“Building the voices of rural women in climate action will make sure that there are real solutions to climate change. With the climate crisis, rural women are doubly victimised. She suffers from the lack of land and from the negative effects of the climate crisis, so we must act!” – Josiane Boyo Yebi – Côte d’Ivoire
The West and Central African Women’s Climate Assembly will be held in the Niger Delta between 17-20 October 2022. The event is co-hosted by leading women’s movements and local community organisations including Nous Sommes Les Solutions, Khelkom Women Fishers Association, Les Femmes s’engagent, L’Association de défense des droits des aides ménagères et domestiques, Réseau des Femmes Braves and Femmes Riveraines de Campo. NGO allies supporting the platform include Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, WoMin African Alliance, Green Development Advocates, and Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement.
The assembly brings together women from Guinea Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria who daily experience the costs of the rapidly growing climate crisis. Participants include women resisting mining and oil and gas extraction; industrial agriculture, fishing, and forestry; and mega energy and infrastructure projects.
Sub-Saharan Africa is carrying the extreme costs of a climate crisis not of its making. Africa has contributed less than 3% of all carbon emissions since 1880 but is warming faster than any other region in the world. While the world’s climate has warmed by a global average of 1.1 degrees celsius, the average for Africa sits at around 1.5 degrees. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and cyclones, as well as locust plagues, flooding and rising sea levels affecting coastal communities are commonplace. By 2050, as many as 86 million Africans will be forced to migrate within their own countries due to climate change.
African women face the brunt of climate impacts given a division of labour which assigns them primary responsibility for household food production and preparation, water and energy harvesting, and care for the elderly, the young and the sick. This critical gathering of the world’s most impacted people will foreground the gendered impacts and costs of a rapidly warming climate and offer women a space to share their experiences and organising strategies, learn from each other, deepen their knowledge and build solidarity.
The assembly aims to strengthen and unify women-led struggles against destructive large-scale projects and false solutions to the climate crisis and offer a powerful platform for women to propose and shine a light on the REAL development solutions that African women and their communities need to survive now and into the future. This represents the start of a permanent assembly of African women for climate and development justice.
Women and their communities in the Niger Delta have, for decades, carried the costs of ill-health, violence, hunger, and displacement, so that the world’s most powerful corporations, the wealthy and middle classes in the global North could enjoy unlimited energy supplies and development possibilities. It is apt that the Assembly is held here.
“Our food, our soil is very rich, but it’s been defiled by the oil and gas. Companies are not compensating us. Our office is our land. Before [the oil companies] we were working and contributing something…now there’s nothing for women to trade and feed their children” – Ngozi Azumah – Nigeria
Ahead of the upcoming COP27 in Egypt, billed as the ‘African COP’, the voices of African women must be at the forefront for they carry the greatest costs, but they also hold the real solutions that our continent, its peoples, nature and the world desperately need. Women say NO to the powerful multinational corporations who wield great power over northern government delegations. They demand that their governments stand with their people first. And they insist that corporations and elites in the global North acknowledge responsibility for the climate crisis and pay their dues to the peoples and the women of Africa! The time for climate justice is NOW!
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to publish a new Energy Sector Strategy before the end of 2023. A total of 130 civil society organizations from over 40 countries have released a statement calling on the EBRD to end finance for all fossil fuels, including gas.
From 2018 to 2021, the EBRD invested EUR 2.9 billion in the fossil energy sector, with the majority of this support going to gas. This makes it the third biggest funder of fossil fuels among all multilateral development banks, behind the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank.
The EBRD has already excluded coal and upstream oil and gas fields from its financing. The draft Energy Sector Strategy further excludes oil transportation and oil-fired electricity generation. However, the draft strategy would continue to allow some investment in new fossil gas pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, as well as gas power generation and heating.
In the statement, the civil society organizations point out that any new support to gas risks locking in outdated energy infrastructure in places that need investments in clean energy the most. At the same time, they highlight, ending support to fossil gas is necessary, not only for climate security, but also for ensuring energy security, since continued investment in gas exposes countries of operation to high and volatile energy prices that can have a severe impact on their ability to reach development targets. Moreover, they underscore that supporting new gas transportation infrastructure is not a solution to the current energy crisis, given that new infrastructure would not come online for several years, well after the crisis has passed.
The signatories of the statement call on the EBRD to amend the Energy Sector Strategy to
- fully exclude new investments in midstream and downstream gas projects;
- avoid loopholes involving the use of unproven or uneconomic technologies, as well as aspirational but meaningless mitigation measures such as “CCS-readiness”; and
- strengthen the requirements for financial intermediaries where the intended nature of the sub-transactions is not known to exclude fossil fuel finance across the entire value chain.
Download the statement: https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2023-09/ngo-statement-on-energy-sector-strategy-2024-2028.pdf
Almost 2,000 land and environmental defenders were killed between 2012 and 2022 for simply standing up to protect our planet and us all from the accelerating climate crisis.
For the past 11 years, Global Witness has documented and denounced waves of threats, violence and killings of land and environmental defenders across the world, and 2022 marks the beginning of our second decade documenting lethal attacks. The world has changed dramatically since we started documenting these in 2012. But one thing that has not changed is the relentlessness of the killings.
Last year, at least 177 defenders lost their lives for protecting our planet, bringing the total number of killings to 1,910 since 2012. At least 1,390 of these killings took place between the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 and 31 December 2022.
On average, a defender was killed every other day in 2022, just as was the case in 2021. Although the overall figure is slightly lower last year than in 2021, when we recorded 200 killings, this does not mean that the situation has significantly improved. The worsening climate crisis and the ever-increasing demand for agricultural commodities, fuel and minerals will only intensify the pressure on the environment – and those who risk their lives to defend it. Increasingly, non-lethal strategies such as criminalisation, harassment and digital attacks are also being used to silence defenders.
The situation in Latin America remains particularly concerning. In 2022, the region accounted for 88% of killings – an ever-growing majority of the world’s cases. A total of 11 of the 18 countries where we documented cases in 2022 were in Latin America.
Colombia tops the global ranking with 60 murders in yet another dire year for the country. This is almost double the number of killings compared to 2021, when 33 defenders lost their lives. Once again, Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendant communities, small-scale farmers and environmental activists have been viciously targeted. Yet there is hope; when Gustavo Petro, the first leftist president in contemporary Colombia, took office in August 2022, he promised social transformation and enhanced protection for defenders. No government had committed to that before.
In Brazil, 34 defenders lost their lives, compared to 26 in 2021. Defenders in Brazil faced relentless hostility from former president Jair Bolsonaro’s government, whose policies have opened up the Amazon to exploitation and destruction, have undermined environmental institutions and have fuelled illegal invasions of indigenous lands.
Mexico, the country with the highest number of killings in 2021, saw a significant drop from 54 murders in 2021 to 31 in 2022. At least 16 of those killed were Indigenous peoples, and four were lawyers. The overall situation in Mexico remained dire for land and environmental defenders, and non-lethal attacks – including intimidation, threats, forced displacement, harassment and criminalisation – continued to seriously hamper their work.
With 14 murders in 2022, Honduras has the world’s highest per-capita killings. The country’s first-ever female president, Xiomara Castro, has committed to protecting defenders. Yet early trends from 2023 point to ongoing rife violence, with reports of killings and non-lethal attacks across the country.
Read more: globalwitness
Africa Climate Summit 2023 Set to Surrender the Continent to Green Colonialism
—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
August 30, 2023; 12:00 AM PDT
- Officials from African governments, international institutions, and the private sector will converge at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, September 4 – 6, 2023, to shape the course of Africa’s climate action.
- With carbon offset schemes and tree plantations set to take center stage — despite their devastating impact along with the corruption and fraud that plague voluntary carbon markets — the Oakland Institute denounces the alarming direction taken by the event.
- An examination of the African Forestry Impact Platform (AFIP), bankrolled by European development finance institutions, Japanese oil interests, and an Australian investment firm, lays bare the green colonialism that President Ruto of Kenya is promoting on the continent.
Oakland, CA — With carbon offset schemes and tree plantations set to take center stage at the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) and Africa Climate Week (ACW) — despite their devastating social and environmental impacts and the prevailing corruption and fraud within the voluntary carbon markets — a new report from the Oakland Institute, Green Colonialism 2.0: Tree Plantations and Carbon Offsets in Africa, denounces the alarming direction taken by the Summit. Starting on September 4, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, the two events aim to establish a common position for Africa on the climate crisis for the upcoming COP 28 conference in Dubai, slated for December 2023.
The outcome will have significant implications, given the ACS and ACW — both organized by the government of Kenya — are expected to shape the trajectory of climate action for the continent. The focus and intentions of the events, centered on “leveraging” Africa’s abundant “assets” to drive “green growth and climate finance solutions,” raise serious concerns. “This approach only paves the way for further resource extraction while sidelining the rights and interests of local and Indigenous communities,” said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute.
Bankrolled by European development finance institutions, Japanese oil interests, and an Australian investment firm, the African Forestry Impact Platform (AFIP), examined in the report, exemplifies the green colonialism that President Ruto of Kenya is promoting on the continent — opening the door for more extraction of Africa’s resources. Despite AFIP’s claim of promoting “nature-based solutions,” a troubling pattern of exploitation and greenwashing underscores its investments, stakeholders, and financial backers. AFIP’s first acquisition is Green Resources, a Norwegian plantation forestry and carbon credit company notorious for its history of land grabbing, human rights violations, and environmental destruction across Uganda, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Kenya’s promotion of voluntary carbon markets overlooks their fundamental flaws. Over the span of more than two decades, they have miserably failed to reduce carbon emissions, and instead wreaked social havoc by causing forced evictions, loss of livelihoods, and violence. Conflicts of interest, fraud, and speculation plague these markets while the expansion of carbon offset schemes and tree plantations results in expropriation of community lands to generate profits for investors. Far from benefiting Africa, the expansion of carbon markets sustains the status quo of resource exploitation, greenhouse gas pollution, and North/South power imbalances.
“The ACS and ACW represent a pivotal moment. African leaders have a historic opportunity to reject the false solutions that perpetuate the same exploitative model of colonialism that has fueled this environmental catastrophe. Instead, they must listen to the calls of over 400 African civil society organizations(link is external) and prioritize real solutions that account for historical responsibility, uphold the rights of Indigenous and local communities, and pave the way for an equitable and just transition. African people deserve climate justice, not more extractivism,” concluded Mittal.
MEDIA FOR CHANGE NETWORK2 weeks ago
Pushing back: The EACOP victim community rushes to court seeking reinstatement onto their land and compensation.
DEFENDING LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS4 days ago
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels