The EU's reputation for clean and sustainable energy conceals a dirtier reality, particularly where renewable energy policies and development are driven by corporate interests. Today, nearly two thirds of all “renewable” energy in the EU comes from bio-energy. Although bio-energy appears to provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, there are serious questions about its actual emissions profile, and about environmental and social conflicts which are created or exacerbated by the industrial-scale production of biomass to meet European energy needs.
The "New Left" in France was either defeated or integrated into the system, becoming a part of the neo-liberal bloc. It was replaced by the new rebels: the less-educated (due to the education crisis generated by the neo-liberal reforms) generation of unemployed young people, whose only way forward is through a confrontation with the institutions.
Book review by Robert J. Burrowes of The Secure and the Dispossesed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World. The book is edited by Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes, who are both associated with TNI.
Farmers, fishermen, citizens, scientists and grassroots organisations will converge again to take further steps towards contemporary, sustainable and fair food production and consumption, with new relationships between food producers and (urban) citizens.
The EU and Mexico launch negotiations for a ‘modernised’ Free Trade Agreement. A key feature is the investment protection chapter which grants major multinational companies in Mexico and the EU the exclusive right to challenge democratic decisions taken by States, even when they were taken in the public interest. The report outlines six reasons of major concern.
A special session of the General Assembly took place in April revealing a growing divergence in the global drug policy landscape. Difficult negotiations resulted in a disappointing outcome document, perpetuating a siloed approach to drugs at the UN level. There is a clear need to realign international drug policies with the overarching 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, embedding the drugs issue comprehensively within the UN’s three pillars: development, human rights, and peace and security. The UNGASS process has helped to set the stage for more substantial changes in the near future, towards the next UN review in 2019.
The increasingly precarious nature of work and life poses a serious threat to democracy as it undermines our social fabric, atomizes individuals and seeks to personalize blame for economic insecurity. What potential is there for ‘the precariat’ to become a new kind of social movement with a collective vision to reimagine contemporary life?
There has long been a need for a deeper understanding of the intersections of gender, ethnicity and other identities in peace-building and democratisation. Progress on the rights of women and the participation by women’s organisations in conflict resolution and national reform are vital if sustainable peace and democracy are to be built within the country.
International Mission "Justice for Berta Caceres Flores"
13 April 2016
Report by international mission of 15 parliamentarians, jurists and representatives of human rights, trade union, and popular organizations and networks that travelled to Honduras in mid-March to clarify the context of the assassination of Berta Caceres and to make recommendations to end the culture of impunity affecting human rights defenders in the region.
In the wake of early 2010s upheavals such as the Arab Spring, Spain’s indignados, or the global Occupy movement, many commentators were quick to either invoke the presumed tech-savvy of ‘digital natives’ or the purported ‘cyber-utopianism’ of net freedom advocates who supported the protests. But what role have internet freedom activists – or ‘freedom technologists’ – played in ongoing struggles for progressive political change around the world and how can the pursuit of liberty be combined with the struggle for social justice?
While tens of thousands of refugees have died fleeing terrible violence and hardship to get to Europe, not everyone has lost out. This report exposes the military and security companies that have profited from the tragedy, winning contracts to provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements.
Building a real democracy in the face of corporate and financial power will require a rethinking of power and agency, unleashing the creative, experimental, knowledge-sharing and emancipatory approaches of social movements.
The Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty, an international coalition of more than 200 organisations, social movements and networks convenes to a press conference Thursday 10th March 2016 12.30 pm Place des Nations, Geneva
The Transnational Institute (TNI) attended the 59th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna from the 14-22nd March. The CND negotiated the outcome document to be approved at the 2016 UNGASS on the world drug problem, to be held on April 19-21 in New York.