Stop Climate Chaos : 2011 Campaign Idea

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition meet tomorrow to present and hear suggestions on Climate Change campaigning in 2011.

How are we going to make it zoom, people ?

From some of my project work with faith groups, I had this suggestion to make :-


Alliance with Ethical Investment groups

“Put your money where your mouth is”

Following on from the Church of England selling its shares in Vedanta :-

http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9871

it was hoped that the Church of England investment portfolio would continue to be “cleaned up”. But there appears to be a long way to travel.

The Anglican Communion worldwide includes environmental protection as its “Fifth Mark of Mission”, and the Church of England is part of the international interfaith “seven year plans” :-

http://www.anglican.ca/search/faq/037.htm
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/news/pr10009.html

but the Church Commissioners report in the last year has confirmed that the Church of England still holds shares in companies such as BP, responsible for ecological devastation of the Gulf of Mexico :-

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/12234

Groups such as the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and National Ethical Investment Week are all active in encouraging communities to put their money where their mouth is – and the faith communities have a very large amount to play with :-

http://www.arcworld.org/about_ARC.htm
http://www.eccr.org.uk/AboutUs
http://www.neiw.org/about

With the launch of the Green Investment Bank – even though severely under-capitalised – there is a chance to tie up the questions to the answers.

If every consumer choice were a green choice, there would be no environmental problem. The only way to reach that point is for every contract, every stock and share, every procurement order, every transport vehicle, every energy source and every material resource to be green.

The choices that companies make in the business they conduct is based on the premise that people want what they sell so much they are prepared to invest directly in them as well as buy their products.

There are several levers for change here. Investment, such as pension funds, if moved in bulk, can have a de-securitisation effect on unsustainable business models. Not so much a “boycott” as a “landslide” of change.

The faith communities have already proved that they can change international commerce with the Fair Trade movement. Now it’s time for the Green Investment movement.


Financial Ties : Green Taxes

The Financial Times advises :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5dca38e0-8ac1-11df-8e17-00144feab49a.html

“Environmentalists have had a disappointing year. The Copenhagen talks fizzled and the economic crisis has overshadowed all other considerations. But the need for countries to repair towering fiscal deficits is an opening for the movement. As treasuries look for ways to raise more revenues, climate change activists should make the case for green taxes.”

So, environmental campaigners should be campaigning for green taxes to plug holes in public deficits caused by crashing banks ?

I think not.

Tax revenue that is collected on the basis of environmental pollution should always be hypothecated, committed to remediation and removal of environmental pollution.

The majority of the populations of the deficit-stricken economies (OK, then, the whole world) are quite right in resisting being locked down into extra taxation at present. Green taxes would be a financial tie too tight for most of the world’s economically stressed.

Green taxes spent on things other than green energy and energy efficiency would be a mockery.

Besides which, only very high levels of green taxation would have any impact on pollution behaviour – the “signal” from green taxes would be lost amongst general economic “instability” (that is, price rises due to other factors).

Continue reading Financial Ties : Green Taxes

Polar Bear : Poster Child

So, I’m standing in the G2 theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies, after the “Sceptic Backlash” event, talking with two Climate Change activists, one Irish, one American.

The question arises : since our lifestyles are causing deadly Climate Change for people in other parts of the world, maybe we should have communications based around pictures of suffering children ?

I disagree. I point out that when the environmentalists put out posters about Polar Bears, that the audience pretty quickly realised that the Polar Bears were being used as a “poster child” for Climate Change, and they started to mock the campaigning.

Continue reading Polar Bear : Poster Child

David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

To be honest, he was taller than I expected, and more Eastern in appeareance, a kind of lanky version of Mehmet behind the deli counter at my local Turkish International Food Emporium.

David Miliband was also considerably thinner than I would have liked, considering he might one day rule the New Labour Party, who might just rule my country again. We wouldn’t want him blown away by the slightest breeze, surely, would we ? He needs feeding in my opinion.

Continue reading David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

Triumph Voluntary : Bigger than Coal

In the hallway supping on orange juice and ice, I turned off the Sky Eternal Non-News on a fat, loud TV because I saw someone standing in front of it in a hynotic trance. He complained, but didn’t demand the show turned back on. Thankfully that provided the quiet for us all to talk some to each other and read a little.
Continue reading Triumph Voluntary : Bigger than Coal

Ed Miliband : Hot Reaction

I mustn’t be too hard on the man, he’s just become a father. And he is most congenial, friendly and well-motivated in his heart-felt engagement with Climate Change.

But seriously, if he really wanted to engage the people in the room, he would have been more careful not to be so dismissive of the magician outside the front door who was trying to show everyone very theatrically that Carbon Trading doesn’t work.
Continue reading Ed Miliband : Hot Reaction