Climate Change

While certain climate change reports may not include the critical economic analysis that is required by our selection criteria, we believe it is crucial to include research that outlines the urgency of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Please also refer to the section on false solutions to climate change to read more about the dangers of geo-engineering and other risky proposals that are being promoted to tackle the climate crisis.

Sub-topics

Key Publications

Paths Beyond Paris

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After over 20 years of international climate change negotiations, talks continue to move further away from identifying the root causes of the climate crisis. These short, sharp articles highlight years of struggle, passion and commitment towards environmental, social and climate justice. This Climate Justice Compendium attempts to address the root causes of climate change beyond the fallacy of the climate negotiations and towards building international solidarity.

Don't Trade Away the Climate

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Trade agreements threaten to undermine every effort to stop the climate crisis. Developed countries are negotiating numerous trade and investment deals that will lock in polluting fossil fuels and business as usual. Trade and investment rules put profits before the planet, limiting governments’ ability to support local renewable energy, and empowering companies to attack environmental protections in secret courts. If we are to keep the increase in global temperature to less than 1.5 oC above pre-industrial levels, this approach is no longer possible. The world needs to agree to a binding global carbon budget in order to ensure a safe and sustainable future.

Agroecology and Climate Justice

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This focuses on breaking the chain linking industrial agriculture, climate change and hunger, and exposes the way in which so-called Climate Smart Agriculture has been deliberately loosely defined, so that companies can use it as a marketing tool to re-brand and validate industrial agriculture, promoting business-as-usual.

Outsmarting Nature?

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Many of the world's largest agro-industrial corporations are pushing forward the poorly-defined idea of "Climate-Smart Agriculture"(CSA) to re-market industrial agriculture as 'climate-ready'. This report uncovers how some advocates of CSA are embracing the extreme genetic engineering tools of synthetic biology ("Syn Bio") to develop a set of false solutions to the climate crisis.

The True Cost of Coal

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Traditionally considered the cheapest fuel around, the market price for coal ignores its most significant impacts. These so-called "external costs" manifests themselves as damages such as respiratory diseases, mining accidents, acid rain, smog pollution, reduced agricultural yields and climate change. The harm caused by mining and burning coal is not reflected in its price per tonne or its costs for a kWh of electricity, but the world at large is nevertheless paying for it. This report seeks to answer the question: just how much are we paying?

Towards Climate Catastrophe

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This factsheet outlines coal's contribution to global climate change and why we need to urgently make the transition from coal to renewables. Scientists have found that more than 80% of known coal reserves need to stay in the ground in order to stay within 2 degrees celsius of global warming, the globally accepted limit.

"Clean coal" is a dirty lie

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When the industry talks about “clean coal,” it is referring to a range of technologies that burn coal more efficiently, and pollution controls that remove some of the nastiest pollutants from the smokestack. Yet even the most efficient coal-fired power plants only operate at around 44% efficiency, meaning that 56% of the energy content of the coal is lost. These plants emit 15 times more carbon dioxide than renewable energy systems and twice as much CO2 as gas-fired power plants.

Traps and Dangers of REDD and other Forest Conservation Projects

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This is a precautionary guide, based on an analysis of documents and contracts related to REDD (proposed or already signed), which clearly illustrates what is happening to those communities that have already signed-up to one of these contracts and the underlying risks that exist for others who may be tempted by similar projects.

A global overview of wood-based bioenergy

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The case studies in this report show that countries in the Global South are already excessively reliant on the use of conventional wood-based sources, especially charcoal, mainly for the production of heat and electricity. In the Global North there is a shift taking place, from fossil-based fuels to wood-based energy, and this is clearly evident in the UK, the US and Sweden. Thus demand for wood is likely to increase even further. The use of wood-based bioenergy urgently needs to be reevaluated within the context of a justice-based framework that prioritises meeting basic and health needs and avoiding ecological damage.

New Economy of Nature: a Critical Introduction

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A detailed and nuanced look at the ethics and politics of the 'green economy' which outlines how and why the new economy of nature has evolved, and explains and critically questions key hypotheses of the new paradigm. A key conclusion is that handing nature over to market forces is a high-risk undertaking because if the market fails we will lose nature, irretrievably.

Economic Valuation of Nature: the price to pay for conservation?

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This brochure takes up arguments put forth in the debate about a new economy with nature. It shows that the political question is not whether economic valuation automatically involves putting a ‘price tag on nature’, but if it encourages pricing in practice. Sadly, the early examples of what ‘trading in environmental services’ looks like in reality already provide sufficient reason for saying ‘No’ to more of the same.

The Green Shock Doctrine

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Global Justice Ecology Project is publishing The Green Shock Doctrine as a means to help expose and examine the deeper issues behind the climate crisis and their links to many of the other crises we are facing. Capitalism and the markets have led us to the brink of the abyss. The more we understand how the roots of the many issues we are fighting are intertwined, the better we can cooperate to change the system driving them.

No Accounting for Taste

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This report argues that natural capital accounting is not a solution for protecting our natural environment. It addresses the fundamental problems of the natural capital accounting system being proposed at the World Forum in Edinburgh as well as the negative implications of using a market-based system to manage resources that are inherently public and commons goods.

REDD and the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation

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This report is based on five case studies prepared by national organisations in Brazil, Colombia, India, Uganda and Tanzania It concludes that projects and policies related to REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks) fail to address the underlying causes of forest loss and might contribute to further deforestation instead.

The COP19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying

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A guide exposing corporate lobbying and industry capture of COP19, the yearly UN climate negotiations, taking place in Warsaw, 11-22 November 2013. It also covers the false solutions that are being offered up by these corporate lobbies, such as shale gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon markets.

Less is More

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Europe’s reliance on materials from outside its borders is not sustainable. This report explores three different commodities – lithium, aluminium and cotton – to exemplify how our linear consumption patterns (extraction, manufacture, use and disposal) not only have major social, economic and environmental impacts, but also represent a missed opportunity for job creation and global resource security.

Biomassters Battle to Control the Green Economy

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The notion of a "great green technological transformation" enabling a "green economy" is now being widely promoted as the key to our planet's survival. The ultimate goal is to substitute the extraction and refining of petroleum with the transformation of biomass. But in the absence of effective and socially responsive governance, the green economy will perpetuate the greed economy.

People's Agreement of Cochabamba

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The People's Agreement was a key outcome of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which was a global gathering of social movements, indigenous peoples, NGOs and activists. It was hosted by the government of Bolivia on 19-22 April 2010 and was attended by around 30,000 people from over 100 countries in order to develop real solutions to the climate crisis.

Food Sovereignty

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The report contrasts the UK government’s preferred approach of ‘food security’, based on free markets supplemented by aid, with the positive alternative of food sovereignty, which returns control over the food system to farmers.  

For the Land that Feeds Us

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This publication has several aims, from highlighting the role that peasant women and men, indigenous people, and young people play in the improvement, use, conservation and defense of biodiversity, through to showing the strategic role that agroecological and family, peasant and urban agricultural practices play in the defense of territory and resistance against the advance of monocultures and extractive industries.

Also Useful

A Death Knell for Equity?

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The latest UN negotiations on climate change in Durban have further undermined the prospects of realising a truly equitable and just international treaty to tackle global warming. This edition of Resurgence contains critical informative articles from Martin Khor (South Centre), Pablo Solón (Bolivia's former chief climate change negotiator) and others.

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