Monday, July 7, 2008

Canada, Japan, and the USA are blocking talks at the G8 on targets to cut climate change by 2020

Dear friends,

Canada, Japan, and the USA are blocking talks at the G8 on targets to cut climate change by 2020. Donate now toward a full-page Financial Times ad calling for action:

The ad uses the Japanese "Hello Kitty" cartoon to shame them for their childish irresponsibility on climate.

The vast majority of the world's people want urgent, bold action on climate change -- but here at the G8 summit, three politicians stand in the way. Canada's Harper, Japan's Fukuda, and the United States' Bush are refusing to discuss climate targets for the year 2020.

Scientists agree that the next 12 years will make or break our response to the climate crisis. But if the facts haven't grabbed these leaders' attention, something else might: humour.

Avaaz has arranged a full-page satirical advert for Tuesday's global Financial Times newspaper, shaming Harper, Fukuda, and Bush for their climate irresponsibility. The paper will be delivered to the hotel rooms of every G8 delegate. Together, we can make it costly and embarrassing enough that these leaders will think twice before squandering another opportunity for climate progress. Click below to make a donation to help cover the cost, and then pass this message to friends and family!

Why this last-moment push? Our strategy is based on two important stories--Australia and Bali.[2]

At the UN climate negotiations in Bali, Harper, Fukuda, and Bush were trying to block any reference to climate targets for the year 2020 -- just as they are now at the G8. But a global uproar turned the tide. Negotiators from the global South rose, one after the next, to demand that the spoilers step aside. Citizen groups in every nation raised their voices -- including 320,000 Avaaz members in the final 72 hours. And a satirical full-page Avaaz ad in the Jakarta Post (a remake of the Titanic movie poster featuring Harper, Bush, and Fukuda) made headlines worldwide. A major Japanese paper later reported that this ad was waved at a top-level Japanese cabinet meeting -- leading to a step forward in Fukuda's climate policy.[3]

The second story, of Australia, shows what happens when humour combines with mass political power.

In Australia, former Prime Minister John Howard was as bad on climate as Harper, Fukuda, and Bush are now. Last fall, he chaired a summit global summit, APEC, where he tried to paint himself as a world leader on climate change. But Avaaz and other groups pushed back -- with stunts, marches, and a terrific parody television spot from our friends at GetUp, exposing Howard's charade and demanding real targets for climate emissions cuts. Climate change emerged as the defining issue of the election -- and when Howard lost, the first action of the new government was to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Harper faces a difficult election this fall, and climate change is emerging as a key issue. In the US, the campaign to succeed Bush could hinge on climate policy. And Fukuda's political opponents are challenging him sharply on how to confront the climate crisis.

In short, Our global efforts now can send political shock waves through all three countries. It's up to us to raise a cry once again. Done now, and spread the word:

We can't always be certain of the results of our actions. But in the face of the climate crisis, it's worth trying everything we can. We make green decisions in our private lives. And when the big public decisions are made, if enough of us stand together -- this time, next time, and every time -- then, one way or another, our message will be heard. Our leaders will change ... or we'll change our leaders.

With hope and determination,

Ben, Iain, Alice, Ricken, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Veronique, Mark, and Milena -- the team

PS: The climate change ad is one of four full-page ads we're running in the global Financial Times this week, all designed to multiply the impact of member-driven Avaaz campaigns. Look for them in the paper, or find them at

PPS: Here are the sources for this alert.

[1] Global and Mail: "Climate-change goals fall short at G8"

and AFP: "Climate deadlock seen at G8 despite 'constructive' Bush."

[2] See the ads and learn more about the Bali and Australia stories at

[3] Fukuda announced that Japan would adopt mid-term targets for 2020. That was a major step forward -- except that Fukuda now refuses to include these targets in the G8 negotiations. Moreover, though Fukuda has promised 2020 targets, he hasn't actually set them. See:


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

effects of climate change & sollutions

I've seen the effects of climate change - and if people won't face up to it, governments must make them

* Tahmima Anam
* The Guardian,

Two recent polls attempting to judge the public mood about climate change have revealed contradictory results. Last week's Ipsos Mori poll told us that most people doubt the human causes of climate change. Yesterday's Guardian/ICM poll told a slightly different story, one of a growing concern with climate change, with many people considering it a higher priority than the faltering economy.

The roots of scepticism can be traced to many sources. In this newspaper on Monday, Peter Wilby criticised the media for not doing its part to lend credibility to the argument. Some have pointed the finger at that fateful Channel 4 documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle; others at the sometimes contradictory messages from environmentalists. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that many people still remain unsure of the causes of climate change, and the seriousness with which we need to tackle it.

The scientists and campaigners have done their best. The IPCC's latest report states that there is a 90% chance that humans are the main cause of climate change. Al Gore has gone around the world with graphs and arresting photographs of the melting Arctic ice, proving that climate change really is happening. And, of course, there is the anecdotal evidence: everyone knows someone who has witnessed an extreme storm, or had their house flooded, or watched from a balcony as the Asian tsunami leapt from the sea.

But if, after all the messages we have received about the perils of ignorance, we remain unconvinced, it must be because of a failure of imagination. To remain in doubt about our own culpability means that we are unable to imagine an era that is dramatically different from our own.

Unfortunately, as I come from Bangladesh, I do not have to envisage the horror of what is to come because climate change has already arrived in Bangladesh. I must simply describe what I see before me: the sight of fresh water turning to salt, leaving the paddy fields yellow and withered; the rivers eroding at lightning speed; the water slowly gnawing away at the land, so that people can point to the sea and say, "When I was a child, our village was over there." In a few weeks, I will be travelling to Bangladesh to stay with families who have had to build their homes on plinths to stop them being washed away. I will return to dry land and write about them, and hope to fire the imagination: to frighten people into believing that this may someday happen to them. I will attempt to perform a feat of wordsmithing that will make people suspend their disbelief once and for all.

But though I have staked much on the power of words, I know that the imagination has its limits. And when the imagination fails, it is the duty of those who govern us to set the rules. They must make us give up our cars and cheap holidays, our lightbulbs and draughty windows. I don't say this easily, because I come from a country that regularly flirts with dictatorship. I know the dangers of a heavy-handed government. But if these two surveys have anything in common, it is in the fact that people want the government to take the lead.

Last week, Gordon Brown revealed his plan for a green revolution - bold and expensive, it will mean a dramatic change in the source of our energy. This is precisely the type of commitment we need. But I hope he will forgive me for being wary: the jet lag from his trip to Saudi Arabia, where he went to beg for lower oil prices, had probably hardly passed. More importantly, his scheme, dependent as it is on private financing, relies on companies taking their own decisions on whether or not to invest in renewables.

The time has passed for subsidies and grants. The time has passed for our leaders to treat us like clients - advertising, cajoling, giving incentives and subsidies. It is time now for a leadership that does not attend to popularity ratings or re-election percentages. Climate change is happening. We, and the generations before us, have caused it. It should not matter whether we believe it or not.

· Last week I attended my friend Shelly's baby shower. In the course of talking about her plans for the birth (drugs, drugs, drugs), she told me she had signed up for a 10-week "perineal re-education" course straight after having the baby. Shelly lives in France, and according to the French, it is imperative to retrain one's birth-giving muscles. It is part of the national healthcare, she said.

I had just been reading about how NHS nurses were being persuaded to smile more so, feeling irrationally jealous, I asked her what this re-education would consist of. A woman is going to come to her house to massage her nether regions and get her to do a series of exercises to rebuild her pelvic floor muscles. Otherwise, she tells me sagely, everything is going to sink. Incontinence will follow. By now I am slack-jawed.

Then Shelly's sister, who lives in Geneva, tells us that whatever the French do, the Swiss do better. After the birth of her son, her perineal re-education included a machine to measure the strength of her pelvic floor muscles. She was told to exercise at home, and given regular progress reports. Her programme took just five weeks, half the time it will take Shelly. Either way, I thought, this must have something to do with why French women look disgustingly chic at any age - an unsqueamish response, on all fronts, to the humiliations of ageing.

· This week Tahmima read David Singh Grewal's Network Power: "A groundbreaking book that tackles globalisation's central conundrum: its ability to simultaneously enable and limit our freedoms." She watched Kung Fu Panda: "The visual effects were impressive - clearly borrowed from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And it was hilarious."

biofuel caused food crisis

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive

* Aditya Chakrabortty
* The Guardian,

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.

The figure emphatically contradicts the US government's claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.

Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.

"It would put the World Bank in a political hot-spot with the White House," said one yesterday.

The news comes at a critical point in the world's negotiations on biofuels policy. Leaders of the G8 industrialised countries meet next week in Hokkaido, Japan, where they will discuss the food crisis and come under intense lobbying from campaigners calling for a moratorium on the use of plant-derived fuels.

It will also put pressure on the British government, which is due to release its own report on the impact of biofuels, the Gallagher Report. The Guardian has previously reported that the British study will state that plant fuels have played a "significant" part in pushing up food prices to record levels. Although it was expected last week, the report has still not been released.

"Political leaders seem intent on suppressing and ignoring the strong evidence that biofuels are a major factor in recent food price rises," said Robert Bailey, policy adviser at Oxfam. "It is imperative that we have the full picture. While politicians concentrate on keeping industry lobbies happy, people in poor countries cannot afford enough to eat."

Rising food prices have pushed 100m people worldwide below the poverty line, estimates the World Bank, and have sparked riots from Bangladesh to Egypt. Government ministers here have described higher food and fuel prices as "the first real economic crisis of globalisation".

President Bush has linked higher food prices to higher demand from India and China, but the leaked World Bank study disputes that: "Rapid income growth in developing countries has not led to large increases in global grain consumption and was not a major factor responsible for the large price increases."

Even successive droughts in Australia, calculates the report, have had a marginal impact. Instead, it argues that the EU and US drive for biofuels has had by far the biggest impact on food supply and prices.

Since April, all petrol and diesel in Britain has had to include 2.5% from biofuels. The EU has been considering raising that target to 10% by 2020, but is faced with mounting evidence that that will only push food prices higher.

"Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate," says the report. The basket of food prices examined in the study rose by 140% between 2002 and this February. The report estimates that higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15%, while biofuels have been responsible for a 75% jump over that period.

It argues that production of biofuels has distorted food markets in three main ways. First, it has diverted grain away from food for fuel, with over a third of US corn now used to produce ethanol and about half of vegetable oils in the EU going towards the production of biodiesel. Second, farmers have been encouraged to set land aside for biofuel production. Third, it has sparked financial speculation in grains, driving prices up higher.

Other reviews of the food crisis looked at it over a much longer period, or have not linked these three factors, and so arrived at smaller estimates of the impact from biofuels. But the report author, Don Mitchell, is a senior economist at the Bank and has done a detailed, month-by-month analysis of the surge in food prices, which allows much closer examination of the link between biofuels and food supply.

The report points out biofuels derived from sugarcane, which Brazil specializes in, have not had such a dramatic impact.

Supporters of biofuels argue that they are a greener alternative to relying on oil and other fossil fuels, but even that claim has been disputed by some experts, who argue that it does not apply to US production of ethanol from plants.

"It is clear that some biofuels have huge impacts on food prices," said Dr David King, the government's former chief scientific adviser, last night. "All we are doing by supporting these is subsidising higher food prices, while doing nothing to tackle climate change."

EYFA newsletter

EYFA newsletter is a tool to spread information on campaigns, actions,
meetings and convergence happening around Europe and beyond. Info is
forwarded to our network e-list and to network partners and contacts.
Please send us info if you have news to be spread. You
can find our previous newsletters archived on our website at


.on Nuclear Power

You may have noticed an absence of Network News for May... with project
deadlines looming and hosting the annual Eclectic Tech carnival in
Amsterdam (, our hands were full. But,
with organization of our Ecotopia 'Alternative Energies' meeting in
Turkey now well underway, we would like to focus on the ongoing
activities against Nuclear power.

* Intro
* Do not forget Chernobyl
* EU keeps investing in nuclear power
* International day of action to support the Czech hunger strikers
* Ecotopia in Turkey
* International Anti-Nuclear Festival, Finland
* Bye-Bye Nuclear Bombs Action Camp, Germany
* Nuclear industry gears up for Global Push. So it's time to push back!



Even though the arguments against nuclear power stand strong and valid
for decades, the number of plans for new nuclear power plants continues
to grow. Nuclear companies, supported by businesses and politicians, say
that nuclear power is indispensable for fighting climate change and
ensuring economic growth. They also claim that all the problems
associated with nuclear power have been solved.

The truth is that nuclear power is dangerous, expensive, dirty and not
helpful, and associated with numerous problems such as:
* the impossibilities of permanent storage of nuclear waste (DANGEROUS),
* the financial and technical problems of building nuclear power plants
* the impacts of uranium mining (POLLUTING),
* the numerous and serious nuclear accidents have taken place recently
* the dangers of proliferation (ALSO RELATED TO PRODUCTION (AND USE) OF
* the contribution to, rather than mitigation of, climate change (NOT

Read more and download brochures on nuclear power:


Do not forget Chernobyl

Reactor No 4 at Chernobyl exploded on April 26th 1986, 22 years ago.
That day, one of the biggest technological and industrial disaster the
world has ever known began. Chernobyl keeps claiming victims nowadays :
its irreversible and catastrophic impact on health (cancers, multiple
organ failures, mutations...) will affect generations to come.


EU keeps investing in nuclear power

634.686 Europeans and more than 780 NGOs have signed a petition against
developments of nuclear power in Europe (see Still, the European Union
continues to support the nuclear industry, notably through the Euratom
Treaty. Article 1 of the Euratom Treaty says “it shall be the task of
the Community to contribute to the raising of the standard of living in
the Member States and to the development of relations with the other
countries by creating the conditions necessary for the speedy
establishment and growth of nuclear industries”. The Treaty was signed
in March 1957 and channels funds to the nuclear power industry. It
includes a lending facility with billions of Euros to help build or
improve nuclear power plants.

All EU Member States are automatically members of Euratom. This also
counts for states that never had nuclear power, have phased out nuclear
power or have agreed to do so in the future. Unlike in most other fields
of policy making, the European Parliament has no decision-making power
over the Euratom budget. The Euratom €2.75 billion Euro budget for
nuclear power for the next five years has hugely increased compared to
the €1.35 billion Euros for the previous seven-year programme. From the
same energy budget, the EU will spend only €1.175 billion on renewable
energy and energy efficiency in the period 2007-2013.


International day of action to support the Czech hunger strikers

Over the last few months, the US has been finalizing plans with the
Czech Republic and Poland to build 'defensive nuclear missile shield' in
these countries as part of a bigger project, which will potentially see
the completion of construction of American missile bases all over the
world. With the disapproval of Russia and other European countries, and
the EU members failing to come to an agreed decision on the US plans,
tension is rising, creating a precarious and uncertain atmosphere.

On May 13th, two Czech activists began a hunger strike to represent more
than 66% of Czechs who are against the plans. The strike is now
advancing into 24-hour 'shifts' where prominent figures involved with
the Czech anti-nuclear movement will take part by fasting one after the
other. Sign the petition asking the Czech government to reject the US


Ecotopia in Sinop, Turkey, August 9-23

This year's Ecotopia will take place close to the city of Sinop on the
Black Sea coast, one of the three planned location for the construction
of nuclear power plants in Turkey. Despite the plans being opposed by
local activist, the construction is likely to start next year. During
this Ecotopia, Turkish and international participants will support local
anti-nuke activities.

Links to anti-nuclear groups and campaigns in Turkey:


International Anti-Nuclear Festival, Eurajoki, Finland, June 23-28

Workshops, seminars, music, ACTION. A free international gathering to
expose nuclear madness, create better alternatives and to have a good
party! In close vicinity of Olkiluoto, nuke plant and building site of
the world's largest nuclear reactor, a fault-ridden prototype...See


Bye-Bye Nuclear Bombs Action Camp, Buchel, Germany, August 25-31

The Buchel Military base currently stores between 11 and 20 nuclear
bombs, with the destructive force of 150 Hiroshimas. In the case of war,
German soldiers are obligated under NATO treaty and of course US
instructions to transport the bombs and drop them on targets, regardless
of whether targeted countries are in possession of nuclear warheads
themselves. On 30th of August, the Buchel nuclear base will be encircled
by activists as part of the week long protest camp. More explanation and
information on participating can be found here:


Nuclear industry gears up for Global Push. So it's time to push back!

The G8 summit in St.Petersburg of 2006 was a fruitful meeting for the
nuclear industry. Not that weird if you consider that the nuclear
weapons and energy programmes of G8 countries make up the majority of
the world's nuclear technology. The influence of the nuclear industry
and the military implications of nuclear technology have made nuclear
issues a part of the agenda at the recent G8 summits and the protests
against it. And yes, it's high on the agenda again for the coming G8
summit in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan July 7-9.

Article - G8 and the nuclear industry:
Protests 2006:

G8 Japan 2008:"It is time world leaders recognize the power source as a
practical way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," so says Japan's
nuclear power industry:

No-G8 Japan:
G8 Action Network:
Summary of the Anti-G8 Japan Action and Logistics:

(More on the G8 and the world-wide protests against it in our July

Published electronically by EYFA
Network mailing list

Tuesday, July 1, 2008



EYFA newsletter is a tool to spread information on campaigns, actions,
meetings and convergence happening around Europe and beyond. Info is
forwarded to our network e-list and to network partners and contacts.
Please send us info if you have news to be spread.
--- -- -- - - - - -- - --- - - - -- --- - --- -- --- -- - - --- -- - --
. on Global Matters

It looks like it is going to be a hot summer of transnational gatherings
and transnational action. So whether you jump on your bike, the bus or
train crossing borders to put up your tent or roll out your sleeping bag
elsewhere (those priviliged to cross borders, that is), or whether you stay
in your neighborhood and bring global matters to the forefront in your
locality, there sure is no need to get bored the coming months.

1. G8 Hokkaido, Japan July 7-9 – Take action everywhere
2. 5th Peoples' Global Action Gathering Athens, Greece August 20-27
3. ESF & Autonomous Spaces Malmo, Sweden September 17-21
4. The European Return Directive
5. Go camping

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1. G8 Hokkaido, Japan July 7-9 – Take action everywhere

Climate change, hot on the agenda of the coming G8 summit. We already
mentioned this talkshow of the 8 'world leaders' in our June newsletter
.on Nuclear Power. The solution to reduce CO2 emissions lies, according
to the G8 and it's Japanese host, in nuclear power. For a future, less
actions will take place in Japan and around the world. See for a rough schedule.

Actions have taken place already and continue on July 1 with themed days
of action in Japan against militarism, against WTO and privatization, and
against neo-liberalism. On July 5 there is an International Day of Action.
Join your local groups or get your friends together and stage an action
yourself. Below you find activities in some countries but resistance
the G8 is, and has been, global and everywhere.


'Make the Tokyo summit 2008 the last summit!'
Walden Bello interviewed by Ogura Toshimaru, August 2007:

In solidarity with the protestors in Japan.
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2. 5th Peoples' Global Action Gathering Athens, Greece August 20-27

PGA - People's Global Action - started in 1998, it has been a tool and
a diffuse structure coordinating groups and people sharing common
struggles and practices, in accordance with various anticapitalist and
anti-authoritarian principles. PGA was a driving force behind numerous
actions and reflections. At the convergence of international initiatives
local struggles, groups close to the PGA are now looking for new drives to
challenge stagnation.

On the agenda: Autonomous spaces and squating, patriarchy, gender,
radical feminism, anti-repression, anti-militarism, biotechnology,
environmental struggles , indigenous spaces , anti-globalization, G8,
DIY activities and sharing skills, fanzines, infoshops, land and autonomy,
eco communities, digital struggles, indymedia tools, precarity and
....and, yes, more.

PGA? A network? A coordination? An exchange?
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3. ESF & Autonomous Spaces Malmo, Sweden September 17-21

More than 20.000 people are expected to participate in the 5th
European Social Forum, which is a meeting place for social movements
in Europe. During five days seminars and workshops will be mixed with
culture, music, activism and demonstrations. See

During the 4th ESF in Athens 2006, EYFA took part in the
Autonomous Spaces. See
At that time a welcome opportunity for networking and exchange outside
the mass event that the ESF was that year. Also this year a wide range of
Autonomous Spaces. See

Check also the webtool that is being used by groups and
networks in preparation for ESF and Autonomous Spaces.
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4. The European Return Directive

On June 18 the European Parliament voted in favour on new draconian
laws against clandestine immigrants. It is the latest stage in the passage
of common rules on migration, making it possible to detain irregular
migrants for up to 18 months and to detain and deport vulnerable people
(pregnant women, the elderly people, victims of torture...) and unaccom-
panied minors. Plus a five-year ban from Europe for all people who are
expelled, stimatizing the 'illegal' immigrants and transforming then into
delinquents who must be deported.

'Global outcry against EU immigation directive':

Meanwhile at the borders:

Mobilisation has also started for actions against the EU-Africa-summit
on "migration and development" in October 20-21 and the EU-meeting
before, October 13-14, in Paris. It is now clear that there will be a
counter summit, a demonstration and a concert on the weekend before
October 17-18. See the first call 'For a Europe of openness and solidarity'
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5. Go camping

The Summer is always full of outdoor activities and we wanted to
highlight some here.

20th annual Ecotopia Gathering – August 9-23 Sinop, Turkey.
Ecotopia will take place close to a location determined for the construc-
tion of a nuclear power station, so the main theme this year will be energy
issues (see our previous newsletter .on Nuclear Power).

NoBorder Camp Turkey – August 25-September 2nd Dikili
The holiday paradise at the Aegean sea has been a passage for migrants
since the 1980s where many attempt to enter fortress Europe.

Climate Camp 08 – August 3-11 Kingsnorth, UK
In the middle of climate change the UK government and power giant
E.ON plan to build here the UK's first coal-fired power station in 30

Klimakamp 08 – August 15-24 Hamburg, Germany
Following the model established by the Camp for Climate Action in
the UK.
The camp will be located near the coal harbor and amid several agrofuel
companies. /

Antiracist actioncamp – August 17-24 Hamburg, Germany
With a focus on EU-charter-deportations to Africa from Hamburg
Background info in English:

Climate change & Migration, you would think there is a connection.

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