Protesters at UN Climate Talks in Bonn: We Choose Renewable Energy. Stand With Us or Step Aside.
More than 100 people held a demonstration in Bonn, Germany today, outside the venue where the ministers of environment are meeting for the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations.
Organizations from every continent—including trade unions, social movements, environmental groups, gender and youth groups, indigenous groups and NGOs—are demanding action by the more than 198 member governments of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The below declaration was handed over to the Minister for the Environment for Peru, recently nominated special envoy for the French Foreign Affairs Minister, and Venezuela Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.
International civil society organizations demonstrated their rising dissatisfaction with the direction of the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw last November, staging an unprecedented mass walkout.
The demonstration in Bonn is intended to show the growing public support for climate action and a just energy transformation. The groups, including Action Aid, Oxfam, Greenpeace amongst others, held a banner that read: “We Choose: Renewable Energy. People’s Power now!”
Across continents people are mobilizing and taking to the streets in bigger numbers and increasing intensity to stand up to vested interests and fight for their future and those of the next generations.
This coming September, as heads of state go to New York City for the climate summit, we will be taking to the streets to bend the course of history with an unprecedented climate mobilization—in size, beauty and impact.
We are people who participated in the walk out of the Warsaw Climate Conference and those who supported and united with its call for more serious climate action. We have come together to reiterate to all "leaders" participating in the UN climate negotiations that they are dangerously off track in addressing the climate emergency. We call upon them to listen to the demands and solutions of people.
The walk out was an act of protest and indignation over governments’ continued failure to take decisive and swift action against the biggest threat to both people and the planet, and an act of condemnation of continued domination and sabotage of the international climate talks by powerful corporate interests.
In the face of massive destruction, displacement and loss of lives caused by current levels of global warming and the certainty of much worse impacts in the near future, governments continue to choose to act in the interests of a wealthy few, and collude with big business to defend unsustainable consumption and production models ahead of the urgent need for a sustainable, ecological and just world.
We are more determined than ever to fight for the survival of our families, our communities and our peoples across the world—a survival that rests on nothing less than the fundamental transformation of a system that has generated massive impoverishment, injustices and a climate crisis that threatens all life on earth. People are waging this fight in various arenas in every corner of the globe, over every dimension of their lives: food, energy, health and security, jobs and livelihoods.
People are mobilizing everywhere and taking to the streets in bigger numbers and increasing intensity to stand up to vested interests and fight for their future and those of the next generations. People driven solutions, compatible with planetary limits are being created and asserted at local, national and global levels—aimed at meeting the needs of people rather than the relentless pursuit of profits for big business and wealthy elites.
We are back, far more strengthened in giving voice to those who are already acting with the urgency needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change—the huge majority of civil society around the world that you, the ministers, represent and can not ignore any longer.
In the coming weeks and months, towards and during the Social COP in Venezuela, the People’s Summit and the COP20 in Peru, and the COP 21 in France, we will be fighting harder than ever for governments to:
- Commit to a global goal of limiting warming that recognizes the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s warnings on the threats of tipping points, and to the right to food and food sovereignty, recalling that science suggests that 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming would be too much for many vulnerable peoples and countries.
- Deliver a swift global transformation away from the use of dirty fossil fuel and destructive energy systems driving the crisis, towards a carbon-free and renewable energy economy that, primarily amongst others, is decentralized, community controlled, affordable, accessible to all people for their basic needs and well-being.
- Urgently scale up targets for emissions cuts in the pre-2020 period, and set emission targets comparable to the scale of the emergency for 2020-2025.
- Ensure equitable and fair sharing of efforts among all countries based on their historical responsibility, their capacities, and the urgency of the crisis.
- Enable people to deal with climate impacts by protecting the rights of peoples and communities, building resilience, addressing loss and damage, and ensuring a just transition to climate resilient, low carbon, equitable and democratic economy and society.
- Define and commit to concrete targets for the transfer of finance and technology to make global transformation possible.
- Reject the damaging influence of corporate interests on climate policy and prevent their promotion of false solutions as the global response to the climate crisis.
The global climate movement is building its strength and power in every country of the world. We call on those who claim to represent us to either act in our interests or step aside.
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While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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