We are told that it is big agribusiness, with its flashy techno-fixes and financial clout, that will save the world from widespread hunger and malnutrition and help food systems weather the impacts of climate change. However, a new report from ETC Group shows that in fact, it is a diverse network of small-scale producers, dubbed the Peasant Food Web, that feeds 70% of the world, including the most hungry and marginalized people.
(Read the news release about the report launch.)
Who Will Feed Us, now in its third edition, compares the industrial food system with peasant farming. Industrial farming gets all the attention (and most of the land). It accounts for more than 80% of the fossil fuel emissions and uses over 70% of the water supply used in agriculture, but it actually produces only about 30% of the world's food.
Is it possible to govern Geoengineering?
When speaking about geoengineering governance, a sensible first question is whether geoengineering, with its inherently high risks, unequal impacts, long term effects and broad geopolitical, military, environmental and global justice implications, is even possible to “govern.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Creators of a fake-meat burger made with a high-profile genetically engineered ingredient may have landed their experimental industry in a sizzling food safety mess, casting doubt on a Silicon Valley foodtech investor bubble. Joint Press Release from ETC Group and Friends of the Earth.
En français ci-dessous
Position Title: Administrative and Finance Assistant (Canada)
Location: Val David, Quebec, Canada
Term: Part-time (20 hours per week)
Starting Date: 1 September 2017
12 May 2017
On 27 April 2017, 108 civil society organizations signed a letter requesting the IPCC to reconsider its list of authors for the upcoming Special Report on keeping global warming below 1.5°C. Two senior employees from major oil companies were selected among the authors for the Report, which the letter considers a major hurdle to make a fair report, and a violation of the IPCC's conflict of interest policy.
Geoengineer David Keith first made his intention to launch a geoengineering trial public back in 2012 – saying then that it would take place “within a year” and naming Fort Sumner in New Mexico as the likely location. All indications were that he was ready to move forward, but was first waiting to get a signal of public support from the US government, ideally in the form of funding. Tellingly, the experiment never came.
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) describes a set of geoengineering techniques that aim to counter human-made climate change by artificially increasing the reflection of heat from sunlight (solar radiation) back into space. Some advocates have started using the term “solar geoengineering” – but these techniques are not related to solar power production.
Washington, DC – The Trump administration’s repudiation of the UN’s 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and its rollback of the EPA and other US agencies on monitoring and mitigating global warming has created an unexpected opportunity for a rogue group of climate researchers to seek support for an alternative climate change strategy.
So you say you want a (fourth) revolution, well you know…
Fashionably late and just in time for the Chinese New Year of the Rooster, ETC Group once again offers a tonque-in-cheek wake-up call and look-back at the last thirteen months (spoiler: despite our best hopes, waiting the extra month didn’t make the news any cheerier)
CANCUN, MEXICO — This week, 196 countries meeting at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties made progress on the global governance and oversight of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology (syn bio) has become one of the most fiercely debated topics at the Biodiversity Convention, almost 7 years after civil society first brought the need for precaution and regulation of the new set of biotechnologies to this UN body.
CANCUN, MEXICO – The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which gathered at its 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) in Mexico from December 4-17, decided to reaffirm its landmark moratorium on climate-related geoengineering that it first agreed to in 2010.
On Thursday, December 15, 2016 the Civil Society Working Group on Synthetic Biology circulated a short fact sheet to help clear up four of the most common questions arising about gene drives.
1. Are gene drives naturally occurring?
In brief: the engineered gene drives being discussed at COP 13 are NOT naturally occurring elements.
OTTAWA, CANADA – ETC Group today released an end-of-year update on the high-profile mergers announced in the agri-inputs industry in 2016. Arguing that the three announced seed/pesticide mega-mergers will only be decided in 2017 and possibly much later, ETC’s new update, entitled “Software vs. Hardware vs. Nowhere,” shows that it is not only the $97 billion per annum seed and crop chemicals market that is at stake in the three announced mergers.
CANCUN – The Coalition Against Biopiracy (CAB) hosted the 6th Captain Hook Awards ceremony at the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on December 9, 2016. The public action in the main lobby of the Conference “celebrated” five biopirates – corporations, governments, and organizations that play a part to privatize genetic resources from Indigenous Peoples and local communities for profit – with an awards ceremony attended by civil society organizations and government delegates.
CANCUN, MEXICO – This week, international conservation and environmental leaders are calling on governments at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called gene drives.
• CBD Decision X/33, 8 (w) on geoengineering remains valid and should be affirmed and strengthened.
• The potential impacts of geoengineering on biodiversity have been scarcely studied. Studies and policy recommendations on the impacts on biodiversity and associated livelihoods caused by any geoengineering intervention are, and should remain, under the mandate of CBD and its bodies.
• New research papers continue to demonstrate high risks and uncertainties associated with the full range of geoengineering proposals.
A fundamental shift is underway in how food, flavor, cosmetic, and fragrance ingredients are being produced for global markets. The new game in town is synthetic biology, or GMOs 2.0—companies are now able to create yeasts that secrete artificial compounds that taste or smell like familiar substances but don’t actually come from the natural source.