into account women and youth. Land must be a means of production to secure the livelihood of the people and must not be a commodity subject to speculation on international markets. We reject “market assisted land reform”, which is another word for land privatization.
  • We struggle for small scale sustainable food production for community and local consumption as opposed to agribusiness, monoculture plantations for export.
  • We continue to organize and practice agroecology based production, ensuring food sovereignty for all and implementing collective management of our resources

Call to action

We call for a major world mobilization to be held between 18-26 June in Rio de Janeiro, with a permanent camp, for the Peoples Summit, to counter the summit of governments and capital.

We will be in Rio at the People’s Summit where anti-capitalist struggles of the world will meet and together we will propose real solutions. The People’s Permanent Assembly, between the 18 and 22, will present the daily struggles against the promoters of capitalism y the attacks against our lands. Today, Rio de Janeiro is one of the cities which receive the most contributions from global capital and will host the Soccer World Cup and Olympics. We will unite our symbolic struggles from the urban to the landless movements and fishers.

We also declare the week of June 5th, as a major world week in defense of the environment and against transnational corporations and invite everyone across the world to mobilize:

  • Defend sustainable peasant agriculture
  • Occupy land for the production of agroecological and non-market dominated food
  • Reclaim and exchange native seeds
  • Protest against Exchange and Marketing Board offices and call for an end to speculative markets on commodities and land
  • Hold local assemblies of People Affected by Capitalism
  • Dream of a different world and create it!!
  • The future that we want is based on Agrarian Reform, Peasant’s based sustainable agriculture and Food Sovereignty!

GLOBALIZE THE STRUGGLE!!

GLOBALIZE HOPE!!!

 

(Quelle: La Via Campesina.)

Siehe auch:

Rio+20: INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN OF STRUGGLES: Peoples of the World against the Commodification of Nature

BRD: “It’s not the Green Economy, stupid!”

Sonntag, Mai 13th, 2012

“Nach dem Scheitern der Green Economy

10 Thesen des BUKO-Arbeitsschwerpunktes GesNat online

Früher war »Nachhaltigkeit«, heute ist »Green Economy«. Das Konzept der Nachhaltigkeit stand dafür, dass sich nicht wirklich etwas an unseren Wirtschafts- und Lebensweisen ändern müsste, wenn alles nur etwas ,nachhaltiger’ würde. Nachhaltigkeit war das Versprechen der ökologischen Modernisierung des Kapitalismus – mit mehr oder weniger sozialen Elementen. Genauso ist es mit der Green Economy. Wer würde bestreiten wollen, dass unsere Wirtschaftsweise ökologischer werden muss? Doch auch bei diesem Konzept geht es um nichts anderes als die Modernisierung des krisenförmigen Kapitalismus. Anhand von 10 Thesen werden wir zeigen, warum die Green Economy an dem Anspruch einer weitreichenden Ökologisierung der Wirtschaft unter den gegebenen kapitalistischen und imperialen Verhältnissen und einem unhinterfragten Fortschrittsglauben scheitern wird und muss. Denn die Strategie einer Green Economy beinhaltet die Idee mittels ökologischer Modernisierung der Degradierung der natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen wirkungsvoll entgegenzuarbeiten. Das macht das Konzept wichtig und wir nehmen diesen Anspruch ernst. Doch wir zeigen, dass die dominanten Strategien einer Green Economy die sozialen und ökologischen Widersprüche des Kapitalismus nicht aufheben können, sondern diese allenfalls auf neue Weise bearbeiten. Anders formuliert, die Entfaltung der kapitalistischen Produktionsweise orientiert sich nicht an den Reproduktionsnotwendigkeiten von Mensch und Natur. Diese stellen jedoch faktische Grenzen für die Produktion dar. Durch die Green Economy können diese Grenzen nur verschoben werden – allerdings, wie wir zeigen werden, um einen hohen Preis. Daher argumentieren wir, dass die Bearbeitung gegenwärtiger Krisen in einem emanzipatorischen, internationalistischen und solidarischen Sinne notwendigerweise mit einer Veränderung der bestehenden Wirtschaftsweise und Herrschaftsverhältnisse einhergehen muss. Unsere Thesen verstehen wir als einen Beitrag zu aktuellen und zukünftigen Diskussionen. Sie sind Teil des Suchprozesses einer emanzipatorischen sozial-ökologischen Transformation der Produktions- und Lebensweisen weltweit. (…)

Den Text "Nach dem Scheitern der Green Economy" lesen:

10 Thesen zur Kritik der Grünen Ökonomie (PDF, Printfassung, A3)

10 Thesen (pdf, deutsch, A4, Webfassung)

10 Theses of a Critique of a Green Economy

10 Theses (eng, A4,webversion)

10 tesis para una crítica de la “Economía Verde (pdf, A3)

10 tesis (pdf, esp, A4)

Es gibt den Text zudem auch in einer Langfassung, die hier zu finden ist. Schon vormerken: Der Arbeitsschwerpunkt Gesellschaftliche Naturverhältnisse (GesNat) wird die Zehn Thesen auch auf dem BUKO 34 in Erfurt vorstellen und diskutieren.

 

(Quelle: BUKO.)