Thursday, February 9, 2012

Belgische NGOs ook Tegen Gifsoja (4)

1. Proposals for food sovereignty and climate justice
- Analysis and proposals to cope with the ‘forgotten’ food-, energy and climate crises
In this document we give proposals for a more just trade, agricultural, climate and energy policy. We do
this at this moment because the coming months crucial decisions will be made for the supply of basic
needs and the future of our planet. So the Climate Summit COP17 will be organised in Durban South
Africa (28 November – 9 December) and the WTO-summit will be from 15 until 17 December in
Geneva. Also the G20 summit will be organised at 3 and 4 November and these months negotiations will
start about a new European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020. Besides that protection of
the right to food and right to a livelihood, and the prevention of disastrous climate change have
everything to do with the political choice for competition on the world market in WTO and other free
trade agreements.
We have now the chance to say no to:
− Liberalisation of agricultural markets; a political choice which has been made (only) twenty (EU,
WTO) to twenty five (World Bank, IMF) years ago. Before that time politicians realised that
agriculture and free trade don’t go together, because farmers can only produce sustainably when
they get remunerative prices.
− Those free trade agreements because they also lead to access to and ongoing depletion of natural
resources, especially in developing countries. These resources such as land, water, minerals and
energy are used to produce even more luxury products for the happy few who have purchasing
power, instead of supplying basic needs for everybody now and in future.
− The EU trade strategy Trade, Growth and World Affairs 1. This strategy – unknown to the general
public – seems to have been written to maximize the profits of European multinationals, but is
leading to a social and environmental crisis in and outside Europe. This strategy considers access
to markets and natural resources in other countries as ‘constitutional rights’. This political choice
for competition on the world market blocks effective policies in areas such as agriculture, energy,
climate change and biodiversity, because every environmental and social regulation then weakens
− Misleading ‘solutions’ such as self-regulation by the corporate sector (for example by ‘round
tables’ on soybeans and palm oil) in stead of market regulation, binding social and environmental
regulations, and protection, fulfilment and respect of human rights.
− Unjust and ineffective climate ‘solutions’ such as the Clean Development Mechanism, Carbon
Emissions Trade, biofuels and tree plantations, that allow developed countries to avoid taking
their responsibility to reduce their energy consumption drastically. Moreover the proposals made
in Cancun in 2010 will (possibly) lead to an increase in temperature of 4 – 5 ºC 2, even though an
increase of 2 ºC can already lead to an irreversible and disastrous situation.
Former attempts such as demonstrations, petitions, advocacy letters to politicians, non violent actions, or
opinion articles in newspapers and magazines and other publications, have hardly led to a change of
policy. Arguments for a political change towards an ecologically sound and socially just future for all
don't seem to count. The influence of big multinational corporations on governments is too big, the
courage of politicians to deviate from ‘Business as Usual’ is too small and the belief in the neoliberal
‘world religion’ is ongoing despite the current crises.
Hence this ultimate demand in the decisive months for the climate, regulation of world trade and the
European common agricultural policy, to change for the better now when it’s still possible.

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