Charities demand radicalism in face of officials’ delay

Governments called to set “real” zero-carbon emission targets

Speaking in Glasgow on November the 8th, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, ActionAid and Global Witness, alongside indigenous representatives, called for governments to set “real” zero-carbon emission targets.

Representatives from the groups told the Cop26 summit that greenwashing and “delayism” is the new climate change denial, a brake on the movement for action in recent decades.

Meeting net zero carbon is not an impossible task

Many companies want people to believe that meeting net zero carbon is an impossible task. Perhaps lots of people would agree that for many companies in any realistic timescale it seems likely not able to come to it. We can agree that even attempting to meet that target will impose enormous costs on companies even those who are not big generators of carbon emissions. It is true that to reach the terms one shall have to invest a lot of money, but it is worth it!

All of us should be aware that though the globe offers a lot of land for mankind, there is not enough land on the planet to offset all of this continued pollution.

Transforming global systems (1)

Actionaid logo.svgActionAid International climate policy co-ordinator Teresa Anderson said:

“There is no alternative to systemic change to bring emissions down to a real zero.”

She said that transforming global systems would be very hard work but that, after 26 such annual summits, that work hasn’t really begun.

“We have to be willing to take a risk, be different, be radical, bring voices into these spaces — and be laughed out of the room the first 10 times we say it. Unless we do this, we don’t have a chance. We need to do the math and understand that.

“Our job is to normalise the radical, because nothing less will give us a chance of a liveable planet.”

As civilians having to live in this world, we can not allow our lives to be shortened by the polluted air and by the unwillingness of our political leaders.
The leaders should get to know that we are keeping an eye on them and that we, the people, need real action from our government and from all the world leaders, rather than offset schemes that will harm us in the long term and are harming us now.

Peoples already feeling the effects of failure

Sônia Bone Guajajara (cropped).jpg
Sônia Bone de Souza Silva Santos, known as Sônia Guajajara, born to a Guajajara family on Araribóia Indigenous Land, member of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL)

The Brazilian indigenous activist, environmentalist, and politician Sonia Guajajara of indigenous group Articulacao dos Povos Indigenas do Brasil said that peoples such as hers are already feeling the effects of failure, particularly at the hands of President Jair Bolonsaro. She said that communities must be empowered and that any false solutions should be flatly rejected.

Delayism, the modern form of denialism

Global Witness official logo.svgGlobal Witness campaigns director Seema Joshi warned the problem is companies are refusing to cut emissions now.

It is a form of delayism, the modern form of denialism, with a continuation of focus from fossil fuel companies on traditional fuels, she said, pointing to the scale of lobbying at Cop26.

Global Witness had earlier released findings of its own study, which found that fossil fuel companies and lobbyists had more than 500 delegates in Glasgow, a larger body than any single nation at the climate conference. Analysis of the UN’s provisional list of named attendees suggests that 503 delegates at Cop26 are either directly affiliated with fossil fuel companies or are affiliated to oil, gas or coal firms.

Some 27 official national delegations registered fossil-fuel lobbyists, including Canada, Russia and Brazil.

Campaigners want to see a policy that excludes organisations with financial or vested interests in the production or burning of fossil fuels from such a summit.

The calls for action come as research show that the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable countries could lose almost two thirds of their economy by the end of the century.

False eco-friendly companies

We can see that as the environmental movement gained momentum more companies and corporations tried to frame themselves as eco-friendly, the range of greenwashing transgressions widened. Their cleanliness and care for the environment are frequently praised. But often it is just a shield, hiding the truth of their incapability to produce really eco-friendly products.
Today, charges of greenwashing have been applied to a broad range of unethical behaviours, such as deceptive marketing practices, untruthful environmental reporting, and fraudulent environmental activism.

In recent years, Al Gore has remained busy travelling the world speaking and participating in events mainly aimed towards global warming awareness and prevention. Lots of companies could not ignore him and wanted also some part of the money cake of his co-launched Generation Investment Management, a company for which he serves as Chair. The company was “a new London fund management firm that plans to create environment-friendly portfolios, managing assets of institutional investors, such as pension funds, foundations and endowments, as well as those of ‘high net worth individuals,’ from offices in London and Washington, D.C..

Greenwashing and pension funds

While greenwashing is not new, it has increased over recent years to meet consumer demand for environmentally-friendly goods and services. The problem is compounded by lax enforcement by regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, the Competition Bureau in Canada, and the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice in the United Kingdom.

Official portrait of Zarah Sultana MP crop 2.jpg
Zarah Sultana, British Labour Party politician, Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry South since the 2019 general election.

Co-ordinated by Labour MP Zarah Sultana, m than 130 MPs have signed a cross-party letter to their parliamentary contributory pension fund (PCPF), urging it to stop “funding climate disaster” with its investments in fossil fuel firms. The letter acknowledges that the fund’s trustees have reduced investments in fossil fuel firms but urges them to go one step further and divest from the industry in its “entirety, as soon as possible.”

“Without this, our pensions are contributing to temperature rising above 1.5°C,”

it reads.

“If this limit is exceeded, by the time younger members are old enough to draw our pensions, a full-blown climate catastrophe will have struck, with ice caps melted, food systems collapsed and deadly extreme weather becoming the norm.”

The pension fund has so far invested £36 million into wind and solar energy and cut funding to oil giant BP by 62 per cent due to pressure from former and current MPs, according to campaign group Divest Parliament. A separate pledge by the group has received the backing of 360 former and current MPs.

Greenpeace activists outside BP

The letter, signed by more than half of Labour MPs, continues:

“It is recognised that as elected representatives, we have a responsibility to show leadership on the climate emergency and ensure that our pensions are not funding climate disaster.

“Let us get our house in order by aligning our pension investments with a green and prosperous zero-carbon future that helps to contain global heating to below 1.5°C.”

Transforming global systems (2)

Furthermore transforming global systems should be first on the list.

Companies refusing to cut emissions now, should be called to account.

Christian Aid logoAnalysis by Christian Aid shows the world’s most at-risk countries could suffer an average 64 per cent hit to their economy by 2100 under current climate policies.

The study also suggests countries could see their GDP reduced by a fifth by 2050 on the policies that countries have in place to tackle climate change, which put the world on track for 2.9°C of warming.

Campaigners warned that a robust system for dealing with the inevitable loss and damage to people, land, livelihoods and infrastructure caused by rising temperatures is needed — as well as more action to cut emissions.

Consumers have the responsibility to look for the origin of their products and to insist on the businesses which deliver their goods to be responsible and to help impact the environment in a positive way by recycling, using eco-friendly materials, recycled products, and creating social initiatives.

Nushrat Chowdhury, Christian Aid’s climate justice adviser from Bangladesh, said:

“People are losing everything. Sea levels are rising, and people are desperate to adapt to the changing situations.

“If ever there was a demonstration of the need for a concrete loss and damage mechanism, this is it.”

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Preceding

  1. The world is still on course for climate catastrophe
  2. World leaders gathering in the Scottish city of Glasgow for the UN climate conference
  3. Dangerous climate change is already with us
  4. The end of week one at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow
  5. Young people at COP26 have to “Stay angry”

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Additional reading

  1. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  2. State capitalism and climate emergency

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Related

  1. Explainer: What is ‘greenwashing’?
  2. Greenwashing Tactic #10: Gaslighting, Harassment, Stalking and Attempting to Discredit Critics
  3. Greenwashing Spotlight: Fashinza
  4. The EU Taxonomy: What It Is And Why It Gives Me Hope For A Sustainable Future
  5. A Reality Check and A Challenge 
  6. Are financiers greenwashing COP26?
  7. Greta Thunberg calls COP26 event ‘greenwashing’
  8. Conference of the Polluters
  9. Environmental Sustainability
  10. Greenwashing: Fashion & Beauty’s Dirty Little Secret
  11. Green Words and their Impact: The Role of Language in Greenwashing
  12. FCA Praised For “Globally Harmonised” ESG Strategy
  13. COP26, Regulatory Arbitrage and Greenwashing
  14. Week 1 Recap
  15. Consumer Rights and ResponsibilitiesThe Climate Crisis: It’s Not Just Consumers’ Faults

Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

5 thoughts on “Charities demand radicalism in face of officials’ delay

  1. I don’t have any children myself and with a lot of luck it will hopefully remain viable for me, but it is very different for the younger generation and certainly for their children. These people should all (and I expressly say “all”) take immediate action, regardless of what leaders, governments and industrialists do or fail to do. Unless they are completely unconcerned about the future of their offspring, that will mean that they will have to learn to part with non-essential luxuries that are strongly energy and resource bound (such as long journeys, and other really unnecessary travel, without the need for basic mobility. to lose). Our ways of living must also be different, less large-scale, more sustainable and more energy-efficient. Then there is our (imposed by the consumer society) almost unstoppable urge for consumption. All this has an impact on our consumption of raw materials that is not infinite. There is also the problem of the food and (drinking) water supply that we will have to deal with…. That too will become an incalculable problem. What I also do not want to lose sight of is our enormous waste problem. There, too, there are immense challenges that, if we don’t act, will pose a very harmful health risk.
    Our leaders are now focusing on CO2 as if it were the only problem in this world. They think they can save the world with green energy, but there is an even more menacing avalanche hanging over their heads….

    Electric cars or hydrogen technology alone will not get us anywhere. On the contrary. If in the short term every car has to be electrically or hydrogen-driven, the car industry will need an incalculable mass of new raw materials, while our planet is already exhausting far too much. All that is going to happen is that car manufacturers and electricity suppliers are waiting golden years!

    I think it’s better to start sweeping our own door and find out for ourselves what a useful input can be to reduce the burden on our environment (read “the only earth we have for our posterity”). This can go into effect immediately, from this very moment. We all need to be able to convince each individual to participate in it. Believe me, the impact of billions of people combined is many times greater than anything politics will achieve.

    The problem is, how do we wake these people up? Well that brings me back to the beginning of this plea… their own children and grandchildren.
    From now on, think twice before you act and ask yourself the question “What is the impact on the future of my son, my daughter, my grandchild?”
    I find it hard to believe that our selfishness is so great that we would even ignore this question.

    One more thing…. everything described above is going to cost us little or nothing, what our leaders intend will be felt much more in our purses, we may even gain some money. That’s a great motivation too, isn’t it ?

    Let’s try to build a better planet ourselves. Let’s start TODAY !

    (forgive my English, I used google tanslate but I hope the message is clear for all of you.)

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for this clear presentation.

      I would like to add that too many people forget that “electricity” is not at all the great solution, as you indicate, and that we should be very careful of how we are going to get enough electricity. The waste from spent solar cells is very dangerous and polluting and will cause a big problem in a few years, now that so many solar panels are being installed.

      As you rightly say we have to start sweeping in front of our own door and have to find out for ourselves how we ourselves can help to reduce the burden on our environment. The way we consume our goods shall have to be our new focus.

      Like

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