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ECOLOGICAL DEBT, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & CLIMATE CHANGE

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coal nov 19 2013

Warsaw, Poland – TODAY – As Australia continued to come under fire for obstructing international climate talks, civil society groups from across the world introduced a 'People's Communique on Coal' into the UN climate summit that concludes this Friday.

The climate talks have been overshadowed by the controversy of the Polish Government supporting a "coal and climate" conference on the sidelines.

The groups, from local community organisations, to regional networks and large international NGOs, released the statement today to highlight the need for an immediate and absolute just transition from coal, in order to confront the climate crisis.

"Australia has sent its coal corporation's representatives to Warsaw, instead of the humanity and compassion of its citizens," said Lidy Nacpil, of Jubilee South, Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development from the Philippines, and a leading organiser of the international statement.

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headshot lidyMy colleague Claire and I are now at the international climate talks in Warsaw – we got out of Manila just as Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful in recorded history, was making landfall in the Philippines, our home.

All our worries were confirmed when the first video coverage appeared after several hours of complete black out as all communications were down. I have many friends and colleagues in the worst hit area.

These friends and colleagues lost children. They lost parents and grandparents. They had their families shattered. They had to drag bodies out with their bare hands. They are still without proper food, water or shelter.

Philippine government agencies estimate that thousands are feared dead in Leyte island alone. CNN reports more than 800,000 people are dislocated. 800,000 souls ripped from their homes.

This is the fourth super-typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. These extreme weather events are increasing in severity. This is in line with what the science suggests: more ferocious extreme weather, driven by human emissions of climate changing gases.

A year ago during the UN Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar – the Philippines made the news with Typhoon Pablo making its destructive way through Mindanao (Southern Philippines), leaving over a thousand people dead, dislocating tens of thousands of families, destroying homes, crops and livelihoods and changing the landscape across a vast area. Those areas have not yet substantively recovered. Everyone acknowledged then that Typhoon Pablo underscored the urgent need to arrive at international agreements for decisively addressing climate change – both its causes and consequences.

Here we are one year later, at the beginning of another UN Climate Summit, with news of even greater devastation in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan, and still no real progress in international climate negotiations.

Our sorrow and our rage should make us fight harder, in all arenas at all levels, to demand that those responsible for this planetary crisis take immediate decisive action towards just and equitable solutions. It should make us work faster in building our movements and scaling up our actions, in effecting a shift in power relations and transforming the unjust and destructive system that is at the root of climate change.

Now in Warsaw, we are once again working with Friends of the Earth to raise the voices demanding change and building on our joint work over the last month during our global month of action: Reclaim Power.

We are urging international Governments to increase climate pollution controls and ban new dirty energy projects – and to deliver clean energy through people-controlled, democratic systems. And sadly, because it is now necessary, calling for an international system to deal with the loss and damage caused by the climate change we can no longer avoid.

Published in Huffpost Impact

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obama-syria-map

Today, the US is poised on an enterprise it knows best – warmongering – to shape and control the affairs of peoples and nation-states for its own ends. No other country on earth has military presence that stretches across more than 170 countries, more than 1,000 military bases and the biggest military budget in the world.

Again, US officials are sure of their facts, and President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is trumpeting them as the basis for a “limited” military strike on Syria. Just a few years ago, they were also certain of the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, which the US itself encouraged when Saddam Hussein was still in its good graces; accordingly, Bush spun a war of aggression around it.

Syria is already in deep turmoil, with various powers and interests circling like vultures to see which pawns can move their agenda. Singling out Syria lets slip the powerful Israeli lobby behind US’ military directions in the region to bring to heel Iraq, Iran and now Syria. A military strike on Syria by the US or any other foreign power, no matter how limited, can only deepen internal divisions, add to the bloodshed and further exacerbate human suffering. As America’s own record shows, no act of aggression can be limited, nor can the devastation left in its wake be contained.

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Lidy 2 December 7 2012

By Roger Harrabin, Environment analyst, Doha, Qatar

Details have emerged of a deal to solve the "hot air" row undermining the EU in the UN climate change talks in Doha.

The term refers to unused, tradeable carbon emission permits given to Eastern European nations.

They are among a number of issues that threaten to stall progress at the talks, due to end on Friday evening.

Poland had been reluctant to give up its permits; the EU has now said the country can keep them, but has put strict limits on their sale.

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Lidy December 7 2012

By Stephen Leahy

DOHA, Qatar, Dec 7 2012 (IPS) – Food prices will soar and hundreds of millions will starve without urgent action to make major cuts in fossil fuel emissions. That is what is at stake here on the last day of the U.N. climate talks known as COP 18, scientists and activists say.

Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia Pacific. Nacpil is based in the Philippines, which is currently experiencing devastation as a result of Typhoon Bopha. Credit: Stephen Leahy/IPS

Carbon emissions are already disrupting the world's climate, making extreme weather events like droughts, floods and storms more damaging. Agriculture and food production are extremely vulnerable to the impacts climate change, several scientific studies show.