SE4All Civil Society Statement: English

Note: There is also a complimentary initiative from some civil society groups, calling for the rejection of SE4All


Governments and the UN should support a more ambitious, accountable and people-driven Sustainable Energy for All initiative in Rio

1.3 billion people remain without access to electricity, while almost 40% of the world’s population rely on solid fuels for cooking or heating. As billions of the world’s poorest people struggle to meet their energy needs, over-consumption of energy primarily in the North is driving dangerous climate change – 11% of the world’s population produce half of all greenhouse gas emissions. The International Energy Agency recently warned that failure to reduce fossil fuel consumption will put the world on the path to at least 6oc of global warming.

A new energy model that addresses the twin challenges of climate change and energy poverty while balancing global energy use is urgently needed. The UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and the 2012 UN General Assembly-endorsed International Year of Sustainable Energy for All bring welcome political focus to the task of ensuring that people living in poverty can access clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy. Access to energy is a fundamental right, not a privilege. Continue reading


NZ Offshore Drilling

Wellington offshore block up for exploration

Source: Dominion Post

A 7000 square kilometre offshore block south of Wellington will be put up for tender for oil and gas exploration.

The block is part of the than 40,000 square kilometres of New Zealand’s seabed and 3000 square kilometres of land has been put up for tender for following four months of consultation.

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals, part of the Ministry of Economic Development, officially launched the tender process for 23 exploration blocks which oil and gas companies from around the world will be invited to bid for.

While two blocks originally proposed to be part of the tender have been withdrawn, several more trimmed and particular conditions to consult Maori on another, the blocks being offered are largely the same at those announced by NZPM in February.

As well as a number of blocks in Taranaki, home of New Zealand’s petroleum industry, the blocks cover areas in Southland, West Coast, Tasman and Waikato. Continue reading

Occupy COP17’s First Statement on Rio+20

Occupy COP17′, an organization started to protest the 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa convening for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has put out their first statement on the Rio+20 conference.

Source: Occupy COP17

It’s been 20 years since the UN’s infamous Earth Summit in Rio. Now for round two, Rio+20, in which 120 world “leaders” and delegates from around 190 countries will convene in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

During COP17, many of the activists and civil society groups were already gearing up for Rio. Many of those who took part in Occupy Cop17 will be taking part in various ways in organising around Rio+20, either on the ground or remotely.

Much of what’s on the table at Rio is market-based, aimed at creating a “green economy” with “natural capital” measured, a price tag placed on nature and the world bought, sold and traded as parcelled-up commodities. Institutions like the World Bank will be seeking to consolidate their power and influence, and key corporate stakeholders will be whispering in the ears of delegates to make sure that nothing that’s decided impinges on their ability to trade and make profit at all costs.

As with the COPs there seems little chance that the pathways to a truly just, equitable and sustainable future will come from the conference itself, but there is a continuing convergence of forces working in solidarity with each other who will be using the conference to come together and fight the vested corporate and entrenched interests of the elite few, who are increasingly monopolising the process.

Continue reading