#cop17act ‘Get your heads out the sand’ demand Sierra Club

FOR RELEASE November 30, 2011                                  Contact: Glen Besa 0827740090 Nicole Ghio 0762256148      Sierra Club, Other NGOs Demand Parties to COP 17 Get Their Heads … Continue reading

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BituMens Wear from Canada

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YOUTH UNVEIL NEGOTIATOR UNIFORMS, CANADA WINS FOSSIL OF THE DAY bitumenswear Media Release For Immediate Release Monday, November 28, 2011 CONTACT Meghan McCarthy Durban: 079 477 3691 International: +27 (79) 477 3691 cyd.djc@ourclimate.ca Durban, South Africa (11/28/11) It’s been an … Continue reading

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Bankrolling Climate Change: New Study Ranks Top 20 Climate Killer Banks

November 30, 2011
3:34 PM
CONTACT: Rainforest Action Network (RAN)

Bankrolling Climate Change: New Study Ranks Top 20 Climate Killer Banks

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – November 30 – Today, as world leaders gather in Durban to discuss solutions to global climate change, an international coalition of civil society and environmental organizations released a new study, “Bankrolling Climate Change,” highlighting the top 20 banks that finance the coal industry. The study examines commercial banks’ lending for the coal industry and provides the first comprehensive climate ranking for financial institutions. The study finds JPMorgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America to be the top three banks in the world financing climate change.

A full copy of the study with a ranking of all the researched banks can be downloaded at www.banktrack.org.

The report comes from German environment organization urgewald, the South African social and environmental justice organizations groundWork and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the international network BankTrack.

The organizations examined the portfolios of 93 of the world’s leading banks and looked into their support for 31 major coal-mining companies (representing 44 percent of global coal production) and 40 producers of coal-fired electricity (which together own over 50 percent of global coal-fired generation capacity). The total value of coal financing provided by these banks since 2005 (the year the Kyoto Protocol came into force) amounts to 232 billion Euro (US $309 billion).

“We chose to look into coal financing as coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of man-made CO2 emissions and the major culprit in the drama of climate change,” explains Heffa Schuecking of urgewald. “In spite of the fact that climate change is already having severe impacts on the most vulnerable societies, there is an abundance of plans to build new coal-fired power plants. If banks provide money for these projects, they will wreck all attempts to limit global warming to 2° Celsius,” says Schuecking.

The study identifies the top twenty “climate killers” in the banking world. Among the top twenty are banks from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, China, Italy and Japan. The top three banks fuelling climate change worldwide are JP Morgan Chase (US $22 billion), Citi (US $18.27 billion) and Bank of America (US $16.79 billion). In the past two years, BoA invested $4.3 billion in the U.S. coal industry, making them the top financer of coal in America.

“Providing underwriting for coal companies is risky business from a regulatory, financial and reputational perspective. Coal is a dirty, dangerous and increasingly outdated energy source,“ said Amanda Starbuck, director of the Energy and Finance program at Rainforest Action Network. “As the lead financier of the coal industry, JPMorgan, Citi and Bank of America short-term, reckless financing strategies are jeopardizing the health of our environment and our climate.“ RAN contributed research to the report and works with the international BankTrack alliance.

Coal-fired power plants are not cheap to build. Typically, a 600 Megawatt plant will cost around US $2 billion. Power producers therefore rely heavily on banks to provide and mobilize the necessary capital for coal plants. “Our figures clearly show that coal financing is on the rise,” notes Tristen Taylor of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg. “Between 2005 and 2010, coal financing almost doubled. If we don’t take Banks to task now, coal financing will continue to grow,” he warns.

The study looks into the statements of the top climate killer banks and also examines their existing climate policies. “Interestingly, almost all of the top twenty climate killer banks in our ranking have made far-reaching statements regarding their commitment to combating climate change,” explains Yann Louvel of BankTrack. “However, the numbers show that their money is not where their mouth is.” He also notes that the policies many banks have adopted and the voluntary initiatives they have signed on to like the “Carbon Principles” or the “Climate Principles” have failed to make any difference in banks’ portfolios.

“Our study names and shames the banks that are destabilising our climate system,” says Bobby Peek from groundWork. “Plans for new coal fired power plants and coal mines are meeting with fierce resistance all over the world and we are going to begin turning that heat on the banks”, explains Peek. The study calls on banks to become responsible climate actors and to quit coal. According to the NGOs, banks need to shift their portfolios to renewables and energy efficiency and set and implement ambitious CO2 reduction goals for their financed emissions.

For further information or interviews, contact:

Kerul Dyer, kdyer, Tel:(01)-707-834-3358
Heffa Schücking, heffa, Tel: (49)-160-96761436
Yann Louvel, yann, Tel: (33)-688-907868
Bobby Peek, bobby, Tel: (27)-82-4641383
Tristen Taylor, tristen, Tel: (27)-84-2502434

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is headquarted in San Francisco, California with offices staff in Tokyo, Japan, and Edmonton, Canada, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world. We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime, and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.

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PROTEST WORLD BANK TODAY! 1pm at Speaker’s Corner






Thursday December 1st, 2011


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, Dec. 1, 2011— Today 163 civil society organisations from 39 countries released a letter exposing an attempt led by the US, the UK and Japan to turn the Green Climate Fund into a “Greedy Corporate Fund” at UN climate talks in South Africa. [1]

The Green Climate Fund was created to support people in developing countries – people who are the most affected by the climate crisis but are the least responsible for it.

But at the climate negotiations this week, developed countries are trying to allow multinational corporations and financiers to directly access GCF financing.

This means companies could bypass developing country governments and their national climate strategies to get to public money.

“Turning the Green Climate Fund into a Greedy Corporate Fund would be shameful, yet this is what is being attempted at the Durban climate talks,” said Meena Raman from Third World Network.

“Led by the US and the UK on behalf of Wall Street and The City, this attempt to hijack developing countries’ funding is outrageous. Communities need this money to address climate change and to finance

their own development – without repeating the same mistakes that the rich countries have made,” said Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth US.

“The role of private investment in financing climate activities must be decided at the national and sub-national levels in line with countries’ priorities, not corporate bottom lines. The move to allow the private sector to go directly to the Green Climate Fund for money undermines the possibility of a democratic, participatory process for meeting the needs of communities struggling to fight climate change,” said Lidy Nacpil of

Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

Few adaptation measures in developing countries will be attractive to the private sector, as they will not generate revenue. Some key mitigation programs may also not be financially lucrative.

Groups also warned against closed door negotiations on the Green Climate Fund by South Africa, the US, and other developed countries.

“Whatever happens in Durban must be fully transparent. We are deeply concerned by reports that South Africa is informally consulting behind closed doors on the Green Climate Fund decision,” said Bobby Peek of groundwork / Friends of the Earth South Africa. “This will greatly undermine the legitimacy, and ultimately the effectiveness, of the Green Climate Fund.”

The concerns expressed in the letter come on top of the long-held rejection by many in civil society of any role for the World Bank in the Green Climate Fund.


Meena Raman, Third World Network, Mobile: + 27 (0) 72 26 18 870 (valid only until Dec. 9)

Lidy Nacpil, Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Tel: + 27 (0) 767342705 (valid only until Dec. 9)

Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth US: Tel: + 27 (0) 72 04 32 655 (valid only until Dec. 9)

Bobby Peek, groundWork/Friends of the Earth South Africa, Tel: +27 (0) 82 46 41 383

Murray Worthy, World Development Movement, Tel: +27 (0) 83 96 89 917

Janet Redman, Institute for Policy Studies, Tel: +27 (0) 713861216 (valid only until Dec. 9)



A copy of the letter is online at


A background briefing highlighting key considerations for the debate on the Green Climate Fund is online at:


Sponsoring organizations include:

ActionAid, Campaign to Reform the World Bank, Friends of the Earth International, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Institute for Policy Studies, World Development Movement.

Karen Orenstein

Friends of the Earth US

072-0432-655 (Durban)

+1-202-640-8679 (US mobile)



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IEN shell protests Video: Reuters


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IEN Protests against Shell and Occupy COP17

Climate Summit Day Four: Anti-capitalist analysis, Protests against Shell and Occupy COP17 December 1, 2011 tags: climate justice, Indigenous Environmental Network, UN Climate Summit by Jeff Smith (GRIID) While no real action has taken place with the government representatives in the … Continue reading

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Press Release: Durban Shell Protest–Indigenous activists target dirty energy

Indigenous Environmental Network
For Immediate Release 30 November 2011

COP17: Indigenous activists from North America

join African activists to target Shell

IEN shell protest durban


Durban, South Africa–In Durban, Canada and the United Kingdom, Indigenous activists and their supporters targeted Shell today for violating agreements made with Indigenous communities in Canada. In Durban, site of the ongoing UN climate talks, activists from Canada joined activists from Africa to denounce Shell and their repeated violations of human rights and environmental regulations. Appearing outside a Shell refinery, a number of Indigenous activists joined with youth from Canada and Africa to support the community of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), who recently announced their lawsuit against Shell.

“Shell has left a trail of broken promises and ravaged eco-systems. They have been pushing their dirty fossil fuels plans on every country they can bully. It’s time to stand up and say get the Shell out of there, we don’t want your broken promises anymore,” declared Eriel Deranger, a community member of ACFN and director of Sierra Club Prairies.

“We’re drawing the line, and taking a strong stand against Shell. ACFN wants no further developments until Shell is brought to justice and our broader concerns about the cumulative impacts in the region are addressed,” stated Allan Adam, Chief of ACFN.

“The destructive tar sands operations by Shell and other big oil companies are destroying the land and violating our people’s rights to hunt, trap and fish. Canada is a willing partner in these crimes and other human rights abuses caused by fossil fuels and climate change,” noted Daniel T’seleie, an Indigenous youth from northern Canada, and a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation.

“Shell has a history of devastation across the African continent that we are well aware of. Our peoples and our environments have been turned into a colony for companies like Shell, who profit from our suffering. Knowing full well the extent of brutality that Shell has delivered to my fellow Nigerians, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Canada standing up to say ‘get the Shell out of here’,” emphasized Nnimmo Bassey, director of Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria) and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

“Ironically, Durban, the site of this year’s international climate talks, has struggled against the aging Shell refinery that is the symbol of climate change and environmental injustice. Shell has been responsible for crimes against local citizens, where refinery accidents are common and where rusting pipelines have leaked more than 1 million litres of petrol. We strictly oppose plans to bring Tar Sands oil to South Africa, and agree that Shell must be held accountable for its violations against communities,” claimed Bobby Peek, director of Groundwork in Durban.

“We are here in Durban to look for climate solutions, meanwhile countries like Canada are promoting dirty oil from the Tar Sands, backed by large corporations like Shell. While our communities are suffering from the impacts of climate change, groups like Shell have been found to be lobbying governments to weaken their positions. This has to be the time when we begin to hold companies and countries alike responsible for their actions against our communities,” declared Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network in North America.

For more information:

Eriel Deranger, ACFN Member/Sierra Club Prairies Director: +1-780-903-6598

Ben Powless, Indigenous Environmental Network: +27-(0)-72-581-2102

All photos by Jeff Conant/GJEP

For High Resolution Photos : http://wp.me/pDT6U-3c3 please contact Ben Powless listed above.


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