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A Just and Global Green New Deal

October 29, 2010

Our global responses to the recession and climate change are inextricably linked. Political and policy decisions in the next ten months on the recession and on climate change will define whether our planet and its people are heading for a brighter future of prosperity and climate security, or a future of inequality, poverty, conflict, and destructive climate change. If governments round the world respond appropriately, the twin economic and climate crises could prove a profound and catalysing turning point in moving to a more just, equal and sustainable world. A just and global green new deal could be both an economic and a political turning point that will mark the start of a new era.

Another Inconvenient Truth: How biofuel policies are deepening poverty and accelerating climate change

October 29, 2010

The current biofuel policies of rich countries are neither a solution to the climate crisis nor the oil crisis, and instead are contributing to a third: the food crisis. In poor countries, biofuels may offer some genuine development opportunities, but the potential economic, social, and environmental costs are severe, and decision makers should proceed with caution. Biofuels are presented in rich countries as a solution to two crises: the climate crisis and the oil crisis. But they may not be a solution to either, and instead are contributing to a third: the current food crisis.

Beyond Aid: Ensuring adaptation to climate change works for the poor

October 29, 2010

Climate-related shocks are affecting the lives of millions of poor people with increasing frequency and severity. Without urgent action, recent development progress will stall - then go into reverse. The international community must make a new commitment to fund adaptation to climate change. Funds must be additional to the promise to deliver 0.7 per cent of rich country income as aid and raised and managed in new ways. A global adaptation finance mechanism is needed, able to deliver the scale of funding required and governed according to the principles of equity, subsidiarity, transparency, and accountability. This will insure against future development losses and help to resuscitate the international climate negotiations, laying the foundations for a fair and safe deal at Copenhagen at the end of this year.

Biofuelling Poverty: Why the EU renewable fuel target may be disastrous for poor people

October 29, 2010

In January of this year, the European Commission published its Renewable Energy Roadmap, proposing a mandatory target that biofuels must provide ten per cent of member states' transport fuels by 2020. This target is creating a scramble to supply in the South, posing a serious threat to vulnerable people at risk from land-grabbing, exploitation, and deteriorating food security. It is unacceptable that poor people in developing countries bear the costs of emissions reductions in the EU. To avoid this, the Commission must include social standards in its sustainability framework, and develop mechanisms by which the ten per cent target can be revised if it is found to be contributing to the destruction of vulnerable people's livelihoods.