Climate Change: Third World vulnerability, First World accountability
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Climate Change: Third World vulnerability, First World accountability Climate Change: Third World vulnerability, First World accountability Presentation Transcript

  • Climate Change: Third World vulnerability, First World accountability IBON Foundation National Grassroots Conference on Climate Change 20-21 April 2009
  • Conclusions
    • Industrialized countries, particularly their transnational corporations (TNCs) and their anarchic system of production and unsustainable pattern of consumption, are responsible for the global warming.
    • Yet, backward, poor countries such as those of Asia and the Pacific are more vulnerable and less able to adapt to changing climate.
    • While it is true that their vulnerability is due to their geographic and climatological features, it is also because their economies and people’s control over critical resources have been trampled upon by globalization of TNC activities.
    • Ironically still, the solutions and ‘assistance’ being forwarded by the industrialized countries, led by multilateral organizations and international financial institutions, are still within the moribund capitalist system and still at the expense of the peoples of the Third World.
  • Outline
    • Accountability (global)
      • the ‘Anthropocene Era’
      • the culprits
    • Climate projections (Asia/Pacific)
      • geographic and climatological features
      • climate trends
      • climate hazards
      • grave consequences
    • Adaptive capacity (Asia/Pacific)
      • definition
      • economy (including technology and infrastructure)
      • social vulnerability
      • governance
    • Overall vulnerability (Asia and Philippines)
    • Overall accountability (global and Asia/Pacific)
  • Accountability
    • Anthropocene Era - a period during which human activities have become a dominant force affecting not only the planet’s landscape, but also its atmosphere.
      • Increases in GHG emissions since the industrial evolution in the mid-18 th century – carbon dioxide by 36%, methane by 17% and nitrous oxide by 151% – are directly linked to over two centuries of growth in the burning of fossil fuels by humans .
  • Accountability
    • The culprits
      • Is everyone accountable then?
      • CO 2 accounts for 80% of GHG emissions, mainly due to burning of coal and crude oil
      • The Northern part of the globe accounts for 90% of CO 2 accumulation
      • The US, EU, Japan and the rest of the G8 are responsible for 65% of historical emissions.
  • Top 20 CO 2 Emitters, 2003 (in ‘000 metric tons)
    • US cornered 25% of CO 2 emissions in 2003.
    • High concentrations in the atmosphere are also recorded in backward countries where TNC operations of industrialized countries are based.
    • High concentrations in the atmosphere are also observed in underdeveloped countries whose economies are being transformed by TNCs to feed the energy demand and consumption needs of the industrialized countries.
    81,445 Brazil 20 82,530 Saudi Arabia 19 83,121 Poland 18 84,401 Spain 17 85,836 Ukraine 16 96,657 Australia 15 99,415 South Africa 14 102,065 France 13 104,112 Iran 12 113,542 Mexico 11 121,608 Italy 10 124,455 South Korea 9 152,460 United Kingdom 8 154,392 Canada 7 219,776 Germany 6 336,142 Japan 5 347,577 India 4 407,593 Russian Federation 3 1,131,175 China 2 1,580,175 United States 1 CO 2 emissions Country Rank
  • GHG Emissions by Source, 2000
    • TNCs account for 50% of all oil, gas and coal extraction and refining.
    • Only 10 TNCs account for about 41% of world production of oil and gas.
    • TNCs control 80% of land worldwide which is cultivated for cash crops.
    • Only 20 TNCs account for about 90% of the sales of hazardous pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.
    • TNCs dominate and control extractive industries that have irreversible effects on the environment, such as metal mining and energy extraction.
    3 Wastes 5 Other Energy related activities 8 Buildings 14 Transport 14 Industry 14 Agriculture 18 Deforestation 24 Power % SHARE SOURCE
  • Climate Projections
    • Geographic and climatological features
      • variability in temperatures
      • variability in seasonal precipitation (rainfall influenced by summer and winter monsoons)
      • climate sub-regions (arid and semi-arid; temperate; north tropical; south tropical)
  • Climate Projections
    • Climate trends
      • warming (3°C in the 2050s; 5°C in the 2080s)
      • rainfall changes (7% in the 2050s; 11% in the 2080s)
      • sea-level rise (3-16 cm by 2030; 7-50 cm by 2070)
      • climate extremes and surprises
  • Climate Projections
    • Climate extremes and surprises
      • wild fires in grasslands and rangelands
      • mudslides, mudflows and avalanches
      • droughts
      • severe flooding
      • tropical cyclones
      • forest fires
      • heat waves, heavy downpours, torrential rains
  • Climate Projections
    • Climate hazards
      • frequency of tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts and sea-level rise
      • human and ecological sensitivity (population density, protected areas, livelihood)
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    • Human sensitivity of course is best measured by how many people actually depend on the natural ecologies for their livelihood.
      • In Asia/Pacific, dependence on agriculture ranges from 15% (China) to 57% (Myanmar) of the gross domestic product.
      • Around 60 to 80 percent of the population are engaged in small-scale agriculture.
      • Rural population ranges from 35% (Malaysia) to 81% (Cambodia).
      • There are also high percentages of coastal populations and forest people.
      • Over half of Asia’s population resides in coastal locations and in low-lying islands.
    • The FAO estimates that over 90 percent of the 15 million people working at coastal waters are small-scale fishers, excluding yet the tens of millions of the poor who fish inland rivers, lakes, ponds, and even rice paddies.
    • The World Bank estimates that 90 percent of the world’s 1.1 billion poor (as approximated by the World Bank) derive a portion of their income from forests while over 600 million keep livestock which is a critical cash asset for many.
    • According to the UN Hunger Task Force, half of the world’s hungry are smallholders, a fifth do not have their own land, a tenth are agro-pastoralists, fisherfolk and forest users, while only a fifth live in urban areas
  • Climate Projections
    • Grave consequences
      • coastal inundation and erosion
      • loss of ecosystems and biodiversity
      • disease and heat-related mortality
      • water shortages
      • stress on agriculture and forestry
      • stress on aquaculture and fishery
      • stress on the economy
      • stress on human security
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Definition
      • Specifically, adaptation refers to actions, policies, and measures that increase the coping capacity and resilience of systems to climate variability and climate change. The extent to which adaptation can be implemented to increase coping capacity and resilience is referred to as adaptive capacity .
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Definition
      • Variability in adaptive capacity is a function of different capabilities within nations and communities with respect to financial resources, technology, expertise, and economic diversification that are often called upon to implement adaptation actions.
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Definition
      • "It is not that the risk is unknown, not that the methods for coping do not exist…rather inability to cope is due to lack of—or systematic alienation from—resources needed to guard against these events.” (Ribot, et. al. Climate Variability, Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the Semi-Arid Tropics )
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Economy
      • stagnant growth and severely exploited, degraded and depleted natural resources and capital due to long-term colonization and globalization.
      • rapid economic growth propelled only by liberalization
      • transition to market economy
      • shrinking agriculture and industry
      • dependence on exports
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Economy
      • problematic trade deficits
      • increasing aid dependence
      • increasing role of official development assistance (ODA)
      • increasing debt burden
      • over-reliance on foreign direct investment (FDI)
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Economy
      • declining revenue, increasing privatization of key industries and social sectors
      • speculation and financial instability
      • corruption
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Social vulnerability
      • high unemployment rates
      • low quality of available jobs
      • forced and child labor
      • bulk of labor force population is in the rural areas
      • continued and increasing landlessness
      • high rural-to-urban and cross-border migration
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Social vulnerability
      • no living wages
      • poverty incidence remains high
      • hunger remains prevalent
      • widening and deepening income inequality
      • majority of the poor are in the rural areas
      • women as the most disadvantaged
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Social vulnerability
      • marginalization from resources, markets and services
      • lack or diminishing social services
      • internal displacement ( physical, economic and affected by armed conflict including eviction and dislocation due to ‘development projects’)
      • threatened environment due to overexploitation
      • logging, mining, hydropower dams and other natural resources extraction and plunder
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Social vulnerability
      • human rights violations and political repression (political prisoners, summary executions, enforced disappearances, lack of freedom of assembly and expression)
  • Adaptive Capacity
    • Governance
      • generally governed by elite-democracy governments and some by constitutional monarchy and military junta
      • characterized by lack of transparency and accountability and in some cases, large-scale corruption
      • Resources, especially land, water, natural resources and capital, continue to be concentrated in the hands of few elite families.
      • no social investment in building knowledge, technology and infrastructure, much less in adapting to climate change.
      • implemented globalization across-the-board
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  • Overall Vulnerability
    • The most vulnerable areas in Southeast Asia include: all the regions of the Philippines, the Mekong River Delta region of Vietnam; almost all the regions of Cambodia; North and East Lao PDR; the Bangkok region of Thailand; and the west and south of Sumatra, and western and eastern Java in Indonesia.
    • The most vulnerable regions within countries are the states of Kelantan and Sabah in Malaysia, the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Cordillera Administrative Region, and Bicol Province in the Philippines.
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  • Overall Accountability
    • Imperialist globalization
      • Multilateral institutions, in behalf of TNCs of the industrialized countries, have promoted the unsustainable pattern of production and consumption by pushing for policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation into the Third World countries. These policies have rendered Third World economies vulnerable and less adaptive to the impact of natural and man-made disasters.
      • Imperialist globalization has facilitated TNCs amassing tremendous amounts of profits at the expense of human and sustainable development of the Third World.
  • Overall Accountability
    • Imperialist globalization
      • Imperialist globalization has even facilitated the relocation of the more labor-intensive production stages of TNCs to Third World countries, using more carbon-intensive techniques and less efficient technologies in order to lower production costs for TNCs. And now underdeveloped countries such as China and India are being held equally liable.
      • Imperialist globalization has intensified the local elite control over resources and supported inutile and corrupt governments of the Third World.
  • Overall Accountability
    • Third World governments and elite
      • Governments have taken the hands-off style of governance with regard to public utilities and social services and relegated the provision of these to foreign corporations (TNCs).
      • Planning, designing and implementing development projects, including adaptation to climate change, therefore have been privatized or become dependent on foreign debt.
      • Governments have also opened up the environment to foreign plunder and exposed communities and nations to environmental crisis.
  • Overall Accountability
    • Third World governments
      • As such, governments have defaulted on actively raising income levels, production subsidies, price controls, education and technical skills, food distribution, health care, and disaster preparedness.
      • They have neglected the most economically and climate-vulnerable sectors such as the poorest sections of the peasantry, namely small-scale farmers, small-scale fishers, indigenous peoples, mountain and forest people, upland farmers, pastoralists, including the urban poor.
  • Facing Responsibility
    • How much can the Earth tolerate?
    • Mitigation and adaptation – still within globalization
    • Business-as-usual solution
    • The more relevant question is: How much of these can we still tolerate?
  • Maraming salamat!