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Updated: 18 min 34 sec ago

This is what climate breakdown looks like for people around the world

Fri, 2021-11-12 14:10

Climate change is here, and its effects are harming people around the world every day. Human beings and everything we built are seriously under threat from a destabilised climate. 

The facts are clear: as the world continues to pollute, the planet will warm. And no matter where you are, each fraction of a degree matters.

Here are some striking images from around the world that demonstrate humanity’s relationship with a changing climate. 

Melting ice

As temperatures rise, ice-capped mountain ranges are losing thousand year-old glaciers, and both poles are seeing whole landscapes reshaped by melting ice.

Climate change is warming the Arctic faster than anywhere in the world, breaking icebergs away from larger ice sheets.

While some Arctic communities are losing losing homelands and hunting grounds to the sea, there are other, more subtle effects on the people who call the pole home. 

For example, when icebergs drift away they can drag fishing nets with them – costing fishermen money and endangering wildlife on the seabed.–

The post This is what climate breakdown looks like for people around the world appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

“Without Indigenous Peoples, there will be no solution to climate change”

Thu, 2021-11-11 11:58

Indigenous Peoples in Brazil are in constant struggle on many fronts – against the global food system, climate change, and the destructive policies of President Bolsonaro. The sharp increase in fires, violence and killings that threaten their lives and lands in recent years are a warning for us all.

Sônia Guajajara, the executive coordinator of APIB – the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil – is a powerful voice in the Indigenous movement. Speaking at an event at COP26 – entitled “Net zero smoke and mirrors, a story of betrayal: making the case against carbon market offsetting”, she issued a stark warning to world leaders.



“I’m Sônia Guajajara, I come from Brazil. We are here with the biggest Brazilian Indigenous delegation in the history of the COP. Because for us, the climate emergency has already arrived in our territories. 

And we are very worried about all these announcements, and deals that are being signed here without considering or respecting the rights and participation of Indigenous Peoples.

It’s been 26 COP climate conferences already, and what agreements, what effective results can we celebrate to date? 

Emissions continue to increase, and in Brazil, right now, they are attempting to legalise deforestation.

President Bolsonaro presents here targets to end deforestation by 2050. But the way to end deforestation is actually to legalise destruction; is to legalise illegal deforestation and illegal mining. And that is worrying, not only because it affects us, Indigenous Peoples, but life on earth. 

We do not believe in false solutions, in compensation, or in the investment of resources in one country, while allowing another to continue to pollute, without really tackling the root of the problem. 

We are worried about the segregated spaces in this conference. We, Indigenous Peoples, (in our lands) hold 82% of biodiversity living in the world. But here, we are the ones with the smallest space for participation. 

We came here to say that without recognising, without demarcating Indigenous lands, there will be no solution to the climate crisis. 

Without the participation of Indigenous Peoples, there will be no solution.

World leaders need to understand once and for all that we, Indigenous Peoples, are the spokespeople for Mother Earth. And Mother Earth is screaming, Mother Earth is attacking.

And what about when she stops screaming? When our way of living is not respected anymore, who will continue to bring those messages here?

So we do not believe in offsets, we do not believe in compensation. But we believe in participatory processes, in changing the current consumption patterns of society, and in real changes in the mindsets of world leaders.

We cannot continue to participate in conferences and pretend we are driving effective change. We are not.

Society must move. Those in government need to reforest their minds, and understand that climate change is a reality already. Not a problem of the future.

And we, Indigenous Peoples, are here to bring our contributions for all humanity, and for the whole planet.

What are the solutions?

Point one: We need to demarcate Indigenous lands. Be they waters, seas or forests or lands. What is important is that Indigenous territories are protected. 

Second point: It is important you make the right political choices. A good portion of these businessmen that talk about zero carbon, are the same ones that are taking up legislative positions or are lobbying or weakening legislation at home, to facilitate access and exploitation of the environment.

And third point: We need to protect forest defenders. All of them are under great threat. They need security, they need protection, to continue protecting the Earth. And we need to boycott fake solutions – and all the financial mechanisms that do not reach Indigenous Peoples.“

The post “Without Indigenous Peoples, there will be no solution to climate change” appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

UK wide poster campaign brings underrepresented voices to the fore for COP26 climate conference

Mon, 2021-11-08 11:37

A slew of new posters have appeared in towns and cities across the UK, bringing the voices of underrepresented communities to the fore as the COP26 climate conference moves into its second week.

Images: https://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MDHUWYDU06
https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MDHUWYVVFF

Teams of activists across the country installed the 14 different posters in locations ranging from Cardiff through to Glasgow. The posters feature the images of 14 different activists and Indigenous leaders from across the world. Each one displays a unique and powerful message to world leaders who have been meeting at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The latest report by the United Nations Environment Programme showed the world was on track for a dangerous 2.7C of warming, well above the global 1.5C target seen as crucial to climate vulnerable nations. The G20 group of largest economies are responsible for 80% of emissions.  Despite a decade old pledge, the world’s richest nations are still failing to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance to help less developed nations tackle and adapt to the crisis.

Environmental and race activist Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl), who was one of the poster subjects, said:

“From floods in Bangladesh to forest fires in Brazil, the impacts of the climate crisis are real and they’re happening now. It’s the very people who are least to blame for this crisis who are on the frontline of its devastating impacts. I’m proud to join my voice with these 13 other activists and Indigenous leaders from around the world as we call for real action now. No more warm words, the Glasgow climate summit has to be the moment world leaders sit up and finally listen to the voices of those communities who are suffering most.”

The posters were designed by Greenpeace UK and Do The Green Thing.

ENDS

Contact: Greenpeace UK Press Office – [email protected] or 07500 866 860

Notes to editor:

  1. Sônia Guajajara – Indigenous Leader – Brazil
  2. Winnie Cheche – Environmentalist – Kenya
  3. Charles Baldaia – Climate justice activist – Brazil
  4. Kanahus Manuel – Indigenous land defender – Canada
  5. Stuart Eves – Resident of Fairbourne (first UK town to be decommissioned due to sea level rise) – UK
  6. Waya Maweru – Activist – Indonesia
  7. Manzouer Marie Thérèse – Bagyeli Indigenous community leader – Cameroon
  8. Eboe Eboe Jean Jacques – Baka Indigenous community leader – Cameroon
  9. Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl – Environmental and race activist – UK
  10. Luna Sakata – Youth Striker – Japan
  11. John Ronneth – Climate change and conservation advisor – Vanuatu
  12. Slava Doroshuk – Rainbow Warrior engineer – Russia
  13. Helena de Carols – Rainbow Warrior crew – Australia
  14. Ray Lei – Climate activist – China

The post UK wide poster campaign brings underrepresented voices to the fore for COP26 climate conference appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

All the best signs from this weekend’s climate marches

Sat, 2021-11-06 20:04

On Friday and Saturday, people came out in their thousands for climate marches around the country. The crowds were calling on governments to raise their game as we pass the halfway point of the COP26 climate talks.

And as always, the climate movement’s genius sign-writers were out in force. From terrible puns to hard truths, these marches had it all.

When will we learn?

Parched and lifeless should not be our aspiration

Some excellent home-made signs at the London climate March today. pic.twitter.com/pNaqeTVeu4

— Dr Sara Lodge (@LearNonsense) November 6, 2021

Gays for Greta

Sometimes you just have to speak from the heart

My favourite sign of #Glasgow #GlasgowCop26 #climate #ClimateAction march pic.twitter.com/prp7gIfAQq

— LilachSD (@SdLilach) November 6, 2021

There was Powerful Scottish Energy everywhere you looked

Culturally anchored #protest sign at yesterdays #FridaysForFuture #ClimateAction march in #Glasgow #COP26 #Scotland pic.twitter.com/8oT584m6RX

— The Ryan Institute (@RyanInstitute) November 6, 2021

The post All the best signs from this weekend’s climate marches appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

Amazon deforestation for October over four times size of Glasgow

Fri, 2021-11-05 19:08

Official data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research released today warns of a deforested area in the Amazon of 796km² between October 1st and 29th – more than 4.5 times larger than the city of Glasgow. 

On average, there was an increase of 27% in the area with deforestation alerts for October in the three years Bolsonaro has been in office. The average was 729 km² for 2019, 2020 and 2021 compared to an average of 572km² for the three previous years. 

Rômulo Batista, Greenpeace Brazil Amazon campaigner said:
“While the eyes of the world are on COP26, waiting for serious and decisive commitments for the future of the planet, Brazil – once a leader in these meetings – has presented nothing but empty plans that lack ambition and detail.

“Signing or endorsing agreements does not change the reality of the forest floor. Deforestation and fires remain out of control and violence against Indigenous Peoples is only increasing.” 

Deforestation alerts in October were concentrated in the north states of Pará 474km² (59.5% of the total), Mato Grosso 102km² (13% of the total) and Amazonas 90km² (11% of the total). Estimates by the Climate Observatory indicate that most (46%) of the greenhouse gases emitted by Brazil come from deforestation. 

Data from 2020 shows a trend indicating Brazil emissions increasing since 2010. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil was 9.5%; in the rest of the world there was a reduction by about 7%.

The biggest driver responsible for increasing the numbers in the country was land use change, which brings together deforestation in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes. The sector was responsible for 998 million tons of CO2 in 2020, an increase of 24% compared to 2019. 

In Brazil, a series of bills going through Congress will aggravate emissions if passed. There are proposed changes to the law to end environmental licensing (Bill 3729/2004), to open indigenous lands for exploitation (Bill 191/2020) and to make the demarcation still pending in many indigenous territories unfeasible (Bill 490/2007), as well as the legalisation of land grabbing on public lands (Bill 2633/2020).

Anna Jones, Greenpeace UK Head of Food and Forests, said:
“This data is real and it’s frightening. This is the truth lying beneath the greenwash that companies and governments are peddling as they rush to sign agreements at COP26. Robust legislation to end all deforestation in food supply chains is vital, and we urgently need to reduce meat and dairy consumption which is driving this destruction.”  

ENDS

Media Contact
Karen Mota [email protected] | +55 11 97252-6867 and Alison Kirkman [email protected] 

 

Notes

DETER Data can be viewed here: http://terrabrasilis.dpi.inpe.br/app/dashboard/alerts/legal/amazon/aggregated/# 

Emissions data here: https://seeg.eco.br/en?cama_set_language=en 

The post Amazon deforestation for October over four times size of Glasgow appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

Six reasons why Boris Johnson is right about recycling

Fri, 2021-11-05 12:03

Breaking news – the Prime Minister is telling the truth! Can it be?!

Boris Johnson was all over the news last week after telling a room full of kids that recycling isn’t working. Some have said that he’s “losing the plot”… But believe it or not, we agree with the PM on this one.

Recycling alone is never going to be able to solve our plastic problem – and the UK is a “World Leader” in exacerbating the crisis, generating more household plastic waste per person than any other country except the USA.

Plastic is everywhere you look, from our supermarket shelves to our parks and our beaches. We will not be able to recycle our way out of this mess.

Read our six reasons why…

1. Our plastic is being shipped, dumped and burned.

Well over half of the plastic waste that Boris’s government counts as ‘recycled’ is actually sent overseas for other countries to deal with. Last year we were exporting 1.8 million kilos of the stuff a DAY, and the countries receiving it can’t cope.

Take Turkey, our top export location until this summer. Our Government increased exports of plastic here by a factor of 18 between 2016 and 2020, from just 12,000 tonnes in 2016 to a whopping 210,000 tonnes in 2020.

Earlier this year, a Greenpeace investigation found evidence of British plastic waste being dumped in fields, near rivers, on train tracks and by the roadside. In many cases, the plastic, which included packaging from seven of the top 10 UK supermarkets, was on fire or had been burned. This can have serious impacts on health.

People living near dump sites in Malaysia and other countries where we send our plastic waste say that plastic pollution and burning plastic are causing respiratory issues such as coughing and difficulty breathing, headaches and itchy, irritated eyes, and are concerned that exposure to these toxic fumes may also be causing problems with menstruation or higher rates of cancer.

The consequences of the UK’s ‘recycled’ exports are disproportionately felt by poorer communities and communities of colour. The UK’s current approach to plastic waste exports is part of a legacy of environmental racism. It is modern colonialism carried out through wealthy, predominantly white countries dumping toxic pollutants on people who lack the power and resources to resist.

2. Plastic can only be recycled a couple of times

Unlike glass and metal, most plastic can only be recycled once or twice before it becomes unusable.

Recycling plastic decreases the length of the polymers that they are made up of. Polymer length determines the strength, flexibility and weight of plastic. The shorter they are, the lower their quality.

This common misconception that plastic can be indefinitely recycled has been exploited to justify the continuous overproduction of plastic that no one really wants or needs.

Recycling should still be a piece of the puzzle, but it will never be the core solution. Greenpeace is calling for a 50% reduction in single use plastic – that remaining 50% needs to be plastic that we can easily recycle in the UK.

3. We don’t have the capacity

Official government stats tell us that the UK’s recycling rate in 2019 was 46.2%… but we think this number is in fact far smaller. In the UK we currently are recycling just 230,000 tonnes a year domestically, yet we produce over 5 million tonnes. Something’s not adding up!

No one knows exactly what happens to all of our household plastic because there’s no data on this (yet). However, given our low capacity for recycling here in the UK and the fact that we know much of our exports end up dumped or burned… it’s clear that we aren’t recycling anywhere near 46%.

And even if we were – it still wouldn’t be good enough

4. There’s too much

Nearly 370 million tonnes of plastic is created globally annually, 8 million of which end up in our oceans (the equivalent of one truck load every minute of every day of the year).

On top of that, despite all our best efforts – switching to reusable water bottles, (almost) always remembering to bring reusable bags out to the shop, and of course… recycling – plastic production is actually set to quadruple by 2050.

Whilst it’s undoubtedly important that we properly deal with plastic once it’s no longer useful (i.e.  NOT dumping or burning or shipping to other countries to deal with), the bigger problem is that the amount of plastic currently being produced is completely unmanageable.

5. It’s not cost effective

Most types of plastic are recyclable. However whether or not they actually are recycled tends to rely on economic and technical factors.

For example, soft plastics (like salad/bread packaging) are extremely hard to recycle and there is a limited market for them. No market demand = no money to be made from recycling them = not gonna happen.

Therefore, what we end up with is plastic that is theoretically recyclable not being recycled because it’s not commercially viable.

The Government needs to stop delaying our long awaited Deposit Return Scheme. By adding value to worthless ‘throwaway’ plastic, DRS could help recover over an estimated 8 billion drinks containers wasted in the UK every year.

What’s even better is that since these schemes keep plastic in much better condition, DRS can be used to collect reusable packaging!

6. Fossil fuel companies are using it as justification to extract more oil and gas

Plastic is made predominantly from oil and gas – and it’s no secret how bad that is for the environment.

Fossil fuel companies that are infamous for destroying our planet (think ExxonMobil, Shell, etc) are now heavily investing in the petrochemical industry as a plan B to justify their dirty, extractive destructive ways.

In fact, petrochemicals will account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand by 2030, and nearly half of the growth by 2050.

This is why we need to shift the focus to the other R’s –  reduce and reuse. We can’t continue over producing non-essential plastic under the false pretense that we can recycle our way out of the colossal plastic crisis.

So no… we don’t think recycling is working either

Now, this may sound bleak but don’t stop doing your bit. Recycling is still part of the solution. What’s important to note is that no one wants all this non-essential plastic, it is forced upon us.

We need to transition to a system of reduction and reuse, which would allow us to stop exporting our plastic and manage what we produce in the UK. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, this more circular economy could also be worth up to US$10billion!

We know that at least 85% of people in the UK want the government and retailers to cut the amount of plastic packaging. They have the power to sort this out now… so what is Boris waiting for?

The long awaited Environment Bill will give the government new powers to set legally binding targets, including on waste. The PM needs to turn his rhetoric into action and take this chance to set a target to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025. The bill also gives the government powers to limit the export of plastic waste, which they should use to stop the export of plastic waste completely.

Ask your MP to join the call to fix our plastic crisis

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Categories: Activist News

First cracks appear in Forests Deal as Indonesia Minister calls it “unfair” and Johnson lets governments off the hook

Thu, 2021-11-04 12:39

At Tuesday evening’s press conference, Boris Johnson said consumers would be key to holding companies and financial institutions to account on deforestation “even if governments do break the pledges that they’re making” as part of the COP26 Declaration On Forests And Land Use.

Yesterday, the first signs of those pledges being broken began to appear as Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, released a statement on social media in which she said “forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 is clearly inappropriate and unfair.”

This, despite Indonesia being a signatory to the deal. 

Responding, Kiki Taufik, Global Head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Indonesian forests campaign said:
“The Minister’s statement – that comes just one day after President Jokowi signed the COP26 Forests Deal – is profoundly disappointing. It’s clear where her loyalties lie.

“She should be at the vanguard of ensuring all Indonesian citizens can enjoy their right to an intact and healthy environment as mandated in the Indonesian Constitution.

“For Indonesia to have a Minister for Environment who supports large scale developments with clear potential for environmental destruction is deplorable. Rather than ensuring we protect the planet for future generations, this is doing the opposite.

“Do we need to remind the minister that we are in the midst of a climate crisis? If we do not take immediate action to stop deforestation and the emissions occurring daily from peat drainage for industrial plantations, we will not achieve our emissions reductions goals, let alone fulfil President Jokowi’s stated goal of becoming a net carbon sink by 2030.”

On Tuesday evening, Boris Johnson said:
“The pressure comes from consumers around the world who will say to those banks – whether it’s Aviva, Barclays or whoever else, that if they break that pledge there will be a democratic, a consumer price to pay and the same goes for the companies that break that pledge. 

“So there’s been a big shift in the balance of power I think over forests towards consumers, towards people who care about it and who want to stop the forests being chopped down… whatever governments… even if governments do break the pledges that they’re making. Do you see what I’m saying?”

Anna Jones, Greenpeace UK Head of Forests said:
“At Tuesday’s press conference, Boris Johnson rendered the 100+ signatories to the Forests Deal pretty much meaningless, shifting responsibility back towards consumers to hold companies and financial institutions to account. Now, already, we’re seeing the first cracks in the deal starting to appear.

“Companies like JBS, Cargill and Bunge have a litany of broken promises, some dating back more than a decade. They have made endless commitments with little or no substance while they continue wrecking forests and destroying the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples for profit. 

“Governments AND companies need to take their pledges seriously—placing the responsibility on consumers is totally unacceptable.”

ENDS

Notes:
Johnson’s comments on deforestation at the press conference here at 34m 18s in: https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1ZkJzbwqRkRJv?t=34m18s

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Categories: Activist News

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