The first general assembly of Occupy COP17 took place after a night of unrelenting storms. Rivers flooded, hillsides become landslides and tragically lives were lost. The urgency of addressing climate change and the needs of those most at risk could not have been more painfully poignant.

Against a backdrop of a banner reading “Conference of People”, discussions took place which encompassed everything from corporate influence to energy and food security. The need to address the needs of the many verses the vested interests of the few was a constant theme.

Over the coming few weeks, as the deadlocked negotiations take place in the Durban ICC, we will create a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for everyone to talk honestly and openly. We welcome everyone to share their struggles, to imagine a more equitable world and to work on real, lasting and fair outcomes. We welcome delegates to come and speak openly and honestly, unhindered by the lines being fed to them by their political and corporate bosses.

We will try publish more comprehensive notes from general assemblies, as well as videos and photographs.

You can read more about today’s general assembly on the Climate Connections, Greenpeace, 350, Adopt a Negotiator and RTCC websites and watch the report on SABC.

The next general assembly is at 1pm on Tuesday 29th November, Speakers Corner, junction of Walnut Rd and Bram Fischer.

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Comments on: "Strong calls for Climate Justice at Occupy COP17 General Assembly" (4)

  1. All strength to your assembly and thank you for opening up comments via the internet.
    Most of your supporters are far away and I hope you include us by referring comments here for discussion at the assembly.

    Briefly I wish to suggest a line of approach not seen in any COP sessions. That is to deal with some of the known technical problems directly. My thinking is inspired by reading
    HEAT -How to Stop The Planet Burning,
    by George Monbiot and is the basis of the following comment. George wrote about what had to change in his country the UK and I tried to relate the lessons to the town where I live in in Thailand. :

    We know that to stop World temperature rises of 2 or more degrees, which would be catastrophic, energy guzzling countries uncluding the UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc must reduce their carbon (equivalent) emissions by 90 % or more.
    To achieve this very difficult target in the UK George has shown that:
    1. buildings must be transformed to slash their consumption of energy,
    2. the private motor car must be abandoned
    3. very fast public transport (aeroplanes & TGV type trains) must be eliminated (Very fast trains slowed) and much more.
    What does this mean for Chiang Mai?
    Taking the last point first. Well if the UK does what it must to save the World all flights over the UK will cease as its airspace is closed. The rest of Europe will have to follow suit and a reluctant USA & Canada will be forced to end flights to Europe.
    So there will be no tourists from abroad flying to Chiang Mai and none flying from Bangkok as Boeing & Airbus close their aircraft maintenance & parts facilities.
    So to point 2. Just as the aeroplane becomes obsolete, the motor car comes close to the same fate. Yes there may be a few flights for medical emergencies and likewise cars for the same purpose but otherwise motorised road transport will be restricted to busses and much reduced goods transport. The end of the private motor car will see the end of an industry producing them. Further the pressure to reduce energy consumption Worldwide will see motorists moving not to motor bikes but straight to bicycles just as they were forced to in Cuba when Soviet oil went dry.
    With the big energy consumers switching to bicycles it is inconceivable less “developed” countries will not follow suit.
    So Chiang Mai will have neither planes nor cars nor motorbikes.
    We can all work less as nobody will have to make repayments on loans for cars or motorbikes, which can amount to up to 25% of monthly income for some poor folk.
    Our air pollution problem will decline as vehicle exhaust ceases to become significant and we have more time to compost leaves and patrol the forests to prevent arson.
    Chiang Mai will be a cleaner city with, as Cuba found, healthier people from more exercise and pesticide free food.
    And lastly to the 1st point listed above – Energy Efficient Buildings. This is a problem more difficult for the temperate regions than the tropics because firstly there is the need to keep buildings warm enough to inhabit in Winter while even cities like Paris and Moscow can suffer stifling heat in Summer. To deal with this air-conditioning is out because of its high energy use and if that is the case for Europe so is will be for China and Chiang Mai.
    With cars off the roads and pavements being narrowed as tall growing trees transform Chiang Mai, we can turn to renovating our houses and other buildings by adding window shades and good ventilation just as was the case with many classic homes a century ago.
    We all need to recognise the revelations above.
    We all need so see that a speedy move to a low energy World will radically improve our lives.
    And we need to bring our local government to the same recognition and to take the message to the people at large.
    Now before we fall for the criticism that thousands of jobs will be lost from tourism let’s look at how thousands can be put to work planting and tending trees, making bicycles, remodeling buildings and farming in an organic or permaculture way and how adjustments can be made which make for a happier society without greed.
    Ricky Ward (International Citizens of Chiang Mai)
    2nd July 2010

    This is also posted and comments are welcome at : http://ourchiangmai.com/?s=%22Planet+Burning%22&x=13&y=6

  2. If you are in durban, you should go and support Abahlali in their occupation of SOHOC today at 1pm. Occupy COP17 must be in solidarity with the struggles of the poor. http://abahlali.org/node/8517

    • jsacks: agree we must suport each other. We didn’t know about this before now, and our general assembly call for 1pm went out yesterday. We will announce this action at today’s meeting. Please keep up posted. Strength and solidarity for your occupation today.

  3. […] addition to Tomoko’s presence we all can participate by reading the  Occupy COP17 blog and posting our […]

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