Day: November 8, 2021

Australia’s Live Export Trade: Business among Criminals

Butchered Alive:Australian cattle killed overseas for leather shoes

Chilling scenes of abuse of Australian animals have been documented at Indonesian abattoirs this year, prompting a fresh set of complaints to be filed against Australia’s live-export industry, but consumers must take action as the government has shown no inclination to lift a finger.

The footage is a harrowing glimpse into the trade that supplies flesh to dangerous wet markets and skin to the global leather industry. Some of the facilities visited by PETA Asia investigators are even part of the Australian government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), dispelling all doubt about government inaction.

In the same month this abuse occurred, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton expressed his “full confidence in the standards the Australian industry upholds” (!!)
Watch the footage below and decide if you can say the same. If not, please stop buying leather right now!

Botched Stunning or None at All

PETA Asia investigators visited seven randomly selected abattoirs in Indonesia in April and May 2021 and filed an official complaint.

They found steers and bulls being forced into restraint boxes and shot in the head with captive-bolt guns. The cattle were often fully aware of what was happening to them. They slammed their bodies against the metal chute they were trapped in, in a futile attempt to turn around and escape.

Workers repeatedly failed to stun cows adequately. Clearly still conscious after being shot in the head, one steer was jabbed 64 times in the face and on his torso with a steel rod to try to force him to stand back up so a worker could shoot him again.

Workers also violently twisted his tail until it was broken. In a last-ditch attempt to move the struggling, panicked steer, they pulled on his broken tail a dozen times.

Then there were those for whom stunning wasn’t even attempted at all. Some cattle were simply physically restrained before their throats were slit – which, believe it or not, is a killing method approved by the Australian government.

ALEC boasts on its website that 95% of Australian cattle in Indonesia are now stunned prior to slaughter. But based on what investigators saw, that’s not the case.

Continue reading “Australia’s Live Export Trade: Business among Criminals”

UK: COP26 – There are more delegates at COP26 associated with the fossil fuel industry than from any single country

COP26: Fossil fuel industry has largest delegation at climate summit

There are more delegates at COP26 associated with the fossil fuel industry than from any single country, analysis shared with the BBC shows.

Campaigners led by Global Witness assessed the participant list published by the UN at the start of this meeting.

They found that 503 people with links to fossil fuel interests had been accredited for the climate summit.

These delegates are said to lobby for oil and gas industries, and campaigners say they should be banned.

“The fossil fuel industry has spent decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is why this is such a huge problem,” says Murray Worthy from Global Witness.

“Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

About 40,000 people are attending the COP. Brazil has the biggest official team of negotiators according to UN data, with 479 delegates.

So what counts as a fossil fuel lobbyist?

Global Witness, Corporate Accountability and others who have carried out the analysis define a fossil fuel lobbyist as someone who is part of a delegation of a trade association or is a member of a group that represents the interests of oil and gas companies.

Overall, they identified 503 people employed by or associated with these interests at the summit.

They also found that:

  • Fossil fuel lobbyists are members of 27 country delegations, including Canada and Russia
  • The fossil fuel lobby at COP is larger than the combined total of the eight delegations from the countries worst affected by climate change in the past 20 years
  • More than 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at COP, with 30 trade associations and membership organisations also present
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists dwarf the UNFCCC’s official indigenous constituency by about two to one

One of the biggest groups they identified was the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) with 103 delegates in attendance, including three people from the oil and gas company BP.

According to Global Witness, IETA is backed by many major oil companies who promote offsetting and carbon trading as a way of allowing them to continue extracting oil and gas.

“This is an association that has an enormous number of fossil fuel company as its members. Its agenda is driven by fossil fuel companies and serves the interests of fossil fuel companies,” Mr Worthy said.

What else could we expect ?

Regards Mark

UK: Cop26 legitimacy questioned as groups excluded from crucial talks.

Members of indigenous groups from Brazil stand on the stage in George Square during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.
Members of indigenous groups from Brazil stand on the stage in George Square during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Cop26 legitimacy questioned as groups excluded from crucial talks

Communities and groups say being shut out of key negotiations will have dire consequences for millions

The legitimacy of the Cop26 climate summit has been called into question by civil society participants who say restrictions on access to negotiations are unprecedented and unjust.

As the Glasgow summit enters its second week, observers representing hundreds of environmental, academic, climate justice, indigenous and women’s rights organisations warn that excluding them from negotiating areas and speaking to negotiators could have dire consequences for millions of people.

Observers act as informal watchdogs of the summit – the eyes and ears of the public during negotiations to ensure proceedings are transparent and reflect the concerns of communities and groups most likely to be affected by decisions.

But their ability to observe, interact and intervene in negotiations on carbon markets, loss and damage and climate financing has been obstructed during the first week, the Guardian has been told.

“Civil society voices are critical to the outcome of Cop, but we’ve not been able to do our jobs. If participation and inclusion are the measure of legitimacy, then we’re on very shaky grounds,” said Tasneem Essop, the executive director of Climate Action Network (CAN), which represents more than 1,500 organisations in over 130 countries.

CAN is one of two environmental “constituencies” – loose networks of NGOs including youth groups, trade unions, indigenous peoples, business, agriculture, and gender – recognised by the UNFCCC.

Gina Cortes, a member of the Women and Gender Constituency, representing women’s groups, said they also had to “call out the deep inequities and deep injustices of this Cop”.

“There are thousands of activists who should be here but who are missing and there is a shocking degree of closing space for civil society and frontline voices … it is offensive, unjust and unacceptable,” said Cortes.

In the run-up to Cop26, the UK government had boasted that Glasgow would be the most inclusive summit on record.

In reality, about two-thirds of civil society organisations who usually send delegates to Cop have not travelled to Glasgow due to “vaccine apartheid”, changing travel rules, extortionate travel costs and Britain’s hostile immigration system.

Observers say the situation was most critical during the two-day leaders’ summit at the start of last week, when they were limited to one or two tickets per constituency despite six negotiating rooms operating simultaneously. In addition, work stations, offices and restaurants were also cordoned off, preventing observers from having face-to-face contact with negotiators.

“The level of restrictions was unprecedented,” said Sebastian Duyck, from the Centre for International Environmental Law. “It’s alarming, because the relationships we build at the start of Cop are crucial to the work we do after … the limited participation absolutely undermines the credibility of Cop.”

Indigenous activists on tackling the climate crisis: ‘We have done more than any government’ – video

Access has improved since the ticketing system was lifted, with one observer per constituency now technically allowed in each meeting room – if there’s enough space according to social distancing rules. But their ability to participate meaningfully remains limited.

Observers are particularly concerned about negotiations over carbon trading protocols, as governments and corporations look for ways to achieve net zero commitments using offsets.

“There’s a real risk that decisions made in these rooms will impact human rights in the most dramatic fashion, like we saw happen under the carbon trading mechanism under Kyoto. If we get a bad rule, it’s almost impossible to fix afterwards. The scale of carbon markets means there’s a greater threat to communities,” said Duyck.

This is a huge worry for indigenous communities, who comprise 6% of the global population but protect 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. “Without our voices this risks the creation of rules that will continue to violate human, territorial and spiritual rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Eriel Deranger, an observer for Indigenous Climate Action.

The UK government points to the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, and says access has been boosted by the new online platform that has so far been used by 12,000 people.

But for some, trying to follow what’s going on virtually, technical glitches have made access a “logistical nightmare”, said Hellen Kaneni, regional Africa coordinator for the international nonprofit Corporate Accountability. “Cop has never been credible but this year it’s much worse, access has been limited in so many ways, it’s horrible.”

Kaneni’s colleague Aderonke Ige from Nigeria, who made it to Glasgow for her first Cop despite the Covid restrictions, said she felt “disappointed and unfulfilled” after failing to get online and being denied access to the meeting rooms and offices of the African group negotiators.

A spokesperson said: “The UK is committed to hosting an inclusive Cop. Ensuring that the voices of those most affected by climate change are heard is a priority for the Cop26 presidency, and if we are to deliver for our planet, we need all countries and civil society to continue demonstrating their ideas and ambition in Glasgow.”

The success of this Cop will be judged over years to come. But according to Nathan Thanki from Demand Climate Justice (the second environmental constituency), the summit’s legitimacy had been seriously undermined by restrictions in access and the way rich countries had used Cop26 to make headline-grabbing announcements outside the UNFCCC’s pledge and review framework.

“It’s impossible to monitor these announcements, which means there’s no accountability to civil society or other countries. That’s the sorry situation at this summit.”

Regards Mark