Political Cafe: The Cold Fish
Friday 20 November 2009 - 17h30 - 19h30 - Het Nutshuis - The Hague.
A new global climate treaty, which aims to counteract further global warming, is set for December. The European Union is said to have great ambitions for this climate summit in Copenhagen. However EU member states, such as the Netherlands, annually invest billions of euros through the European Investment Bank (EIB) in environmentally unfriendly industries, like oil, gas and mining, in developing countries. How can the Netherlands achieve its sustainable goals and incorporate climate considerations into its investment decisions?
There are hardly any funds available to developing countries, which prevent them from adequately responding to the current impacts of climate change. Added to that, the fact that environmentally unfriendly investments in large dams and energy guzzling industries can still count on the support of the EIB, means that one can only conclude that the EU climate policy contains contradictions. How can the EU ensure a more climate proof and coherent policy, and what role can the Netherlands play?
At first glance a dam in Uganda and a paper mill in Brazil don't seem to have much in common. Nevertheless, both projects are financed by the EIB and both projects have a significant impact on the environment of the local population. Both ENDS and foundation lokaalmondiaal caught some of these adverse effects on film (which will be shown at the political cafe). The Bujagali dam in Uganda, for which the EIB awarded a Euro 92 million loan, contributed to lower water levels in Lake Victoria, partly as a result of climate change. Part of the local population was forced to leave their land and saw their means of income evaporate. In Brazil, people also had to give up their farmland to make way for the arrival of a paper mill and a related Eucalyptus plantation.
Large scale investment projects sometimes make the local population extra vulnerable to climate change. Member states, such as the Netherlands, annually invest billions of euros in environmentally unfriendly industries such as oil, gas, mining, large dams and transport. In order to play a more constructive role in the reduction of climate change, the policies of European institutions such as the EIB should be consistent with climate policy. The Netherlands and the European Union should realize a climate proof investment plan in developing countries. How can the Netherlands achieve its sustainable goals and incorporate climate considerations into its investment decisions? We'll be debating all this and more.
- Thijs Berman, EU Parlementarian Dutch Labour Party (PvdA)
- Renato Cunha, GAMBA (Grupo Grupo Ambientalista da Bahia), Brazil
- Frank Muramuzi, NAPE (National Association of Professional Environmentalists), Uganda
- Bruce Rich, consultant and author of 'Foreclosing the Future - Coal, Climate
and Public international Finance' (2009)
- An EIB representative
Moderator: Farid Tabarki (Cool Politics)
Date: Friday 20 november 2009
Time: 17h30 - 19h30
Location: Het Nutshuis, Riviervismarkt 5, The Hague NL (for directions, www.nutshuis.nl)
Please join us for a drink afterwards.
For further questions, please contact: Leontien Aarnoudse.
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