Tagged ‘Greenpeace International‘

Manufacturing Consent on Carbon Trading

“No one raised their hand to object to a single word in the declaration text. In an email distributing the document, Dodd states that, “The Declaration was accepted unanimously by the 1500 NGOs and other stakeholders present.”

By Chris Lang, 26th October 2011


In September 2011, the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference took place in Bonn, Germany. About 1,500 people from 70 countries turned up. On the third day of the meeting, a remarkable thing happened. Not a single participant at the conference put up their hand to disagree with a declaration which promotes REDD as a carbon trading mechanism.

DPI, by the way, stands for Department of Public Information. Every year since 1946, UN DPI has held an NGO conference. Speakers at this year’s conference included Vandana Shiva of Navdanya International, Daniel Mittler of Greenpeace International, Achim Steiner of UNEP, Victoria Tauli Corpuz of Tebtebba and many others. Some of these speakers may be in favour of carbon trading, others are not.

The presentations are available here. In her speech, Vandana Shiva talked about two important principles that “have been used by every local community across the world: the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle.” She talked of the derailing of the World Trade Organisation in 1999 and the slogan “Our world is not for sale”. Which sounds a lot like the slogans that opponents of carbon trading use.

She talked about the economic crisis and the US$16 trillion bailout. She asked, “Can you imagine what US$16 trillion would have done for the earth and the poor people of this planet, if spent in an appropriate way?”

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz spoke on the topic of “sustainable consumption”. She explained that,

“Many indigenous peoples can claim they are the practitioners of sustainable consumption and production and I can say that from my own perspective and experience. I am an Igorot, indigenous peoples from the Philippines. In my community, in my culture, we have very strict customary laws that define how we relate with everybody and of course with the environment.”

She mentioned several of these laws, including what she called the golden rule: “Don’t do to others what you don’t like others to do to you.” This presumably prohibits carbon trading. Just as Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines do not want their air to be polluted, communities living near polluting power plants in California or Glasgow do not want the companies running these plants to be allowed to continue polluting by buying carbon credits.

The UN DPI/NGO Conference declaration (pdf file 147.4 KB) is an outline of “sustainable development goals discussed and identified as key objectives” at the conference, according to the NGO blog of the conference. Delegates got a copy of the draft in their conference bags when they arrived at the meeting.

On the third day of the conference, Felix Dodds of the Stakeholder Forum and chair of this year’s conference asked the meeting to approve the declaration. It took him 49 seconds:

“We’re, I think, very pleased with the quality of the document we have prepared for you over the last two days and I’m going to ask the meeting to show by a show of hands those people who would like to make their support for this being a chair’s text that I should hand on to the German government and the UN. For those people show, by show of hands in favour of me handing this over as your chair to the government. Thank you very much. Is there anyone against? Is there anyone asleep? Thank you, the chair is very happy.”

No one raised their hand to object to a single word in the declaration text. In an email distributing the document, Dodd states that, “The Declaration was accepted unanimously by the 1500 NGOs and other stakeholders present.” The only possible explanation is that when Dodd asked the meeting to support the document, many of those present had not read the text. That’s perfectly understandable, considering that they were busy attending a conference, which in addition to the speakers, featured a series of side events, workshops and exhibits. No doubt that didn’t leave much time to read a long draft declaration written in a mind-numbing UN style.

The German government will present the conference declaration in the UN General Assembly in November 2011. “You have a great opportunity with the declaration,” Dodds said in his presentation. “You have an opportunity through that declaration to suggest to the Rio+20 process what you think are the critical issues that summit should address.”

The declaration makes several references to REDD. The first is part of the “institutional framework for sustainable development”, the second two are part of the “sustainable development goals” or SDGs (the numbers refer to the line numbers in the declaration):

310 We call upon governments to ensure that Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) is implemented with regard to development decisions, and other decisions such as REDD+, that impact indigenous peoples, indigenous groups and tribal and local communities.

479 SDG – CLIMATE SUSTAINABILITY: By 2050, governments should have reached clear pathways towards climate sustainability that regulates the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. Emissions of greenhouse gases should be reduced to 25% of 1990 levels by 2020, 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050. Carbon taxes and tariffs should be in place to provide incentives for low-carbon development and manufacturing, finance GHG emissions reduction projects, REDD+ and other offset mechanisms, and green infrastructure solutions to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.

534 SDG – HEALTHY FORESTS: By 2020, all remaining frontier forests are protected from conversion and degradation, consistent with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity adopted at COP10, with a well-resourced and equably [sic] governed REDD+ mechanism in place, which respects the rights and knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities and other environmental and governance safeguards, to reward developing countries for protection and sustainable management of their forests, not only for carbon capture and storage but for their wider ecological services. A policy of no net loss of forestland, globally and nationally, is also achieved by 2020.

At that time, all new forest areas cleared will be offset by ecologically sound restoration of forests in nearby areas. Restoration of over 150 million hectares of cleared or degraded forest landscapes is achieved by 2020, with the creation of millions of new jobs and enhanced livelihoods, improved security and adaptation to climate change.

Reduce deforestation emissions by key corporations and their supply chains committing to avoid the purchase of products that cause deforestation, such as soy or cattle from deforested lands in the Brazilian Amazon, palm oil from deforested agricultural land in Indonesia, or illegal wood and wood products throughout the world.

Additionally, for stakeholders everywhere to undertake and/or participate in large-scale, environmentally and socially responsible reforestation efforts.
[ . . . ]
At Rio+20, we call on governments to pledge concrete and systematic support and promotion of multi-stakeholder managed forest certification systems, in all parts of the world, with particular emphasis on tropical rainforests.

If you’re still awake after reading that, congratulations. The first statement is a reasonably straightforward demand for free, prior and informed consent. Except that without a reference to the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, this runs the risk of FPIC becoming a rushed process carried out by governments and corporations in order to tick the FPIC box.

The second statement on REDD describes it as an offset mechanism, a carbon trading mechanism. While this accurately reflects the way REDD is developing, it is surprising (to say the least) that none of the NGOs present objected to this acceptance of a trade in forest carbon.

(The sentence at the start of this statement is ridiculous. Requesting that “governments should have reached clear pathways towards climate sustainability”, by 2050 makes no sense whatsoever. If, by 2050, we have not found a way of leaving fossil fuels in the ground, there is a very high probability that the climate will have dramatically changed. This talk by Kevin Anderson of the Tyndale Centre clearly explains why: Climate Change: going beyond dangerous. “Things are getting worse, and they are getting worse at an incredibly fast rate,” Anderson says early on in his presentation. “We are accelerating towards a cliff that we know is there.”)

The third statement is perhaps even more problematic. Protecting frontier forests is mixed with REDD, which the declaration has already stated will be a carbon trading mechanism. The carbon stored in these forests is apparently to be offset against continued pollution elsewhere.

But the declaration does not envisage that deforestation will be stopped by 2020. Only that “no net loss of forestland” will take place. Forest can be cleared as long as other areas are planted with trees. Of course, the declaration insists that this has to be “ecologically sound restoration of forests”. But in its definition of “forests”, the UN does not differentiate between industrial tree plantations and native forests. There is no mention of the UN’s disastrous definition in the conference declaration.

The statement ends with the call for governments to support forest certification. The “gold standard” of forest certification is the Forest Stewardship Council. Yet FSC has certified vast areas of monoculture tree plantations. FSC also certifies industrial logging in primary forests.

But none of the 1,500 people in the meeting objected to any of this – or any of the other statements in the more than 9,000-word declaration. The only possible explanation is that they had not read it. Funnily enough, Stakeholder Forum, the organisation that Felix Dodds works for, claims to be “working to advance sustainable development and promote democracy at a global level”. Dodds, as chair of the meeting, should quietly tear up the document and recycle the paper, as his contribution to sustainable development.

Communication to TckTckTck Partner: Greenpeace International – Feb. 21st, 2010

As of March 15th, 2010, we have received no response.

From: Canadians for Action on Climate Change []
Sent: February-21-10 1:53 PM
To: ‘’; ‘’
Cc: ‘’; ‘’
Subject: TckTckTck Concerns | Time Sensitive – Your Response is Requested

Dear Greenpeace International,

We are writing to you because we are concerned about the corporate connections, and about the weak demands in the TckTckTck campaign. We are conducting a survey related to these aspects of the campaign. We will be posting the results of our survey to the web, as well as issuing a media release. We will be issuing the press release on March 15th, 2010. For this reason could your organization please respond no later than February 28th, 2010?  If we do not receive a response by this time we will state that your organization did not comment.

Corporate connections of TckTckTck

We note your organization is listed in as a partner or ally of the TckTckTck campaign initiative. We are very alarmed to learn various details about the campaign. The trademark TckTckTck was registered, on November 30, 2009, by the EURO RSCG firm, a subsidiary of Havas Worldwide, a public relations firm. Partners of this campaign include multinational corporations. Two of these are Electricity of France (EDF)  which now uses the TckTckTck logo, in TV commercials. EDF, the world’s leading nuclear power utility, operates a French nuclear fleet consisting of 58 reactors spread over 19 different sites. Havas also lists GDF Suez which affirms that there is a nuclear revival. With 45 years of involvement in the nuclear industry, GDF SUEZ confirms its intention to take an active part in developing a new generation of nuclear power worldwide.

In the Havas press release (attached) it also states “Havas Worldwide incorporates the EURO RSCG” whose clients include Novartis and Adventis – both biotech industries in genetic engineering and biofuel.  Both Nuclear and Biofuel are deemed to be ‘solutions’ that are equally bad, if not worse than the problem they are intended to solve.  Through your association with the TckTckTck campaign, your organization has created intentionally or unintentionally the perception that your organization is supportive of false solutions such as nuclear and biofuel.

When challenged over the inappropriateness of associating NGO partners with the corporate sector, (see EYES WIDE SHUT | TckTckTck exposé) the campaign organizer Jason Mogus claimed the two campaigns are different.  His argument is not convincing when one sees the press release issued in September of 2009 (screenshot attached). It clearly states that the North American is Havas Worldwide.  In the September 2009 press release the last paragraph states: “Havas Worldwide Web Site:”.  There is further information about this in an article by ‘Peace, Earth & Justice News’. See the news article here.

One of your partners listed is at is the ‘Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change’.  Signatories: can be found here. Of interest is the fact that on this page the multinational corporations ‘business verdict’ share your tcktcktck postCOP15 catch phrase ‘not done yet’.  This is perhaps one of the most truthful statements coming out of the entire tcktcktck campaign.  Partners in this group include Shell, Coca-Cola and RBC.  RBC is the number one financier of the most destructive project on the planet – the tar sands.  Over 1,000 corporate entities make up this TckTckTck partner group.

Furthermore, two of the same creators & partners (Havas & Euro RSCG) of TckTckTck were also initial partners of the infamous Hopenhagen campaign which was labeled a massive greenwash by the likes of Naomi Klein and others during COP15. (Farbman is reluctant to discuss what led to Ogilvy’s predicament or why previously enthusiastic partners were no longer involved.  See article here)

Many of us oppose, at least in principle if not vocally, the consumption of small community business into behemoth sized mega-corps.  We fear this is a growing trend with our NGOs.  We feel that we must work together to demand an end to this new strain of globalization which undermines and threatens our entire movement.

The entire TckTckTck campaign has been created in partnership with major multinational corporations.  These are the same multinational corporations that activists and legitimate grassroots organizations all over the world challenge on a daily basis.  People are devoting and risking their very lives defending themselves, their children and their environment from exploitation by these corporations in the name of corporate profit.  To have the largest climate change campaign on the planet formed, funded and shaped by the same corporate interests destroying our planet is a grave injustice to those already suffering.  It destroys all of our credibility, undermines true climate justice and erodes public trust.

Weak Targets advanced by TckTckTck


In the TckTckTck ( campaign for COP15, the organizers, allies and partners were calling for developed states to reduce developed country emissions by at least 40% by 2020. While most developed and developing states were calling for developed states to use 1990 as a baseline, the TckTckTck campaign did not have a baseline. Consequently what they were calling for was way below what developing states were demanding. How could an NGO campaign have a percentage reduction without a base-line date? In the TckTckTck campaign demands it was stated: “Reduce developed country emissions by at least 40% by 2020”. Is that from 2009 levels? or Canadian 2006 levels, or US 2005 levels?  It is far from what most of the developing states wanted, at least 45% from 1990 levels. Apart for calling for stabilization by 2015, the tcktcktck campaign had no commitment for subsequent years, such as calling the reduction of global emissions by at least 95% from 1990 levels by 2050. The TckTckTck campaign was silent on a 2050 commitment. The Key issues at COP15 were i) the need for a common baseline such as 1990, and the need for developed states to commit to high percentage reduction of greenhouse gases from the 1990 baseline, and ii) the urgent demand to not have the temperature rise exceed 1degree above preindustrialized levels and to return to no more than 300ppm. The tcktcktck campaign seriously undermined the necessary, bold targets as advanced by many of the developing states.   The TckTckTck ( list over 220 NGOs. We ask for your response on the following questions:

1)     Was your NGO aware that the brand “TckTckTck” has deep corporate ties?

2)     If so, how do you understand this relationship?

3)     Do you see yourselves as part of a campaign alongside “corporate partners” such as nuclear energy, genetic engineering, biofuels, aviation, automotive and other problematic sectors?

4)     If so, do you see how this creates confusion?

5)     In a release from Havas Worldwide it states “the idea behind TckTckTck was to create a movement…rather than a campaign, but a movement with a deadline. …the objective of the campaign was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit.”

Were you aware that your NGO’s name and credibility would be used as a commodity in this way? (and continues to be used)

6) Do you intend to remain a partner of TckTckTck even though there are corporate ties?

7) Would you like to be removed from the list of partners of TckTckTck?

If yes to number 7;

To be removed from the list, contact

8) Would your organization endorse the proposed ‘Post Cop15 Declaration’ that unequivocally supports the needs of the developing states.  It can be read here.

There are further questions related to privacy of the fifteen million people who signed on to it. There is an absolute breach of trust.  Who has collected such vital information on citizens with concern for environmental issues is anyone’s guess.  Trusting individuals disclosed personal information with no idea the campaign was aligned with corporate interests.  This is a separate and distinct issue altogether.  It is most likely that of privacy violations which warrant further investigation.

We wish that it be clear that we send this message in solidarity – that we have grave concerns with this “coalition”.  We do not wish to be patronizing but only elaborate on the concerns we share in the hope that you will share our concerns and come to the conclusion others have reached – that such a campaign is no longer the right place for any organization who believes in real climate justice to invest energies. If we say nothing – then our silence lends us as being complicit.  Therefore, we feel that must ask of all our allies to be accountable for their actions.  If we remain silent – we effectively breach the trust of those we claim to represent – the billions suffering at the hands of exploitation in the name of profits.  Let us be clear – we do not condone such a campaign and will speak out against it.

We hope that this communiqué will bring about debate that can strengthen our common understanding of the threats and opportunities for true climate justice. Our first priority is the planet, and this can only be worthwhile if it is another strand in unmasking the lies surrounding “climate politics” that threaten us with climate injustice.


Canadians for Action on Climate Change | Cory Morningstar

Joan Russow | Global Compliance Research Project | | For further information:  see Joan Russow , TckTckTck Hoodwinked NGOs,

Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition | Aotearoa [New Zealand] | Sandy Gauntlett

Please send response to

The responses will be posted on the websites.