Last week, The Mending News put out a video about REDD: “Exposing REDD: The False Climate Solution”. The short video includes an interview with Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
The video is overwhelmingly critical of REDD. When he posted the video on Climate and Capitalism, Ian Angus commented that REDD sounds like a good idea, but adds, “Sort of like ‘clean coal.’ And just as accurate.”
The video is below, followed by the transcript.
Exposing REDD: The False Climate Solution
The Mending News, 25 October 2012
Voice over: REDD. It is a perverse paradigm that is not about forest protection. It’s about forest destruction, and we know you will not be tricked.
Protestor in Cancun, 2010: We are sure that what they want with REDD is to take our forest and our water, while they do the opposite of helping. They want to convert our areas to developed areas for rich people and kick out the poor people and the farmers because they have no resources of their own.
La Via Campesina side event, Cancun, 2010: No REDD! Yes to Cochabamba!
Protest by local communities in Chiapas, October 2012: Governor, listen up! The forest is not for sale!
Tom Goldtooth: My name is Tom Goldtooth, I’m the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and we’re an international, indigenous-based, environmental justice and economic justice organisation, networking with Indigenous Peoples worldwide. We’re based here in the belly of the beast of the United States.
We’re dealing with an emerging issue here that’s really perverse. It involves the financial institutions of the world, the oligarchies of the world, it involves multinational corporations, it involves the northern countries, specifically industrialised countries, pushing forward to a next level economic globalisation that is nothing but privatisation of nature.
Voice over: REDD, according to the United Nations stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But really what REDD means is Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity.
Ninawá Huni Kui, President of the Federation of the Huni Kui people of Acre, Brazil, speaking at the David Brower Center, Berkeley, USA, 16 October 2012: So one of the impacts REDD has brought is over the last 12 years, they’ve basically paralysed the demarcation process in the state of Acre.[*]
Tom Goldtooth: We’re dealing with this issue of REDD, carbon trading, carbon offsets that leaves our companies, these companies that are operating in our backyard off the hook.
Voice over: Carbon trading is a scheme to privatise the sky, and set up a trading mechanims whereby polluters can buy and sell permits to pollute even more. Specifically REDD is an offset mechanism which uses the forest in the global South as sponges for Northern industrialised countries’ pollution. So the idea is that if I grab these forests in the global South as sponges for my pollution I can keep polluting in, say, California. REDD is the pillar of what is being called the green economy, which is nothing more than capitalism of life.
Tom Goldtooth: We are reading fancy ads that these corporations are paying for that make them look green, greenwashing the pollution, around local toxic hotpots such as the tar sands in Northern Alberta, where the Cree, the Dene, and the Matsqui people are being killed. The water’s contaminated.
One of the most carbon intensive developments in the world, destructive, ripping up trees, tearing into mother earth, contaminating the water. You can even see it from the satellite.
Voice over: Chevron. California’s biggest polluter is doing REDD in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, in conjunction with General Motors and The Nature Conservancy. This REDD project uses armed guards. These armed guards, called Força Verde (the Green Force), is shooting at local residents, and jailing people. Antonio Alves, a local resident, was jailed for 11 days for cutting down a tree to fix his mother in law’s leaking roof.
So this is indicative of what REDD in AB32, California’s climate law, could be, and obviously it is just scam for the biggest polluters of California to get out of reducing their emissions at source.
Tom Goldtooth: Before you can trade anything, and treat anything as a commodity, you have to determine who owns that. So who owns the carbon, the air, whether it’s in the trees, in the soil, in the plants, in the air? Who’s property right is that? As Indigenous Peoples you know we, many of us embrace the cosmo-vision, the spirituality, the sacred relationship that we hold dear to who we are, especially our relationship to the sacredness of Mother Earth.
These are values and ethics that guide us. But unfortunately, humanity doesn’t quite recognise those values, so that’s why part of our campaign is also to wake up the world about who you are and your relationship with Mother Earth.
Because what’s happening here is that the air is being traded off, it’s becoming a private property of the industry.
Voice over: REDD is a plan to steal your future. It increases climate change, it makes global warming worse, it sends us over the cliff.
Tom Goldtooth: In consultation with the, our medicine people there was a consistency in their response, that REDD is a manipulation of the sacred. It is evil.
Voice over: It’ll be absolutely fundamental that youth educate themselves about the REDD menace and stand up and fight back in alliance with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and Californian voters and civil societies to stop REDD and protect Mother Earth.
See comment below from Beto Borges, Director, Communities Program, Forest Trends.