Ministers arrive to tackle climate talks’ hot issues

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet shakes hands with an atendee beside Spanish government’s caretaker spokeswoman and minister of education Isabel Celaa as they take part in the event “We Dare” : Children and Youth vs. Climate Change. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 December 2019

Ministers arrive to tackle climate talks’ hot issues

  • Officials from almost 200 nations haven’t managed to finalize the rules for international carbon markets

MADRID: UN climate talks in Madrid are kicking into high gear Tuesday, with ministers arriving to tackle some of the tough issues that negotiators have been unable to resolve over the past week.

Officials from almost 200 nations haven’t managed to finalize the rules for international carbon markets that economists say could help drive down emissions.

Another contentious issue is poor countries’ demand for aid to help them cope with the damage and destruction wrought by natural disasters blamed on climate change.

Unlike at many past climate summits, few heads of government will join the talks. Most are sending environment ministers or other senior officials instead.


Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

Updated 18 January 2020

Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

  • Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies
  • “We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” a leader said

PIARACU: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s pledge to open up the Amazon to mining companies was tantamount to “genocide,” indigenous leaders said Friday at a meeting to oppose the government’s environmental policies.
Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies, which have seen deforestation in the jungle nearly double since the Brazilian leader came to power a year ago.
“Our aim was to join forces and denounce the fact that the Brazilian government’s political policy of genocide, ethnocide and ecocide is under way,” the group said in a draft manifesto drawn up at the end of the summit.
“We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” the text said.
They also said that “government threats and hate speech” had encouraged violence against Amazon communities and demanded punishment for the murder of indigenous leaders.
At least eight indigenous leaders were killed last year.
Brazil’s leading indigenous chief, Raoni Metuktire, said Thursday he would personally travel to the capital Brasilia to present the meeting’s demands to Congress.
“Over there, I’m going to ask Bolsonaro why he speaks so badly about the indigenous peoples,” said the 89-year-old leader of the Kayapo tribe.
Preliminary data collected by the National Institute for Space Research showed an 85 percent increase in Amazon deforestation last year when compared to 2018.