News Releases

UN to Confront Sci-fi Climate Solutions at Biodiversity Meeting

Civil Society Calls for Precaution

As environment ministers from 193 countries take stock of the globe’s dramatic loss of biodiversity at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan next week (18-29 October 2010), ETC Group warns that high-risk “technological fixes” that claim to hold the key for solving the climate crisis should be put on ice.

The global meeting, marking the International Year of Biodiversity, will debate a de facto moratorium on the release into the environment of synthetic life forms (a form of extreme genetic engineering marketed by industry as the building blocks of the “green economy”) and on geoengineering activities (massive intentional manipulations of the Earth’s systems). Existing international law has no adequate controls for these controversial new technologies.

ETC Group released three new reports on these technofixes, explaining the interests behind them and the risks inherent in their uncontrolled development.

Nature Communications article shows 'true colours' of biochar advocates

Groups condemn implied land-grab for biochar

Press Release by African Biodiversity Network, Amigransa Venezuela, Biofuelwatch, CESTA (Friends of the Earth El Salvador), COECOCEIBA Costa Rica, Econexus, ETC Group, FASE Brasil, Gaia Foundation, Global Forest Coalition, Global Justice Ecology Project, Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA), NOAH Food and Agriculture (FoE Denmark), Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA) Chile, Otros Mundos Mexico, Rettet den Regenwald, Salva la Selva, Save America's Forests, Sobrevivencia (Friends of the Earth Paraguay) Timberwatch Coalition and World Rainforest Movement

Twenty one groups today expressed their dismay at an article by leading biochar advocates, published by the science magazine Nature, which proposes that an area larger than the land mass of India could be turned into charcoal plantations in the name of climate change mitigation.[1] The paper’s own figures contradict the authors’ claims that biochar will not lead to large-scale land grabbing in the global South.

Synthia is Alive … and Breeding: Panacea or Pandora's Box?

As Craig Venter announces lab-made life, ETC Group calls for Global Moratorium on Synthetic Biology.

In a paper published today in the journal Science, the J. Craig Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics Inc announced the laboratory creation of the world's first self-reproducing organism whose entire genome was built from scratch by a machine.(1) The construction of this synthetic organism, anticipated and dubbed "Synthia" by the ETC Group three years ago, will stir a firestorm of controversy over the ethics of building artificial life and the implications of the largely unknown field of synthetic biology.

United Nations science body calls for halt on climate-hacking experiments

Geoengineering moratorium proposal will go to UN Biodiversity Convention

A formal recommendation for a moratorium on all climate geoengineering activities is being sent to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for consideration by its 193 member governments when the CBD gathers in Nagoya Japan.

Governments attending the Nairobi meeting of the scientific subcommittee of the UN Convention (SBSTTA 14) agreed late last week to forward the groundbreaking recommendation after a high degree of consensus was reached. In a related move, the scientific subcommittee also reviewed and supported the ongoing global moratorium on one geoengineering technique, ocean fertilization, adopted by the Biodiversity Convention in Bonn in 2008.

Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in Nairobi

As huge cloud-whitening experiment goes public, global coalition urges an immediate halt to geoengineering

Amidst revelations in this weekend’s London Times newspaper{1} that a team of scientists and engineers funded by billionaire Bill Gates are planning to carry out a 10,000 square kilometer field trial of controversial “cloud-whitening” technology, over one hundred civil society groups are urging governments meeting on biological diversity in Nairobi to stop risky geoengineering experiments now. Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological schemes to intentionally alter the planet’s systems as a quick fix for climate change.

Hands Off Mother Earth!

Civil Society Groups announce new global campaign against geoengineering tests – urge public to join in.

On the eve of UN Mother Earth Day, over sixty national and international organizations today threw their weight behind a common statement launching a global campaign to prevent real world deployment of geoengineering experiments.

Geoengineering refers to large-scale intentional tinkering with the climate and earth systems to counteract global warming. The ‘Hands Off Mother Earth’ campaign (or H.O.M.E. campaign) regards such geoengineering schemes as dangerous and unjust. It is urging individuals and organizations to speak out in opposing them.

ETC Group attends Cochabamba Climate Change Conference: Presses for a Ban on Geoengineering

Media Advisory

Cochabamba, Bolivia - To advance meaningful international action on confronting the climate crisis, the Bolivian government is hosting a Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and The Rights of Mother Earth featuring close to 10,000 attendees. These include government representatives, social movements, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous Peoples from around the world.

Pissing for Profit in the Pacific - Geo-engineers prepare to pollute Philippine Seas as International Ocean Dumping Body Meets

A joint news release prepared by: ETC Group, Third World Network, SEARICE, Corporate Watch and Greenpeace South East Asia

March 5, 2010

As governments meet in London today to discuss whether the high seas should be used for largescale iron dumping by companies promising a quick-fix for climate change, one private company is rushing ahead with a new ocean dumping scheme in Southeast Asia – this time with urea. Civil society groups have learned that Ocean Nourishment Corporation (ONC) of Sydney, Australia has been given a “go signal” by the Philippines government to experimentally dump hundreds of tonnes of industrially-produced urea, most likely into the Sulu Sea between Philippines and Borneo.

London Convention Puts Brakes on Ocean Geoengineering

Risky ocean fertilisation schemes “not justified,” require oversight and regulation, says international maritime body

In a shot across the bows of geoengineering companies, the London Convention (the International Maritime Organization body that oversees dumping of wastes at sea) today unanimously endorsed a scientific statement of concern on ocean fertilisation and declared its intention to develop international regulations to oversee the controversial activities. It further advised states that such large-scale schemes are “currently not justified.”

News Release: Top-down Planet Hackers Call for Bottom-up Governance

Geoengineers Bid to Establish Voluntary Testing Regime Must be Opposed

While most scientists left the Copenhagen Climate Summit feeling gloomy about their influence, a small group of geoengineering advocates came away emboldened by the summit’s weak outcome and uncertain road ahead. This group of scientists aims to get on with research and experimentation in controversial geoengineering technologies. Their real excitement is over “solar radiation management” (SRM). This is a way of “cooling down the planet’s thermostat” by reflecting a portion of the sun’s rays back to outer space, through a variety of techniques ranging from sunshades in space, to aerosol sulphates in the stratosphere, to whitening clouds. These high-risk, planet-altering schemes affect global warming without changing its cause which is excessive greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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