On 17 June, the second round of presidential elections for the 2018-2022 period will be held in Colombia. After the first round, the candidates still in the race are Gustavo Petro, representing Colombia Humana, a coalition of democratic and progressive forces, and Iván Duque for the Centro Democrático, an extreme right-wing party led by former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
Ian Scoones, Jun Borras, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Wendy Wolford, Benjamin White
31 January 2018
Religion, gender dynamics, place and cultural identity – all inform rising authoritarian populism in rural areas, alongside class interests and inequalities. Mobilising alternatives to capture by regressive political forces is not straightforward.
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 outcome of the October 2nd plebiscite in Colombia was a surprise for the international community and different democratic sectors in the country. It was an invitation to the Colombian population to endorse the Agreements reached between Juan Manuel Santos’ Government and the left wing guerrilla group, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC). The outcome was a surprise even among the conservative sectors and those that had opposed the Agreements, who did not expect a majority of a NO vote. The Agreements aimed to end the armed conflict with the guerrilla group which has lasted for more than 50 years.
How is climate change both caused by militarism and likely to fuel wars and further militarism? And who will suffer the consequences? This short video documentary, featuring interviews with prominent activists gathered at the UN Climate talks in Paris in 2015 discusses the connections.
The current development model in place across Colombia has brought repression and harassment. The government has not fulfilled the terms of a 2013 agreement. On May 27th, the Cumbre Agraria, Campesina, Etnica y Popular1 called for a national Minga - a period of strikes and mobilizations - across Colombia to put pressure on the government.
Lyda Fernanda Forero: "They are using a fake argument. It's to sell the right to pollute. And instead of that we should say: No pollution. So, by creating these we say: Yes, ok, it's fine if you pollute as long as you pay. And that is really complicated and is taking out of the discussion the real problem, which are these emissions."
From a climate justice perspective, which is more than a technical approach, we are facing a political and paradigm-related dilemma. From this perspective, we focus on the root causes of the climate crisis from where we propose real solutions while rejecting and demanding an end to false solutions.
Climate talks in Lima will be subject to intense lobbying by some of the biggest industrial polluters. They not only cause serious social and environmental conflicts where they extract fossil fuels, their capture of decision-making also prevents a real solution to the climate crisis.
Theman-madeclimate changeis one of thegreatest challenges of ourtime.How canclimate changeon a global scalebe fair and just?What ideasandconcepts are therefor thepeople in the Southto live a goodlifewithout imitatingtheconsumption and production patternsof the North?And whatis the rolein this process ofpoliticaland civil society?
The agrarian sector launched a national strike in Colombia which spread quickly across other sectors, against the impacts of the FTA with the US and Canada. It is evident that the current economic model has failed as a result of a combination of several factors, structurally and historically.