We get a majority world perspective on the climate emergency from Goldman Prize winner Ricardo Navarro. Navarro won the Goldman prize for sustainable development back in 1995 for his work as founder and director of the El Salvador Centre for Appropriate Technology and he is a former director of Friends of the Earth International.
Here he talks about how a new regional Movement of Climate Change Affected Peoples is responding to the pressures of climate change with awareness raising, permaculture techniques and low-level technologies as well as putting up resistance to inappropriate development. He also gives us his wider perspective on the United Nations climate talks which he has been attending since 1992.
We look at the Kyoto2 scheme in more detail and explore:
- What its effect on coal use would be
- Whether the scheme could work alongside national carbon rationing schemes (eg TEQs)
- Whether the scheme could emerge out of a combination of a reformed EU Emissions Trading Scheme and Barack Obama’s Cap and Trade System
- Whether it would create a market in carbon and if so how would that work
- What its effect on the economy would be
- How it would be policed
A moratorium on coal-fired power plants without carbon capture and storage … should be the rallying issue for young people. It seems to me that [they] should be doing whatever is necessary to block construction of dirty coal-fired power plants. – Professor James Hansen, 8 July 2007
A report on this year’s Camp for Climate Action at Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent including interviews with some of those involved in some of the associated direct actions.
- Camp for Climate Action
- Indymedia full coverage
- 228 MPs ask for a public inquiry into Kingsnorth
- Environment Audit Committee – report on Carbon Capture & Storage
- The Poyry Report – the UK does not need new coal or nuclear if we meet our renewable energy targets
- Cashing In On Coal – RBS, UK Banks and the Global Coal Industry
- Letters to Cargill from communities in Brazil, Paraguay and Papua New Guinea
Despite James Hansen’s personal plea to Prime Minister Gordon Brown last December to take a leadership role in initiating a global moratorium against unabated coal, the UK government’s Department for Business currently looks likely to grant permission to a new series of coal-fired power stations that are “Carbon Capture Ready”. We discuss what this means and why it’s not good enough with Dr Keith Allott, Head of WWF-UK’s Climate Change Campaign who commissioned a report recently exploring these questions.
We requested an interview with the Department of Business but had to make do with a written statement which explains that the UK is relying on the highly problematic and inadequate EU Emissions Trading Scheme to solve the problem.
Meanwhile in the US, the tide is turning against coal at the grassroots, state and even the federal levels – 59 applications for coal-fired power plants were cancelled, abandoned or put on hold in 2007 and there is a bill going through Congress to put a moratorium on new unabated coal developments. We speak to Mike Ewall of the Energy Justice Network who has played a key role in supporting and connecting up the grassroots campaigners who have been doggedly winning on a case by case basis.
We close the programme with a taster from a landmark speech made by Al Gore last week, where he suggests the US should respond to climate change with the due urgency the science now implies. He lays down a “moon landing” style challenge for the US to power itself by renewable energy within just ten years.
Leading US climate scientist and director of NASA, Dr James Hansen, has made it clear that “preservation of climate requires that most remaining fossil fuel carbon is never emitted to the atmosphere” and that “the only realistic way to sharply curtail CO2 emissions is to phase out coal use except where CO2 is captured and sequestered.”
Over the last six months Hansen has taken the unusual step of writing in a personal capacity to various heads of states asking them to bring in a moratorium on new coal. The first letter he wrote was to Prime Minister Gordon Brown last December. He wrote:
“Your leadership is needed on a matter … with ramifications for life on our planet, including all species … [A] decision to phase out coal use unless the CO2 is captured is a global imperative, if we are to preserve the wonders of nature, our coastlines, and our social and economic well-being … If Britain and Germany halted construction of coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester the CO2 it could be a tipping point for the world.”
Our first guest is Leila Deen from the World Development Movement about the campaign against Gordon Brown’s plans to build seven new coal-fired power stations without requiring them to have Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.
Our second is Georgina Woods who speaks to us by ‘phone from Australia on the final day of the country’s first Camp for Climate Action – a week long event which culminated in the country’s biggest ever direct action against the country’s coal exporting industry.
How is the UK government responding to climate change? Does it have an effective programme for reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Is it doing enough to avert disaster? We ask Professor Paul Ekins, Head of the Environment Group at the Policy Studies Institute, adviser to parliament’s Energy Audit Select Committee, and Member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
BBC2’s Newsnight reported in July last year that for every tonne of carbon the UK had saved at home, 3 tonnes of carbon had been produced abroad. We ask Anita Goldsmith of Greenpeace about the government’s funding of coal-fired power stations overseas.
We also speak to Steve Waller who ran a pilot programme for local councils developing strategies to deal with climate change.