[Autochtones-cop21] Report on Climate Change and the Negotiations for Paris / Alberto Saldamando, Indigenous Environmental Network

Silvanu silvanu at samizdat.net
Mer 25 Nov 11:03:20 CET 2015


Veuillez trouver ci-après un rapport d'Alberto Saldamando (juriste 
Chicano/Zapoteca), représentant d'Indigenous Environmental Network - 
IEN, concernant les négociations à Paris et des positions des ONG 
autochtones, notamment celles d'IEN.

Bonne lecture!

Sylvain
--------------------------
*www.csia-nitassinan.org*


  The Road to Paris: A Report by Alberto Saldamando
  <http://indigenousrising.org/the-road-to-paris-a-report-by-alberto-saldamando/>

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*Report on Climate Change and the Negotiations for Paris*
Alberto Saldamando, Indigenous Environmental Network

*The Road to Paris: *

The Kyoto Protocol uses as a base the States' emission of GHG in 1990. 
And the reductions of emissions are measured in tons of GHG and are 
legally binding. But since the Cancun COP in 2010 another system of 
reductions has emerged, called, Intended Nationally Determined 
Contributions (INDC). These contributions are not legally binding. They 
are only a declaration by each State of the amounts of GHG they are 
willing (or intend) to reduce. These INDC declarations began at COP 20, 
Lima.

A 2015 Bulletin of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 
greenhouse gases 
<https://www.wmo.int/media/content/greenhouse-gas-concentrations-hit-yet-another-record>reports 
that between 1990 and 2014 the world experienced an increase of 36% 
global emissions! The Centre for Science and Environment, cited below, 
using EPA's own data, reports an increase of 8% of US GHG emissions 
since 1990.

The US NDIC propose to reduce their emissions by 26-28% from 2005 to 
2025 and 34-37% of 2005 levels by 2030. A report by the Centre for 
Science and Environment 
<http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/Capitan-America-Report.pdf>analyzes 
the Contribution of the United States to reducing GHG. This Indian NGO, 
using data published by the US EPA, reports that based on 1990 emission 
levels, the current reduction in the US will be only 13-15% by 2025 and 
23-27% by the year 2030. In comparison, the European Union has committed 
to reduce its emissions to 40% of their 1990 emissions by the year 2030.

Based on their NDIC US per capita emissions by 2030 will be 12.5 - 13 
metric tons of GHG, while the per capita emissions in the European Union 
will be 6.5 metric tons. In addition, the US announced that to reach its 
goal, it will use carbon sinks (mainly the oceans and forests) and Land 
Use and Land Use Change (LULUC) to eliminate 250 million tons of 
emissions, cutting their emissions reduction commitment almost in half. 
That is, they intend to continue their emissions over and above their 
NDICs, relying on carbon sinks to absorb 250 million tons of the 
"excess" GHG.

UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Programme, estimates 
<http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=26854&ArticleID=35542&l=en>that 
the total INDCs that have so far been made are half of what's required 
to reach the objective of 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, 
2100. It hopes, in very optimistic language for more "enhanced ambition" 
by States in their INDCs in the future.

*The Major issues Leading to Paris:*

The Kyoto Protocol, (KP) is based on the principle of common but 
differentiated responsibilities; it imposes a higher obligation to 
reduce emissions from developed countries because they are historically 
responsible for the high levels of Green House Gases in the atmosphere. 
The KP also recognizes that those responsible should pay for adaptation 
and the transfer of technology needed by developing and under-developed 
States to adapt and to mitigate global warming. "Loss and Damage" 
funding for the catastrophic damage caused by climate change not only 
the past but also the future is also contentious.

Other contentious issues:

 1. Whether INDCs, such as they are, should be binding. The United
    States is opposed, saying that if they were mandatory and binding
    "it would stifle ambitions." Another theme is the distinction made
    in Kyoto Protocol between "Developed" and "Developing" States;
 2. Since emissions from China and some developing countries have
    reached seriously high levels, they should be treated in the same
    way as Developed countries. But this implies a rejection of the
    historical responsibility for climate change and the principle of
    "equal but differentiated responsibilities."

*The Free Market:*

The Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol established carbon 
credits and carbon offsets. The poison of the atmosphere became a 
commodity that can be sold on the open market. These carbon credits can 
be purchased by carbon emitting countries and companies to allow them to 
continue with their emissions over limitations, whether voluntary or not.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a 
program that generates offsets and carbon credits that can be sold on 
the carbon market. REDD + has received almost universal acceptance among 
States. Under REDD + investments in forests and reforestation increasing 
the amounts of carbon sequestered by forests can generate carbon credits 
for the same amounts of forest carbon increases. These credits can then 
be sold to States and corporate emitters to meet their emission limits. 
To paraphrase the Center for Biological Diversity (Comments on CARB 
White Paper) forest offsets only change the location of emissions - 
offsets do not reduce them.

*Positions of Indigenous Peoples:
*
The persistent demands of all Indigenous Peoples and indigenous NGOs 
<http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/un-framework-convention-climate-change-unfccc/news/2015/10/international-indigenous-peoples-d>is 
that in every action, every project on climate change, States parties 
recognize, respect and observe the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their 
lands, territories and resources and be subject to free, prior and 
informed consent, including the right to say "yes" or "no," in 
accordance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 
the UN (2007) and ILO Convention 169 (1989).

Along with other human rights, women and youth accords:

/"This Agreement shall be implemented on the basis of equity and 
science, in [full] accordance with the principles of equity and common 
but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities[, in the 
light of national circumstances] [the principles and provisions of the 
Convention], while /*/ensuring the respect, protection, promotion and 
fulfillment of human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples; 
/*/gender equality and the full and equal participation of women; 
intergenerational equity; a just transition of the workforce that 
creates decent work and quality jobs;/*/food security; and the integrity 
and resilience of natural ecosystems."/*

It may not seem like much but it has been and will be a battle. *The 
problem is that the Western States (EU, North America + Japan) do not 
recognize collective rights as "human rights." I think we all appreciate 
that our individual rights are respected. But there is an urgent need 
for our collective rights to be respected and observed. *

On the cessation of emissions there is also a single Indigenous Peoples 
and NGOs position, that States stop emitting Green House Gases. There is 
also a consensus opposition to free market carbon offsets and credits. 
There is also a position on the financing of mitigation and adaptation 
and REDD projects, that indigenous peoples directly receive funds for 
the aforestation and reforestation of forests. And I think there's 
consensus position that oil and other fossil fuels be left in the ground.

These positions are complicated by REDD and REDD+. REDD is clearly 
intended to generate carbon credits and offsets for the free market. But 
some indigenous peoples see REDD as guaranteeing the titling to their 
lands and territories. Others see REDD projects to be financed directly 
to the owners of the forests, and that indigenous people will be able to 
enjoy its benefits without State impositions interference. They have a 
vision of an Indigenous REDD 
<http://theredddesk.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdf/coica_indigenous_redd.pdf>where 
all the rights of indigenous peoples are recognized and respected, and 
their lands and territories recognized and demarcated, with sovereignty 
and self determination over their lands, territories and resources, 
under their direct control.

The Great REDD Gamble 
<http://www.foei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/The-great-REDD-gamble.pdf>, 
a recent report by Friends of the Earth (FoE) pointed to the failures of 
these aspirations in existing REDD+ projects, finding that REDD worsens 
tensions around land tenure and access to resources: "as REDD presents 
governments with an increasing financial incentive for the state to 
retain or assert ownership."

"One common factor that emerges very strongly from these case studies is 
the extraordinarily disruptive influence that REDD+ projects can have on 
Indigenous Peoples and local communities, especially if people have not 
consented to the project in question or been engaged in its design, or 
if there are existing uncertainties about land tenure. We also found 
that REDD+ projects can trample over existing local knowledge, and 
interfere with local food security."

It is the States that define and implement any international accords, 
and the histories of the implementation of indigenous rights (as well as 
human rights) does not auger well for an "Indigenous" market REDD. IEN 
and others do not have any confidence in the States and are totally 
opposed to REDD based on the free market. Forests must be rescued 
because they are the lungs of Mother Earth. Financing should be from 
public funds and not the market, leaving indigenous peoples in peace, 
free from roads, mono-crop plantations, mineral and fossil fuel 
extraction and other forms of mega projects, all permissible under REDD. 
We doubt that a market based REDD will leave indigenous peoples free to 
care for their forests in their cultural, spiritual and historical role.



*Conclusion:*
The States have been unable to address the problem of greenhouse gas 
emissions directly and as time passes global warming grows almost 
exponentially. The negotiations in Paris, to confront climate change in 
accordance with reality would have to take a very different approach 
than the one taken since 1992 to date, one based on reality and urgency.

Faced with this failure, given the "solutions" market proposals in the 
negotiations since 1992 (REDD, intelligent agriculture, LULUC), the 
forests, lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples are 
faced with the threat of land and resource grabs on a massive and global 
scale.

Indigenous peoples and NGOs hope to be there, in the streets and alleys 
outside the COP in Paris with other civil society raising our voices. 
There is still hope in mobilizations. But given the recent tragic 
terrorist attacks, national and local demonstrations during negotiations 
may be the only means of providing support and strength to the demand 
for the "Buen Vivir" of indigenous peoples and the well being of humanity.

http://indigenousrising.org/the-road-to-paris-a-report-by-alberto-saldamando/

----


      Bio Description

This report is provided by Alberto Saldamondo.  Alberto Saldamando, 
(Chicano/Zapoteca) has a BA and JD from the University of Arizona and 
is admitted to the practice of law California (retired status, Arizona 
Bar). Mr. Saldamando served as General Counsel to the International 
Indian Treaty Council (1994-2011) and is presently counsel to the 
Indigenous Environmental Network on climate change and Indigenous 
rights issues (2011 -- present).

Mr. Saldamando has developed expertise on the Right to Food, and in the 
United Nation's mechanisms for the vindication of Indigenous Human 
Rights and provides representation, training and technical assistance in 
both Spanish and English to grass-roots Indigenous Communities on 
international human rights law, standards and practice.


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