WSF strategy discussion report

Climate Justice Convergences and Strategies

31 January 2009, 1500-1800

World Social Forum (WSF) – Belém, Brasil

Attendees: (see list at end)

Facilitated by: Nicola Bullard

Minutes: Tamra Gilbertson

Note: The meeting was filmed by James George from Action 2030 Institute/ The introductions were filmed by El Globo television for a programme about the WSF.



Report-back from other meetings/activities

Statement for Assemblies

Future – larger vision

Reports from meeting before and during the WSF

Maureen Santos from FASE on all day Climate Justice (CJ) meeting, 29 January 2009

  • Many local communities have alternatives already from social, political and cultural perspectives but they are invisible.
  • Food sovereignty, energy sovereignty should be a human right
  • There needs to be increase and decentralization of energy, transportation matrixes rebuilt and reconstructed
  • Society needs to be made less dependent on fossil fuels
  • Employment and labour need to be reconstructed
  • A change in a way that people view environment which includes more of an Indigenous cosmic vision
  • Increase direct action giving visibility to movements
  • Need to deepen a critique on climate justice and social and environmental issues
  • Agroecology needs to be deepened as a part of the debate especially the work women are doing in rural areas around farming and reproduction

Stine Gry reported from the Copenhagen strategy meeting, 30 January 2009

  • A lot of discussion around ‘bad deal or no deal’ debate
  • Need for a wider, more global, discussion which includes more radical voices from the South

Gregorio Malavolti, ARCI, Italy

There will be a big alternative fair in Florence, 29-31 May, and he proposed that the climate justice networks could meet at that time.

Alessandra Strickner, Global Crisis, cross-network meeting, 30 January 2009

  • Meeting of cross-linking issues around water, labour, trade, food, climate and so on
  • Sharing a report on alternatives and also strategies for the future
    • Convergence in challenging current economic system, moving towards local economies and reclaiming commons
    • There is a plan to create a document to work out what kinds of alternatives are wanted
      • 1st draft will be with networks with an aim for a feedback process

Fabrina Furtado, Jubilee South meetings

  • Working on ecological debt and debt in general with the World Council of Churches and Southern Peoples Ecological Debt Creditors Alliance.
    • Plan for a Tribunal on Ecological Debt in Latin America organized by the campaign
    • Include deeper work on global finance
      • World Bank out of anything relating to climate finance
      • Plan for assembly in Colombia in March looking at climate finance from the Inter-American Development Bank
    • Week of global action against International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Debt
      • Including ecological debt and other movements

Anne Petterman, Global Justice Ecology Project, Dialogue between Indigenous Peoples Organisations (IPOs), Climate Justice and Social Movements meeting, 31 Jan

  • Importance of addressing rights of IPOs and land rights
  • Proposals:
    • Oct. 12 – International Day of Action (Columbus Day in the US)
      • Condemnation of corporate dominance and affirmation of Ingenious World view
        • Acting as a step to clarify ways that Indigenous are so important within climate justice issues
    • Friends of the Earth (FOE) plans a time capsule for Copenhagen with messages from around the world
    • Tribunal on climate crimes for Copenhagen on carbon market crimes with a focus on ‘victims of climate change’.

Osver Polo Carrasco, GCAP, Peru – Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) meeting

  • Group is thinking about more than just Copenhagen
  • Plan to put pressure on local Ministers in Peru before Copenhagen
    • Call for others to start putting pressure on local Government
    • Call for northern groups to make southern voices more heard
    • Support the idea for a tribunal and bring cases to trial
    • Double work – educate and mobilize

Danilo Rueda, Justice and Peace Commission, Colombia

Proposal to link struggles against the different crises in a Tribunal.

Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en accion, Spain

  • Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINS) Programme of activities includes working on Free Trade Agreements and Trans-National Corporations and will link World Trade Organisation (WTO) and CJ issues there.
  • La Via Campesina made 17 point call – Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on the agenda
  • Enlanzando Alternativas had two Tribunals in Lima and Vienna

Graciela Rodriguez, International Gender and Trade Network

  • Include issues of trade and transportation into WTO issues

Soumya Dutta, Bharat Ian Vigyan Iatha, India

  • Indigenous peoples organisations (IPOs) and others have expressed that ‘new deal’ and Copenhagen should not dictate agendas or timeframe

Asbjorn Wahl, Campaign to Defend the Welfare State, Norway

  • Labour perspective missing so far
  • Climate change policy is mainly a social and political question: re-envisioning wealth distribution is important in climate change policy
  • Climate change policy could make a better world for everyone
  • Copenhagen is symbolic unless there is local pressure

Janet Redman, Institute for Policy Studies, US

  • The importance of rejecting market-based solutions came up in several meetings

Transition of Meeting – what to do next (in the meeting)

Orin Langelle– If we are talking about a short statement then can we concentrate on key points with mutual respect?

Christophe Aguiton – We have to focus agenda towards Copenhagen but unity on climate issues in all of our struggles.

Tadzio Mueller – Statement should reflect a focus on crisis and green capitalism including solutions based on a capital growth model

Nicola Bullard – Stressed the importance on how we frame a short statement

Aksel Naerstad – Draft based on discussion here and people can go off and draft something

*Group agreement that drafters will work off of papers on the wall based on the previous and following discussion*

Copenhagen and Beyond Discussion – Statement Discussion

Agreements from the group on the following limits:

  • No discussion on whether the Conference of the Parties (COP) is a legitimate body or not; against or for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • No discussions on ‘good deal vs. no deal’
  • No discussions on mobilise or not mobilize, or how to mobilize
  • We will call for alternatives like climate justice

Aksel Naerstad, Development Fund, Norway

  • Job struggle should be included – link to labour unions and working class
  • We should be clear that Copenhagen will never hold solutions or be sufficient to address climate justice
  • We should be against any kind of carbon trading
  • Fight for real changes in society

Sarah Spinney, Christian Aid

Call for ‘positive’ solutions to help mobilize people as well

Anne Petterman, US, Global Justice Ecology Project

  • This process is not just about Copenhagen but about building a climate justice movement
  • There are groups out there mobilizing for climate action and not climate justice and these are two different things

Stine Gry, Copenhagnen

  • Proposal for 5-10 sentences as a statement (maybe positive) and use them to mobilize locally and to keep them as open as possible

Alexandra Stricknet, IATP and ATTAC Austria

  • Used 3 slogans in the UK for Group of 20 (G20):
    • Secure and sustainable jobs
    • Global justice and equality
    • Climate justice
  • Should add in social dimension and democratic dimensions

Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, Legambiente, Italy

  • They have created a movement with 50 associations and are had a climate march on the 7th of June 2008.
  • Alternative Energy Politics meeting planned for Milan at the end of May
    • Focus on how to reduce CO2 and have a plan which will give leverage to then judge results of Copenhagen
    • Need measures dialogue with government about measures and if they do not do them we can start to fight

John Sinha, Climate Camp UK/Global Campaign

  • CJ is not just a statement of words but we should say we are fully support of direct action
  • This is not the end of process but beginning of building a global movement

James George,

  • The statement should be kept vague using slogans
    • ‘Don’t climate trade away our future’
    • ‘We need real climate solutions that work for everyone’
  • And others can then make more specific slogans

Tadzio Mueller, Germany

  • We need to learn from the alter-globalisation movement
  • We will not have Leninist unity on this and we should support diversity of tactics
  • Example of Gleneagles, to avoid situation where some protestors were ‘bad’ and others were supporting the UK Government
  • We need to avoid being split down the middle and agree on a common enemy

Ariel Salleh, Ecosocialist Net, Australia

  • Sustainability, justice and cultural autonomy are three main keys
  • Synergistic problem solving when we suggest tactics; we value the one that fits best inside these 3 points

Kinda Mohamadieh, Arab NGO Network for Development, Lebanon

  • Highlight Adapt Climate Alliance on human rights and climate issues from the Arab regions.
    • Create a position from oil producing countries
    • Would there be a focus towards these governments before Copenhagen?

Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project, USA

  • There should be a call for mobilization to Copenhagen to get people there and also to organize in their own countries
    • ‘A wake up call to the Earth’
    • Also support:
      • April 17 – Farmer’s movements
      • October 12 – IPO call for mobilization
    • Call the UNFCCC the World Carbon Trade Organisation

Eliot Whittington, Christian Aid, UK

  • Carbon emissions is not the focus of the CA campaign: they are looking to emphasize positive alternatives and solutions

Mariama Williams, IGTN

  • Global justice, trade justice, gender justice, labour rights, just jobs, IPs, and cultural autonomy
    • UNFCCC is penalising people most affected by climate change
    • Don’t just focus on carbon emissions, focus on affected people

Svend Robinson, SEIU Canada

  • Climate justice should be seen in a broader spectrum of rejecting the market system
  • Focus on the fundamental issue of redistribution of wealth and power
  • Clarity of global solidarity:
    • Increase in financing: redistribute wealth from rich to poor
    • Transfer technology: focus within TRIPS agreement
    • Gender issues must be front and center
    • Where are Indigenous People today at this meeting? Why aren’t they here?
    • Does not support direct action and diversity of tactics statement because it will alienate those very people we should be supporting

Gregorio Malavolti, Italy

  • Accept Diversity of Strategies
    • Not just against false solutions but also our solutions and must raise awareness of these issues and mobilize people before, during and after.

Oscar Reyes, Carbon Trade Watch/TNI

  • We need to identify diversity of tactics and support each other
  • Need for progressive engagement with the EU and other institutions such as aviation and shipping because the UNFCCC is a regime and we need to break down the parts

Maite Llanos, CSA, Latin America

  • UNFCCC is not enough and market solutions are not good
  • We should make a deadline in March for a new statement
  • On tactics: G8 in Evian was a good experience about respectful actions and we need to have that conversation before

Lory Obal, Alliance for Genuine Development, Philippines

  • We should remind those who have committed the injustices
  • How do we integrate issues of climate justice information into the lives of the poor
    • People at the Brussels level need to push
    • Make a call to national movements on climate justice

Stine Gry, Denmark

  • Add in agree to disagree on tactics for Copenhagen

Soumya Dutta, India

  • There needs to be something stating equality/equity between commons and peoples and this is more important than Copenhagen and should be recognised as a central point.
  • In justice we think of equality as a central point

Carolina Amaya, UNES, El Salvador

  • Suggestion for another adaptation fund for the ecological debt of the North

Roma, NFFPFW, India

  • Indigenous and communities have struggled already for nature, water, land but this is not recognized as climate justice
  • Linkages need to be done and this issue needs to be recognized
  • In 2004 WSF, 4,000 people (IPs) got together and when they went home the energy spread like fire and they took over their lands and struggled for lost political space
  • Climate justice is also a struggle for social and political justice, for securing livelihoods
  • Land issues, labour, community governance, ownership of resources and agrarian reform are central to CJ issues
  • A need to strategise on building up democratic spaces and plan, strategise about when we come together
  • We should go beyond Copenhagen

Maureen Santos, FASE, Brazil

  • Climate justice should be a central slogan and our homework at the Latin American level, the Brasilian level should be to inform/educate people about climate justice.
  • Use organization around trade to organize for Copenhagen
  • On a national level we need to demand the Government to push for climate justice in all international policy

Wanun Permpibul, Thai Working Group for Climate Justice, Thailand

  • Need for an additional fund for adaptation with direct access, not through the World Bank

Fiona Dear,Global Campaign on Climate Change, UK

  • Need for a united movement:
    • 12 December as the day of action
    • Call out to other countries for regional actions

Uli Brandt, Austria

  • G8 Summit in Rostock rebuilt the alter-globalisation movement in Germany because we agreed to disagree
  • Proposal for another discussion on tactics going further that agree to disagree

Phil Thornhill, Global Climate Campaign,UK

  • Need to make sure that other groups do not monopolise urgency of the situation because it should be made our central theme and we should use it

Anne Petterman, US

  • IPs and land rights should be central especially the fight against REDD should be central in the statement

Jose (Spain or Brazil)

  • Riot is not direct action
    • Smashing windows is a riot
    • Direct action it to take work in our hands and not refer to the government

Susan Cruz, Ibon Foundation, Philippines

  • This is a forum for us to have common action
    • We do not want a division
    • We do want to support others but also have out our action
    • Copenhagen is one where we can have common actions
    • We should coordinate common actions
    • Climate change will not end in Copenhagen

Joshua Muldavin, Action 2030 Institute

  • There are many voices that are not here, especially from China and if there are things that we can do to help we can

Lory Obal, Alliance for Genuine Democracy, Philippines

  • Is there a possibility for IPOs to gather worldwide together before Copenhagen?
  • IPOs are at a parallel meeting right now

Ashok Chowdury, NFFPFW, India

  • National or regional cooperating before Copenhagen should focus on countries in the South
  • Take a notice that this process seems very northern led
  • IPOs and southern countries are central to this process

Next meeting: Tomorrow morning 9-12. tent 17, multiuso 2, UFRA

Facilitation Team: Tom, Osver, Phil, Maureen, Fabrina and Stine

Drafting Team for Statement: Tadzio Muller and Nicola Bullard