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“I’m being censored for telling the truth about the climate fraud being concocted by the United Nations,” Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

Some of the best reporting on the UN climate change negotiations in Cancun comes from Democracy Now!. On 9 December 2010, Democracy Now! broadcast a series of interviews focussing on REDD and carbon markets.

Here are some of the highlights from yesterday’s Democracy Now! programme, featuring interviews with several members of the Durban Group for Climate Justice: Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project, Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Patrick Bond of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Michael Dorsey of the Climate Justice Research Project at Dartmouth College.

Is REDD the New Green? Indigenous Groups Resist Carbon Market-Based Forestry Scheme to Offset Emissions

In addition to an interview with Anne Petermann, this includes clips of World Bank president Robert Zoellick (talking about REDD+), billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros (talking about REDD in Indonesia) and conservationist Jane Goodall (talking about protecting forests).

ANNE PETERMANN: Well, the issue with REDD-plus, the issue with the REDD scheme in general, is that it’s not addressing the underlying drivers of deforestation, and therefore it’s not going to solve the problem. The other organization that I work with, the Global Forest Coalition, just did a multi-year study of what are the actual drivers of deforestation around the world, and REDD is not addressing those.

Prominent Indigenous Environmental Leader Tom Goldtooth Blocked from U.N. Climate Talks

An interview with Tom Goldtooth about being blocked from entering the conference centre the day after he publicly criticised the U.N. process. A statement from Goldtooth is below, in English and Spanish.

TOM GOLDTOOTH: Being kicked out of the United Nations climate meeting for telling the truth about the treachery of carbon trading and REDD—and that’s what we’ve been doing is talking about the insanity of the mitigation and solution to climate change based around a market-based system. You know, I’m being censored for telling the truth about the climate fraud being concocted by the United Nations. And how ironic it is that indigenous peoples, who can teach humanity on how to survive climate catastrophe, are being kicked out.

Offsetting Emissions or Pollution Profiteering? Debating the Surge of Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market

Features interviews with Patrick Bond and Michael Dorsey opposing carbon trading and Henry Derwent, president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association, which is holding its own convention on the sidelines of the UN climate talks.

PATRICK BOND: And that’s why the REDD debate has become so intense, whether the reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation can be turned also into a privatization of the air. And that’s what, of course, these guys here want to have happen is to have forests become part of the global carbon market.

Commodifying Wildlife? World Bank Launches Market Scheme for Endangered Species

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, introduces the Bank’s latest idea for commodifying nature and creating new commodities to be traded: the Wildlife Premium Market Initiative. As far as I am aware this is not a Yes Men stunt.

ROBERT ZOELLICK:Under future REDD-plus regimes, countries where these species live could earn carbon credits for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation below a recognized baseline. By introducing wildlife premium into the mix, countries, provinces and local communities could earn additional payments if the range of species in question expands to include former habitat above some established baseline. We cannot just rely on an offset market. Investment funding will be necessary from the very start.

P.S. Here are some more photographs from the Via Campesina demonstration on 7 December 2010, taken by Larry Lohmann of the CornerHouse and also a member of the Durban Group. The photographs provide further evidence that Environmental Defense Fund’s Chris Meyer’s claim that the majority protesting did not have an anti-REDD message is a dirty lie:

Statement By Tom Goldtooth, Leader of the Indigenous Environmental Network Delegation to UNFCCC COP-16 Negotiations

“The Voices of those Who Speak for Mother Earth Must Not Be Silenced”
Dec 9, 2010
Media Contacts: (interviews available in Spanish & English)
IEN media hotline: +52 998 108 0748 Email:
I have come to the UNFCCC COP-16 climate talks in Cancun, Mexico as a member of Grassroots Solutions for Climate Justice — North America a delegation of Indigenous Peoples and representatives from fossil fuel impacted communities who are on the frontlines of addressing the climate crisis. On Tuesday Dec 7th I spoke at a Vía Campesina press conference of social movement and civil society leaders inside the Moon Palace, hosted by our allies at the Global Justice Ecology Project. Together with my brothers and sisters from Vía Campesina, Friends of the Earth, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and allies from around the world we expressed our solidarity with the many diverse communities and movements participating in the “Thousand Cancuns Day of Action for Climate Justice”. I also stated my deep concerns that the COP negotiations are failing to address the core issue of reducing emissions and have instead become a trade show for promoting false solutions and generating capital. We were honored to be joined by Pablo Solon, the UN ambassador from Bolivia and together we left the talks to join the thousands of people rallying outside in the streets in a People’s Assembly addressing the real, community led solutions to the climate crisis.
On the Wed December 8th when I returned to the Moon Palace to continue my role in the negotiations I was denied entry, informed that my accreditation had been suspended and then removed from the grounds. I also learned that over a dozen of my brothers and sisters from other accredited civil society organizations were also denied entry. I am please to report that due to the support of both government and civil society allies who advocated on my behalf, that as of this morning, my accreditation has now been re-instated. To everyone who assisted the Indigenous Environmental Network and myself we issue our deepest thanks and gratitude.
However, even though I have been fortunate enough to regain my personal access to the negotiations, the treatment I received is indicative of a larger and disturbing pattern in which the voices of civil society are being silenced within the United Nations process. The UNFCCC has drastically limited the number of civil society representatives allowed inside the talks and increasingly our freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest is being withdrawn. We must stand united against this type of censorship that is designed to silence the massive opposition to the co-optation of the UN process by an unholy alliance of short-term thinking, denial and greed. I have included below a statement from the members of our delegation who were ejected on the 7th of December and continue to be denied access to the talks.
Both inside and outside the UN process the voices of Indigenous peoples, social movements and the communities most directly affected by our fossil fuel dependency must continue to be heard as we reject false solutions like the carbon market mechanisms of REDD. We demand that the Cochabama People’s Agreement be acknowledged as a path forward towards addressing the real solutions to the climate crisis based in traditional Indigenous knowledge, community-based practices, Indigenous and human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.

Tom Goldtooth the Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) a network of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions. IEN has brought 17 Indigenous leaders to Cancun as part of the Grassroots Solutions for Climate Justice — North America Delegation uniting representatives from fossil fuel impacted communities who are on the frontlines of solving the climate crisis. To book interviews or get further background information on North American climate justice organizing contact the IEN Media Hotline: +52 998 108 0748

Statement from members of Global Grassroots Justice Alliance and Youth for Climate Justice Who were expelled from COP-16
Media Contacts: (interviews available in Spanish & English)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance & Youth 4 Climate Justice +52 998 108 0758
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance & Youth 4 Climate Justice +1 213-618-2851
We are representatives of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and Youth 4 Climate Justice who were a part of an organized and peaceful demonstration inside the Moon Palace on Dec. 7, to draw attention to the serious dangers of false solutions such as REDD and the carbon market. In response the UNFCCC, silenced our voices and ejected us from the Convention. All three of us are representatives of communities who are already being disproportionately impacted by climate change and the unjust social and economic conditions that have created this crisis. By penalizing and ejecting us as individuals the UN is also silencing the collective voices of our communities. We stand firmly rooted in our principles to lift the voices of women, young people, and Indigenous peoples throughout the world and to advance the real solutions to cooling the planet found in our grassroots movements. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of people who took action on Dec. 7, as part of the Global Day of Action.
Quotes from the 3 Banned Climate Justice Organizers:
Our delegation came to the UNFCCC to bring forward our communities’ solutions to the climate crisis, to give testimony about the shifts happening to create local, place-based economies and reconnect to our mother earth. What we found were negotiations that excluded our participation so we took action to ensure our voices were heard.” — Joaquin Sanchez Jr. Youth for Climate Justice, Oakland, CA, USA
How am I supposed to register the concerns of hundreds of Asian families poisoned by the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, CA when the UN has selectively denied me access to the convention? The UN is systematically silencing the voices of impacted communities. We are experts in our own right, we know these issues all too well. Those who are on the front line of the problem also need be on the front line of the solutions.” — Mari Rose Taruc, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Richmond, CA USA
I came to COP16 representing the public health concerns of low-income communities of color living in Los Angeles being impacted by toxic emissions. Throughout the past two weeks I have seen how the UNFCCC meeting has systematically limited and suppressed voices of dissent to programs being promoted through the UN such as REDD which will only increase the poising of the communities I represent back home.” — Sunyoung Yang, Bus Riders Union and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Los Angeles, CA USA


Declaración de Tom Goldtooth, Líder de la delegación Indigenous Environmental Network (La Red Indígena Medioambiental) a las negociaciones de la CMNUCC COP16.


“Las Voces de Los Que Abogan Por La Madre Tierra No Deben Ser Silenciadas.”
9 de diciembre de 2010
Contactos para los medios: (entrevistas disponibles en español e inglés)
Línea de contacto directo de IEN: +52 998 108 0748
correo electrónico:
He venido a las negociaciones sobre el cambio climático de la CMNUCC COP 16 en Cancún, México como miembro de Soluciones de los Pueblos para la Justicia Climática – Norteamérica, una delegación compuesta por Pueblos Indígenas y representantes de comunidades afectadas por combustibles fósiles los cuales se encuentran en el frente de la lucha que aborda la crisis climático. El día martes 7 de diciembre presenté un discurso en la rueda de prensa de la Vía Campesina con líderes de los movimientos sociales y de la sociedad civil dentro del Moon Palace, patrocinada por nuestros aliados del Global Justice Ecology Project (Proyecto Ecológico por la Justicia Global). Junto con nuestros hermanos y hermanas de la Vía Campesina, Friends of the Earth (Amigos de la Tierra), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (La Alianza Popular para la Justicia Global) y nuestros aliados alrededor del mundo hemos expresado nuestra solidaridad con diversas comunidades y movimientos los cuales han participado en el “Día de Acción Global – Miles de Cancún por la Justicia Climática.” También declaré mis más profundas inquietudes sobre las negociaciones defectuosas del COP y que no se está abordando los asuntos centrales de reducir las emisiones del carbono. De otra manera las negociaciones se han convertido en una exhibición comercial para promover las soluciones falsas y generar capital. Tuvimos el honor de haber sido acompañados por Pablo Solon, el Embajador ante la ONU de Bolivia, juntos salimos de las negociaciones para reunirnos con las miles de personas manifestando en las calles mediante la Asamblea de los Pueblos que abordan las soluciones reales para la justicia climática, las cuales son dirigidas por la comunidad.
El día miércoles 8 de diciembre cuando regresé al Moon Palace para continuar desempeñando mi papel en las negociaciones, se me denegó la entrada, me informaron que mi acreditación fue suspendida y fui retirado de los locales. También me enteré que más de una docena de mis hermanos y hermanas de otras organizaciones acreditadas de la sociedad civil se les denegó la entrada. Me complace informarles que debido al apoyo de ambos el gobierno y los aliados de la sociedad civil abogaron en mi nombre, y que a partir de esta mañana, mi acreditación queda restituida. Para todos los que ayudaron a la Red Indígena Medioambiental y a mi, les mandamos nuestro más profundo agradecimiento y gratitud.
No obstante, aunque he sido afortunado de recibir mi acceso personal para ingresar a las negociaciones, el tratamiento que he recibido ha sido indicativo de un patrón más grande y preocupante en el cual las voces de la sociedad civil han sido silenciadas dentro del proceso de las Naciones Unidas. El CMNUCC ha limitado drásticamente el número de representantes de la sociedad civil permitidos dentro de las negociaciones y cada vez más retiran nuestra libertad de expresión y nuestro derecho a la protesta pacífica. Debemos estar unidos en contra de este tipo de censura que está diseñada para silenciar la oposición masiva a la cooptación del proceso de la ONU mediante una alianza nefasta de pensamientos a corto plazo, denegación y codicia. He incluido a continuación una declaración de los miembros de nuestra delegación los cuales fueron expulsados el día 7 de diciembre y hasta ahora se les sigue negando el acceso a las negociaciones.
Tanto dentro como fuera del proceso de la ONU las voces de los Pueblos Indígenas, movimientos sociales y comunidades afectadas directamente por nuestra dependencia a los combustibles fósiles deben ser escuchadas mientras rechazamos las soluciones falsas de los mecanismos del mercado del carbono de REDD. Exigimos que el Acuerdo de los Pueblos de Cochabamba sea reconocido como un camino hacia delante para abordar las soluciones reales para la crisis climática fundamentadas en la sabiduría indígena tradicional, prácticas comunitarias, derechos humanos de los indígenas y los derechos de la Madre Tierra.

Tom Goldtooth, el Director Ejecutivo de la Red Indígena Medioambiental (IEN por sus siglas en inglés) una red de los Pueblos Indígenas la cual trabaja para potenciar a las comunidades y naciones originarias hacia medios de vida sostenibles, exigiendo justicia ambiental y manteniendo el Fuego Sagrado de nuestras tradiciones. IEN ha traído 17 líderes Indígenas a Cancún como parte de la Delegación de Soluciones de los Pueblos para la Justicia Climática – Norteamérica, la cual une a representantes de comunidades afectadas por los combustibles fósiles y que se encuentran en frente de la lucha para solucionar el crisis climático. Para programar una entrevista o para recibir más información sobre el trabajo de organización de Norteamérica, comuníquese con la línea directa para los medios de IEN: +52 998 108 0748

Declaración de los miembros de Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (La Alianza Popular para la Justicia Global) eYouth for Climate Justice (Jóvenes para la Justicia Climática) los cuales fueron expulsados de la COP 16.
Contactos para los medios: (entrevistas disponibles en español e inglés)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance & Youth 4 Climate Justice +52 998 108 0758
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance & Youth 4 Climate Justice +1 213-618-2851
Somos representantes de Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (La Alianza Popular para la Justicia Global) e Youth 4 Climate Justice (Jóvenes para la Justicia Climática) quienes formamos parte de una manifestación organizada y pacífica dentro del Moon Palace el día 7 de diciembre, para llamar la atención sobre los graves peligros de las soluciones falsas como REDD y el mercado del carbono. A consecuencia de ello, la CMNUCC silenció nuestras voces y nos expulsaron de la convención. Los tres somos representantes de comunidades que ya son desproporcionadamente afectadas por el cambio climático y las injustas condiciones sociales y económicas que han creado esta crisis. Al sancionar y expulsarnos como individuos, la ONU también silencia la voz colectiva de nuestras comunidades. Estamos firmemente arraigados en nuestros principios para levantar las voces de las mujeres, los jóvenes, y de Pueblos Indígenas alrededor del mundo y para avanzar las soluciones reales para enfriar el planeta que se encuentran en nuestros movimientos populares. Estamos en solidaridad con miles de personas quienes formaron parte del Día de Acción Global el 7 de diciembre.
Declaraciones de los 3 Organizadores por la Justicia Climática quienes fueron expulsados:
Nuestra delegación llegó a la CMNUCC para presentar las soluciones de nuestras comunidades a la crisis climática, para dar testimonio sobre los cambios actuales que crean una economía local y ayuda a conectarnos con nuestra madre tierra. Lo que encontramos fueron negociaciones que excluían nuestra participación y por lo tanto tomamos medidas para asegurar que nuestras voces fueran escuchadas.” – Joaquín Quetzal Sánchez Jr. Youth for Climate Justice, Oakland, CA, USA
¿Cómo puedo registrar las inquietudes de cientos de familias Asiáticas envenenadas por la refinería de petróleo de Chevron en Richmond, CA, cuando la ONU me ha selectivamente denegado acceso a la convención? La ONU sistemáticamente está silenciando las voces de las comunidades más afectadas. Somos peritos por experiencia actual, conocemos los asuntos muy bien. Los que están en el frente de la lucha también deben de estar en el frente de las soluciones.” Mari Rose Taruc, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (La Red Ambiental de Asiáticos del Pacifico) y Grassroots Global Justice (La Alianza Popular para la Justica Global), Richmond, CA, USA.
Yo vine a la COP 16 para representar las preocupaciones sobre la salud pública de las comunidades de bajos ingresos y de razas oprimidas que viven en Los Ángeles, California, las cuales son afectadas por las emisiones toxicas. A lo largo de las últimas dos semanas, he visto cómo la CMNUCC a limitado de manera sistemática y suprimido las voces de la disidencia a los programas promovidos por la ONC como REDD, que solo aumentará el envenenamiento de las comunidades que yo represento.” — Sunyoung Yang, Bus Riders Union (El Sindicato de Usuarios de Transito) y Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (La Alianza Popular para la Justicia Global) Los Ángeles, CA USA


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  1. REDD or REDD+ attempted land grap and the World Bank… Carbon Bank is the biggest fraud in the Earths History………….

    The whole UNFCCC system is a “accessory to this fact”.

    Any Indigenous communities or Forest Owners should not be corrupted by any REDD or REDD+ propergandah from the UNFCCC or World Bank.

  2. Dear Tom, thanks for your words, please don’t faint in all your efforts. We know everybody this battle against people from the easy world and the twisted thoughts will be hard. Please be ahead, our mother earth will thank to you for all your falls and you will be paid. Thera are lot of people who are doing bad work with the land and they said that they are doing ok, we know they are wrong. We need the land more than ever; we know water took away our thirst, but for all beings also. PLease go ahead, my spirit will support you on this fighting brother.

  3. Re Tom Goldtooths u-tube…it seems to me that his position reflects his aversion to any and all market based solutions. What the answer then? Solution by fiat..Order the emitters to cease and desist? That would work really well…do ya think? A little critical thinking here, added to the mix might lead one to conlude that a PROPERLY regulated market based incentives program to halt deforestation and save forests before its to late would be a GOOD thing!
    Like life itself its all in the details of how its done. Market systems can be designed to resemble nature itself in their fluxes and flows, feedbacks and freedoms…etc…

  4. Yes that is very correct Ric , but Tom’s other thinking side is how the World Bank will control Indigenous people distrubution of ‘any, revenue made from their forests.
    He has a good point and its perfectly valid, thats why I have always supported the PNG comany Nupan , it has understood these issue’s and more importantly whats right and wrong.
    Nupan has created with its contractor a verified methodology under the vcs to create VCU carbon credits, the VCU credits will be registered in the name of the project proponents and the money will be investented straight back into the project area.
    Nupan’s fee is 10% and to me its is logical and viable for the forest owners, as they will participate in the monitoring and evaluation and the decisions of the project for the next 30 years at least.
    The structure as outlined will protect the project proponents from the PNG Government and any other threat through the project propnents own ‘trust’.

  5. Good arguments all around but isn’t the goal of these UN climate talks about change? What needs to change in order to maintain/restore earths climate? REDD really? It saddens me. Disapointing how disconcerting a tool this has become.

  6. The UN Climate talks are about the World Bank and UNFCCC trying to secure a Global ‘position’ control.(because they are broke they need money)
    The Forests Nations attending are looking for a handout,forest nations government individuals are expecting a earn (sling)to bring their country into that WB unfccc control, although most foreign delegates do not represent at these climate talks their Indigenous people or have the right to make REDD+ deals.
    Meanwhile large emitting countries go along for the ride , watching the hunt by the hunted, they and their large corporates are also pressing control of the WB and unfccc.
    Norway made it quite clear to Indonesia pay..per..result as their version of a pilot scenario.
    McKinsey PNG report also explains their same version…you can explore all this information here on REDD Monitor.
    Its now becoming an annual holiday for all the imposters involved..they are already planning next years talks of BS at the next resort in Durban.

  7. Are you ready for this one …..So the CEO of the World Bank wants ‘now’ to calculate all the native animals and birds on the planet and account them into a different carbon credit scheme.
    Although they push REDD and REDD+ which does nothing more than completly either totally remove or replace with a artificle biodiversity with replantations of the planets habitation. without considering any part of the inhabits enviroment.
    I wonder if indigenous people are in these calculations????
    It seems they have a wierd idea of formulating a global ‘zoo’ amongst plantations and proberly resorts and golf courses, who knows.
    It is most definate though,that too much world university education and political correctness is turning our world into…. long long ting ting (crazy), and its being replaced from common sence.
    So many Indigenous people throughout recorded history from the worlds “Indigenous records of world events” , have stated these same European and Asian predators world wide have been guilty of Indigenous invasions since before christ.