Daily Archives: December 13, 2016

Report: 16 Land Defenders Murdered Worldwide Each Month


Headlines Dec 13, 2016

Land conflicts are growing increasingly deadly worldwide, with triple the number of land rights defenders murdered this year compared to 2015. This according to a new report by PAN Asia Pacific, which details how an average of almost 16 indigenous land defenders, farmers and activists were killed each month from January until November of this year.

See:

Killings of defenders of people’s right to land, three times worse in 2016 – PANAP

December 10, 2016

http://panap.net/2016/12/killings-of-defenders-of-peoples-right-to-land-three-times-worse-in-2016-panap/

PENANG, Malaysia – Advocacy group PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) today said that the attacks against defenders of the people’s right to land and resources continued to intensify and worsened to even more alarming levels in 2016.

An average of almost 16 farmers, indigenous people, and advocates of the people’s right to land were being killed every month this year – or three times the average in 2015 – in Asia Pacific and other regions, the group claimed.

PANAP made the statement as the world marks the International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

“The sharp rise in the number of killings and the overall increase in human rights atrocities against poor rural communities embroiled in land conflicts is alarming, to say the least. It underscores the impunity with which these political killings and brutalities are being committed,” said Ms. Sarojeni Rengam, PANAP executive director.

In 2015, PANAP monitored 61 victims of killings that ballooned to 171 from January to November 2016. There were also 32 victims of frustrated killings, adding up to the 54 victims last year. Meanwhile, the victims of arbitrary detention from January to November this year numbered 118 and trumped up charges, 14; in 2015, the figures were 127 and 82 victims, respectively.

The trend in worsening killings noted by PANAP is consistent with the data compiled by UK-based campaign group Global Witness, which has been tracking the killings of environmental and land activists since 2002. Global Witness reported that in the past 13 years there have been 1,209 killings of land and environmental activists worldwide. The trend has worsened with the average killings per year more than doubling from 55 annually in 2002 to 2009 to 128 in 2010 to 2015. Last year was the worst year, said Global Witness, with killings recorded at 185.

…(read more).

$5 Trillion in Investments Now Pledged to Be Divested from Fossil Fuels


HeadlinesDec 13, 2016

More than $5 trillion worth of investments are now pledged to be divested from fossil fuels. The analysis, issued Monday, details how nearly 700 institutions and nearly 60,000 individuals from across 76 nations have committed to divest their assets from the fossil fuel industry. This is Mark Ruffalo, speaking at a news conference in New York City.

Mark Ruffalo: “If you keep your money in the fossil fuel industry, you are hurting your children, you are hurting the future generations, and you’re hurting yourselves. You can’t say that you care about your children or your grandchildren and keep pouring money into this system.”

Senate Republicans Call for Probe into Russian Interference in Election


HeadlinesDec 13, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, have both announced their support for an investigation into whether Russia intervened in U.S. presidential election to help Trump win. The chair of the Intelligence Committee, Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina, and the chair of the Armed Services Committee, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, are leading the inquiry. On Monday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the Obama administration also supports the congressional investigation. Ten Electoral College electors—nine Democrats and one Republican—have sent a letter to CIA Director James Clapper demanding an intelligence briefing on Russian efforts to elect Donald Trump, before the Electoral College meets on December 19 to select the next president. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has backed their request. Donald Trump has called the CIA’s conclusions of Russian interference “ridiculous.” We’ll have more on the possibility of Russian interference in the election with Democratic California elector Christine Pelosi, the lead author of the letter to Intelligence Director James Clapper.

Trump Picks ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State


HeadlinesDec 13, 2016

It’s official: Donald Trump has chosen the CEO of the world’s largest oil company and a man with no political experience for a top Cabinet position. This morning, Trump tweeted, “I have chosen one of the truly great business leaders of the world, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary of State.” Environmental groups have widely condemned the nomination. Exxon is facing multiple lawsuits over its role in covering up the science behind climate change. Tillerson is also known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. Both Senate Democrats and Republicans have expressed concern and opposition to Tillerson’s nomination, which comes only days after President Obama ordered a review of Russia’s role influencing the presidential election. The CIA has reportedly already concluded Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win. One of the focuses of the Senate confirmation hearings will be Exxon’s $500 billion oil exploration partnership with the Russian government’s oil company, Rosneft. Considered the largest oil deal in history, the partnership can only go through if the U.S. lifts sanctions against Russia, which the Obama administration imposed over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Click here to see our full interview about Rex Tillerson with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org; Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S.; Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law; and Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress.

An Unprecedented War Against the Greens – Oil Change International

Credit: William Munoz, via Wikipedia

Andy Rowell, December 12, 2016

http://priceofoil.org/2016/12/12/an-unprecedented-war-against-the-greens/

The news from over the weekend that President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Rex Tillerson, the chairman and chief executive of Exxon, the world’s largest private oil company as Secretary of State, is a clear sign that we face an unprecedented battle against the environmental movement in the years to come.

In nearly thirty years of working on green issues and climate change, the outlook has never looked this challenging.

In the mid-nineties, I wrote a book called Green Backlash, which looked at the assault on the global environmental movement. We thought it was bad then. It is worse now.

A colleague, Dave Helvard, wrote another book the War Against the Greens, which also documented what was happening. Well we face a new war. Plain and simple.

We face the prospect of decades of hard fought progress on environmental issues, clean air and climate change being ripped up in the coming months by the rich and powerful in the Trump Administration.

“Exxonmobil CEO Rex Tillerson in charge of the US climate negotiations team? This is my worst nightmare”, wrote one long term activist I know, who has expertly studied and exposed Exxon’s decades long climate denial campaign.

Others are equally perturbed.

Steve Coll, who is more qualified that most to write about Tillerson, having penned the definitive book about Exxon, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, noted the proposed nomination is “astonishing on many levels”. Whilst many environmentalists worry about Tillerson’s views on climate change, it is his relationship to Putin which equally of concern.

Coll notes he has “forged close relations with both President Vladimir Putin and Igor Sechin, the close Putin ally who runs Rosneft, one of Russia’s oil-and-gas giants … If Tillerson is confirmed, he would be in a position to benefit the corporation where he spent his career, by, for example, advocating for the easing of Russian sanctions.”

…(read more).

Demand Democracy, Expose Corruption Community Meetings: Message to Organizer A