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Larry Lohmann

20 September 2014

Climate change and other environmental campaigns often try to mobilize people around the idea of avoiding apocalypse. This short piece for Occupied Times explores some of the weaknesses of this approach.

 

BBC Newsnight reports
Peter Marshall, Newsnight

7 July 2014

BBC’s flagship news programme, Newsnight, ran a 10-minute segment on allegations that Britain’s Department of International Development (DfID), through its wholly-owned private equity fund of funds CDC Group, invested in money-laundering fronts for James Ibori, the ex-governor of Nigeria’ oil-rich Delta State, who has been serving a prison sentence in the UK since 2012.

Sondeando el territorio
Larry Lohmann con Nicholas Hildyard y Sarah Sexton (traducido por Fernanda Olmedo y Martin Carbonell)

30 June 2014

Una creciente crisis climática y el aumento de la incertidumbre sobre el futuro de los combustibles fósiles hace que la pregunta, planteada con frecuencia,¿cuál es la alternativa a los sistemas actuales de la energía? no sea una sorpresa . Y no ha habido escasez de respuestas que compiten por espacio y atención. En la política energética actual, el principal conflicto no es entre los negocios habituales y "La Alternativa", sino entre las diferentes alternativas propuestas. ¿Cómo se deben evaluar estas alternativas, unas frente a las otras? (Spanish translation of The Corner House report Energy Alternatives: Surveying the Territory)

¿Para Quién y Para Qué?
The Corner House

23 June 2014

La expresión "seguridad energética" está llena de problemas, tanto como en lo político y en la retórica. Otros conceptos deben encontrarse para discutir sobre la energía y para buscar un futuro que sea democrático y libre de combustibles fósiles. (Spanish translation of The Corner House report Energy Security: For Whom? For What?)

Larry Lohmann and Nicholas Hildyard

31 March 2014

This 124-page report aims to understand how energy and finance have been constructed and contested during stormy transformations in industry, livelihood and exploitation over the past two centuries. Its goal is to help effective movements seeking finance for a greener, more democratic, liveable energy future regard both energy and finance as political processes in motion and as continuing social struggles.

Vol 1, Issue 1, Oct-Dec 2013
India Climate Justice

31 December 2013

The relaunched magazine Mausam from the India Climate Justice network and collective.

Larry Lohmann

30 November 2013

Energy politics is all about labour politics. But it is also about struggles over commons, since the emergence of energy itself was a form of enclosure of commons. What are the implications for activist strategy?

Surveying the Territory
Larry Lohmann with Nicholas Hildyard and Sarah Sexton

20 May 2013

What with a growing climate crisis and increasing uncertainty over the future of fossil fuels, it can be no surprise that the question “what's the alternative to current energy systems?” is in the air. And there has been no shortage of answers competing for space and attention. In energy policy today, the main conflict is not between business as usual and “The Alternative”, but among the different proposed alternatives themselves. How are these alternatives to be evaluated against each other?

Nicholas Hildyard and Larry Lohmann

31 March 2013

Too often, discussions about energy alternatives resemble a visit to a 1950s world's fair exhibition displaying exhibits of the wonderful technology of the future. Against one wall stand shiny replicas of new green machines – wind turbines, solar panels, fuel cells, hypercars, supergrids – alongside diagrams showing how environmentally benign they are. Against another are arrayed labeled bottles of new “substitutes” for oil, coal and gas – corn-based ethanol, rapeseed-based biodiesel, hydrogen cracked out of water, hydrocarbons extruded by algae.

Larry Lohmann, Camila Moreno, Soledad Vogliano, Carlos Vincente, Elizabeth Bravo, German Velez and Jaime Breilh

15 December 2012

This book collects contributions from Ecuadorian and international activists and scholars analyzing new, "green" capitalist strategies. Topics covered include agrofuels, bioprospecting, food and agriculture, carbon and biodiversity markets, health and the role of the public university.
Strategies for NGOs
Larry Lohmann

11 November 2012

The United Nations Environment Programme pretends to believe that the deepening global financial and economic crisis can be ignored in its plans for the "Green Economy". This presentation for a meeting held last June by the Heinrich Boll Foundation on the occasion of Rio + 20 lists some reasons why NGOs would be ill-advised to share this insouciant attitude, and proposes more realistic lines of strategy in the face of the current crisis.

 

Is "Internalizing Externalities" Really a Way Forward?
Larry Lohmann

2 October 2012

"Let's internalize the externalities" has become an important slogan of the new "green economy". Its logic is evident in the Kyoto Protocol, the UK's plans for an "ecosystem services economy", countless regulatory projects advised by environmental economists, and even in financial markets' efforts to commodify radical uncertainty. But is this a solution for the environmental and social problems thrown up by capital accumulation, or a perpetual motion machine that functions merely to create more problems and business opportunities?

Shadow Bankers in London
Nicholas Hildyard

1 October 2012

In June 2010, the London Mining Network and The Corner House organized a "Hedge Fund Tour" through London's tony Mayfair district, home of many of the private financial institutions at the heart of the wave of dispossessions that followed in the wake of the 2008 crisis. 

The Case of Climate
Larry Lohmann

15 September 2012

All processes of commodification are different, depending on what is being commodified, how it is commodified, the degree to which it is commodified, the resistances of the material and of the people affected and so on. For this reason, attempts to commodify some things may make headway, while attempts to commodify others fall down immediately. This draft chapter for the forthcoming book Nature™ Inc: The New Frontiers of Environmental Conservation (edited by Robert Fletcher, Wolfram Dressler and Bram Büscher) proposes an analytical tool that can help explain why neoliberal efforts to commodify climate benefit are failing so disastrously. A drastically abridged version has been published by the online magazine Mute at http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/performative-equations-and-ne....

Strategic Reflections on Climate Change and the "Green Economy"
Larry Lohmann

2 September 2012

This discussion paper sets out some lessons for political strategy suggested by the experience of climate change campaigning over the past 15 years. It outlines the dangers faced by advocacy NGOs of becoming "patzers" (blunderers) and clients of more sophisticated political actors. Comments on this work in progress, a shorter version of which was published in Development Dialogue No. 61 (September 2012), are welcome.

Infrastructure as Asset Class: A Critical Look at Private Equity Infrastructure Funds
Nicholas Hildyard

1 September 2012

Public, state and taxpayers' money is now being channelled the world over toward private equity funds seeking turbo-charged profits from the construction of substantial new infrastructure. The adverse political and economic consequences for the public good are profound and urgently need challenging.

A Review and a Debate
Larry Lohmann

1 September 2012

This essay, published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Development and Change, reviews five recent books, four of them on climate change and one addressing what’s needed to spark the transition away from dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Included is a September 2012 reply by the authors of one of the books reviewed, Matthew Paterson and Peter Newell, and Larry Lohmann's rejoinder.

20 Iconoclastic Theses
Larry Lohmann

19 August 2012

The "rights of nature" debate is becoming increasingly important both in the Andean context and in the wider global political debate. This set of brief notes suggests ways of approaching the issue that may help connect it to the ongoing debate between commoners and neoclassical economists, as well as help avoid the exoticization of the Andean concept of pachamama.

Joel Wainwright, Geoff Mann, Joshua Barker, Patrick Bigger, Mazen Labban, Larry Lohmann, Ben Wisner, etc.

19 July 2012

A recent paper on possible political scenarios in a greenhouse world, "Climate Leviathan" by Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann, is the subject of a debate organized by the journal Antipode, in which The Corner House participated. Further notes on, and responses to, the symposium are available at http://antipodefoundation.org/2012/07/19/symposium-on-geoff-mann-and-joe....

... in an Age of Financialization
Larry Lohmann

1 July 2012

Proposals for greening the economy necessarily involve the greening of finance as well. But how is a greener finance to be achieved? Activist strategies that fail to take stock of where finance is today in the wake of the 2007-08 breakdown -- and the struggles that are continuing to develop between neoliberalism and the commons -- are unlikely to succeed, and may actually do harm.
A Submission to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Corporate Responsibility
The Corner House

22 June 2012

A UK Treasury-financed, off-balance-sheet vehicle may be hiding the extent of the financial liabilities of UK Export Finance (formerly the Export Credit Guarantee Department) and may also be concealing its use of taxpayer funds to cover operational expenses.

In addition, UK Export Finance has failed to put in place procedures that would enable it to comply with its legally-binding obligations (notably with respect to human rights) under Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty.

These are among the conclusions of a recent Corner House submission to a UK Parliamentary group, one part of a broader questioning by civil society groups of the human rights and sustainability practices of Britain's official export subsidy apparatus.

The EU ETS Failure as a Model for the “Green Economy”
Ricardo Coelho

15 June 2012

At a time when the "green economy" is being widely trumpted, it is prudent to review the comprehensive failure of one of its first avatars, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, to achieve its own objectives. The EU ETS has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions while consistently giving generous allocations of free permits to industrial polluters. It has allowed offset credits to be used and has created a broad range of questionable financial products.
The Spanish State, Public Funds and the EU ETS
Beatriz Martínez and Tamra Gilbertson

31 May 2012

This report from Carbon Trade Watch demonstrates how, in Spain, public funds supporting increased fossil fuel use are interacting synergistically with the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme to worsen global warming. (Also available in Spanish.)

Large-Scale Biomass Subsidies in the UK and the Role of the EU ETS
Joseph Zacune

31 May 2012

UK-based power companies are using the myth that biomass is 'carbon neutral' to continue their climate-damaging activities unabated. A British biomass boom is set to benefit polluters and cause widespread environmental destruction through land grabs and deforestation.

Larry Lohmann

18 May 2012

What is the new "green economy" to be heralded at the Rio+20 summit in June 2012? What do this "green economy", together with the neoclassical economic thinking that gave rise to it, look like from the perspective of the commons? These two powerpoint presentations from a May 2012 workshop in Quito for activists, indigenous leaders, students and the general public, suggest some avenues for further exploration.

The powerpoints are available here in both English and Spanish.

Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization

12 May 2012

The contributions collected in this special issue of ephemera question the underlying ideologies and assumptions of carbon markets, and bring to light many of the contradictions and antagonisms that are currently at the heart of ‘climate capitalism’. They offer a critical assessment of the political economy of carbon trading and a detailed understanding of how these newly created markets are designed, how they (don’t) work, the various actors that are involved, and how these actors function together to create and contest the ‘atmosphere business’. In six articles, five notes, three book reviews, and an interview (with The Corner House's Larry Lohmann), some of the most prominent critical voices in debates about the atmosphere business are brought together.

Complaint submitted to UK Parliamentary Ombudsman

8 May 2012

Nigerian anti-corruption whistleblower Dotun Oloko today accused  Britain’s Department of International Development (DfID) and its private sector arm, the CDC Group, of jeopardising criminal investigations into potential wrongdoing by two CDC-backed private equity funds, Emerging Capital Partners and Ethos.

In 2009, Mr Oloko supplied DfID with detailed information on investments by the two funds in companies alleged to have acted as money laundering fronts for James Ibori, the former Nigerian state governor who was sentenced last month for money laundering and fraud.

16 April 2012

Campaigners slam government’s development approach as DfID-backed private equity fund comes under criminal investigation in Nigeria

Larry Lohmann and Dinar Rani Setiawan

15 April 2012

This short article from the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin describes how villagers from a South Central Timorese community have attempted to defend local forest land from a variety of threats (English, Spanish, French and Portuguese versions).

A Critical Look at Desertec
Oscar Reyes

31 March 2012

Challenges have been repeatedly raised about the economic viability and development benefits of Desertec, a plan to build concentrated solar power plants in the Middle East and North Africa and export the electricity generated to the EU. Promoting exaggerated claims of solar mega-projects and embedding them within a neo-liberal model of energy market liberalisation undermines and discredits efforts to move rapidly away from fossil fuels. 

La neoliberalización del clima
Larry Lohmann

10 March 2012

Mientras la vorágine neoliberal aceleraba la destruccion del planeta, los gobiernos del Norte auparon un festín para los grandes contaminadores transformando la contaminación en otra mercancia globalizada. Su gran descubrimiento fueron los mercados de carbono. En este libro, Larry Lohmann desmonta la lógica y dinámica de los mercados de carbono que promueven la corrupción, empeoran la contaminación y excluyen todo esfuerzo por abandonar la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles.

Larry Lohmann

1 March 2012

Building more effective climate movements is, in part, a continuous process of interpretation and reinterpretation. This chapter from a forthcoming academic volume argues that climate activists can benefit from putting the current fashion for carbon trading into the context of the other market environmentalisms with which it has evolved; from exploring the insights of actor-network theory about the genesis and limitations of commodity-ready environmental objects; and from seeing carbon trading and other current defences of fossil fuel use in the context of accumulation cycles.

Nicholas Hildyard, Larry Lohmann and Sarah Sexton

16 February 2012

"Energy security" is full of pitfalls, both as policy and as rhetoric. Other ways are urgently needed of discussing and organising for a democratic, fossil-free future.

Larry Lohmann

15 December 2011

The distinction between industrial tree plantations and biodiverse landscapes organized in conjunction with commons regimes is not just a distinction between various vegetable assemblages, but also a social/technical/political distinction. The slave-worked plantations of the past and the industrial plantations of today do not merely prop up colonialism; they are constituted by colonialism. Today's industrial plantations are also intertwined with overaccumulation, overproduction, financialization, and many other so-called "social" things.

Volume One

24 November 2011

Current proposals to address global warming by financing projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) constitute a “threat to Indigenous Peoples, local communities, forests, our climate and your future”, contends this book, which lists some of “the worst REDD-type projects” in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Uganda.

A critical review
Trusha Reddy (editor)

1 November 2011

This critical review of carbon trading in Africa includes analyses of the context and trends in the carbon market in Africa; offset projects in Uganda, Ethiopia and South Africa; and carbon finance and regulation. It shows how carbon trading provides new and different ways of profiting at the expense of a deteriorating climate.

Subsidizing and Legitimizing Corporate Pollution
Soumitra Ghosh and Subrat Kumar Sahu (edtiors)

1 November 2011

This book concludes that the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, as implemented in India, serves mainly to augment the profits of polluting corporations and addresses neither climate change nor the needs of local people. Some three dozen case studies are presented.

Larry Lohmann

28 October 2011

This article explains how today's carbon markets construct a tradable product by postulating a series of false equations – between reducing carbon dioxide and tackling fossil fuel dependence, between different greenhouse gases, between different places and times, between hypothetical and real emissions reductions, between biotic carbon and fossil carbon, and so forth. Competition to exploit cascades of ever more fanciful equations to increase profits ensures that the carbon markets become ever more damaging to the cause of combating global warming.


Un álgebra interminable: las contradicciones de los mercados climáticos

Los mercados de carbono, que constituyen el enfoque principal de los gobiernos del mundo frente a la crisis climática, construyen un producto comercializable postulando una serie de ecuaciones falsas. Estos mercados equiparan la reducción de dióxido de carbono con la lucha contra la dependencia de combustibles fósiles; equiparan los distintos gases de efecto invernadero, así como lugares y tiempos diferentes. Estos mercados dicen que las emisiones hipotéticas y reales son las mismas y que el carbono biótico y el carbono fósil también son los mismos. Estas ecuaciones tienen la función de proteger o incrementar los beneficios empresariales, y los intereses capitalistas están siempre dispuestos a inventar más ecuaciones. El resultado es que los mercados de carbono son cada vez más perjudiciales para la lucha contra el calentamiento global.

Genetic Promises and Speculative Finance
Sarah Sexton

19 October 2011

This book chapter explores some of the parallels, connections and disjunctures between the promised genetic revolution in medicine and health, and the crash of financial capital in 2008, aiming to illuminate several known insights for pursuing public health futures and finances that are often kept in the dark or conveniently forgotten.

The Contradictions of Neoliberal Climate Policy
Larry Lohmann

1 October 2011

The carbon markets that constitute the default international approach to the climate crisis, argues this article in the latest Socialist Register, aim both at opening up new frontiers for profit-making and at securing the background conditions for accumulation that are currently threatened by calls for greenhouse gas emission cuts. But they are afflicted by valuation paradoxes that are far more intractable than those affecting markets in other commodities such as food, energy, consumer durables, or even complex financial derivatives. The article is supplemented with a short interview with New Left Project's Ed Lewis.

Nicholas Hildyard

13 September 2011

"What news on the Rialto?" one of Shakespeare's businessman characters asks another in "The Merchant of Venice", referring to the bridge where Venice's merchants met to trade. If such a scene were played out today on Wall Street, the topic of conversation might well be how to make money out of saving the Rialto itself. But those who have always lost out as a result of the goings-on on the Rialto may want to talk about something other than how to "fix" a system that has always disadvantaged them.
Talking Climate in Public Space (Vol 3, Issue 1)
NESPON, NFFPFW and Nagarik Mancha

1 September 2011

This issue of the Indian magazine, Mausam, devoted to climate justice has articles on adaptation, the Climate Development Mechanism (CDM) and REDD projects.

Larry Lohmann

6 June 2011

The growing trend toward constructing environmental service markets is a response not just to ecological crisis but also to business crisis – in particular the prolonged profitability crisis that set in during the 1970s.

The Consequences of EU Energy Policies
The Corner House

24 May 2011

The European Union’s 2008 Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan does not address conflict, insecurity, human rights, militarisation or the Millennium Development Goals. Most critically, it does not ask the questions Energy Security for Whom? or Energy Security for What?

The Corner House

12 May 2011

Those found guilty in the UK of financial crimes in developing countries should be required by the court to make reparations, which are more than simply financial payments.

Failing at the Third Attempt
Carbon Trade Watch and Corporate Europe Observatory

7 April 2011

Carbon emissions in the European Union are rising, despite the Emissions Trading System, the EU's flagship measure for tackling climate change. The third phase of the scheme, beginning in 2013, is supposed to rectify the “teething problems” that have rewarded major polluters with windfall profits and undermined efforts to reduce pollution and achieve a more equitable and sustainable economy. In practice, it will continue to subsidise polluters and help them avoid taking meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Background and history

9 March 2011

In March 2011, following a Complaint lodged under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by six environment and human rights groups (including The Corner House) back in April 2003, the UK government ruled that oil multinational BP is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on its Caspian oil pipeline.

Ruling places BP in breach of its loan agreements, say campaigners

9 March 2011

A BP-led consortium is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the UK Government ruled today.

7 January 2011

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House are challenging the blanket immunity from prosecution given by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to BAE Systems as part of its February 2010 plea bargain settlement with the company.

21 December 2010

Mr Justice Bean pulled apart the “loosely and perhaps hastily drafted” settlement agreement reached between BAE Systems and the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in February 2010.  He sentenced the company for concealing that it was making payments to a Tanzania-based agent "with the intention that he should have free rein to make such payments to such people as he thought fit to secure the radar contract” for BAE from the government of Tanzania.

Evidence from The Corner House
The Corner House

3 December 2010

The Export Credits Guarantee Department should target its support towards small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that contribute to long-term, sustainable job creation and tax revenues in the UK. It should support low-carbon technologies instead of fossil fuel projects, such as oil pipelines and gas fields. It should reinstate immediately its environmental and social screening procedures, which were so significantly weakened in May 2010 that ECGD could now support projects using child and forced labour.

Larry Lohmann

25 November 2010

An article published in Mexican newspaper La Jornada on the eve of the UN climate summit in Cancun (English and Spanish).


Hoy, México, como muchos países del sur, tiene un nuevo producto de exportación: los derechos de contaminación. Este mercado es uno de los legados del neoliberalismo y del hábito de los países del norte de descargar sus problemas sobre el sur global.

Sentencing at Crown Court on 20 December 2010

23 November 2010

Arms company BAE Systems today pleaded guilty at the City of Westminster magistrates court in London to minor charges of false accounting relating to its controversial sale of military radar equipment to Tanzania in 1999. The sale has been surrounded by allegations of corruption.

International Development Committee inquiry
The Corner House and Jubilee Debt

23 November 2010

This submission makes detailed comparisons between CDC (the Development Finance Institution [DFI] wholly owned by the UK’s Department for International Development [DfID]) and the DFIs of Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, European Union and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

as Serious Fraud Office brings plea bargain settlement to court

22 November 2010

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is going to Court on Tuesday 23 November (at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London) to seek approval of its plea bargain settlement made with BAE Systems in February this year over the company’s sale of a military radar system to Tanzania in 1999. (At this preliminary hearing, a date will be set for a final hearing in 2011.)

Private equity, financial intermediaries and what they mean for development
Nicholas Hildyard

22 November 2010

The Private Sector Turn conference explored the increasing shift from public to private funding in development finance, the forms it takes and what it means for activists and affected people.

ECGD destroyed records that would confirm one way or the other

5 November 2010

Under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, commercial confidentiality cannot be used by corporations as a reason for refusing to supply the names of their agents when requested by competent authorities. This ruling by the UK government was issued in November 2010, six years after The Corner House first submitted a Complaint against BAE, Rolls Royce and Airbus.

Pambazuka News

7 October 2010

The electronic Pambazuka News, which disseminates analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, published a special issue on "New technologies and the threat to sovereignty in Africa", including articles on plantation projects that come under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UN’s Kyoto protocol.

Larry Lohmann

25 September 2010

This book chapter explores the interacting origins, development and politics of the “strange markets” in finance and climate developed in recent years and exposes the similar dangers they pose.


Los “mercados extraños” y la crisis climática

Este capítulo del libro explora los orígenes, el desarrollo y la política de los “mercados extraños” que han aparecido en las décadas recientes en el sector financiero y en la política climática internacional, y expone los peligros que presentan.

ECGD's role in promoting exports and credit to SMEs
The Corner House

24 September 2010

This Corner House submission to a Parliamentary Inquiry on "Government Assistance to Industry" (and on "Rebalancing the Economy") looks at how the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) promotes exports and supplies credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Responses to Food Speculation
Nicholas Hildyard

20 September 2010

 Some 154 million people were reportedly driven further into poverty in Southern countries as a result of speculation-induced food price hikes in 2007-08. What are the best strategies for bringing about the structural change needed that progressive activists can lend their support to?

This workshop presentation, while endorsing regulatory measures including banning certain investment vehicles such as exchange-traded funds and vetting of derivative-based financial instruments, cautions against becoming focussed on regulation alone as an answer. Also crucial is the promotion of non-derivative, socially-based mechanisms to protect farmers and consumers from volatile food prices, as well as price interventions that do not pit Northern farmers against their Southern counterparts.

Memorandum on CDC
The Corner House and Dotun Oloko

13 September 2010

This submission to a UK Parliamentary Inquiry into the Department for International Development (DfID) focuses on the support given by a DfID owned fund management business, CDC, to private equity funds and concerns over alleged corruption in several investments made by CDC-backed funds in Nigeria.

How it works and why it is controversial
Jutta Kill, Saskia Ozinga, Steven Pavett and Richard Wainwright

17 August 2010

Discussions of carbon trading are usually full of jargon, abstract concepts, mathematical formulae and technical detail, making it hard for many people to understand its implications and join in debates. This guide unravels the complexity, explains key concepts and terms, and describes how new interest groups and complex financial arrangements have become involved and transformed the practices.

Variations on Polanyian Themes
Larry Lohmann

16 July 2010

One lesson the financial crisis teaches us is: beware of the new carbon markets that constitute today's main official response to climate change. These markets are startlingly similar to the financial derivatives markets that have thrown banking systems into a tailspin. (German version also available.)


Mercados de incertidumbres y mercados de carbono: variaciones en temas de Polanyi

Una de las lecciones que la crisis financiera nos enseña es a tener cuidado con los nuevos mercados de carbono que constituyen hoy la principal respuesta oficial al cambio climático. Este artículo de la revista New Political Economy argumenta que estos mercados son sorprendentemente similares a los mercados de derivados financieros que arrojaron a los sistemas bancarios al caos en 2008.

ECGD's assessment of Petrobras P-52 oil production platform

1 July 2010

A UK government department is underwriting loans taken out by the Brazilian state-run energy company, Petrobras, for an offshore oil production platform operating in the Atlantic Ocean in even deeper waters than those in the Gulf of Mexico where BP's exploration well is spewing forth oil after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in April this year.

Memorandum to Secretary of State for International Development

28 June 2010

This Memorandum raises questions about the due diligence conducted by CDC, a company owned by the UK Government, in its dealings with two private equity firms that have invested in Nigerian companies. These companies are reported to be “fronts” for the alleged laundering of money said to have been obtained corruptly by the former Governor of Nigeria’s oil rich Delta State.

Costly, Dirty, Money-making Schemes
Herbert Docena, Focus on the Global South

25 June 2010

This evaluation of Clean Development Mechanism projects in the Philippines suggests that most projects will further exacerbate climate change, compromise sustainable development, and enrich large conglomerates expanding their extractive and fossil fuel-intensive activities.

BBC Radio 'File on 4'

25 May 2010

A BBC radio programme asks whether the plea bargaining strategy adopted by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the past two years "to punish firms who use bribery and corruption to win contracts abroad" is working. It queries several aspects of the SFO's proposed settlement with BAE Systems, including an agreement that appears to give immunity from prosecution to any individual who might have committed wrong-doing in those affairs.

The Corner House and Samata

30 April 2010

Lawyers acting for The Corner House and Indian group Samata requested a Judicial Review of the decision by the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) effectively scrapping its absolute ban on providing financial support to projects overseas involving "harmful" child labour and forced labour. ECGD stated in response that it does not have to consider whether its support contributes to human rights abuse, because it "does not owe obligations to persons outside the jurisdiction of the UK".

Cómo Funciona y por qué Fracasa

30 April 2010

Esta versión resumida del libro Carbon Trading, publicado por primera vez en 2006, pone a los activistas al día del desastroso historial del comercio de emisiones que, tras la debacle de las negociaciones sobre el clima de Copenhague, sigue siendo la principal respuesta de las elites de todo el mundo al cambio climático.

The Corner House announces proposed court action
The Corner House

12 April 2010

On 1 April 2010, a UK government department, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), scrapped its absolute ban on supporting projects overseas that involve child labour and forced labour. Lawyers acting for The Corner House have written to ECGD's Chief Executive stating their intention to challenge the new policy in the courts. They argue that for ECGD to provide UK, taxpayer-backed, support for forced labour would breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

but withdraw legal challange
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

8 April 2010

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House withdrew their application for a judicial review of the 5 February 2010 decision by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to enter a controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent. They concluded they were unable to appeal against the 22 March 2010 refusal by a High Court judge to grant permission to bring the legal challenge. Nonetheless, both CAAT and The Corner House will continue to raise questions about the settlement and the process leading up to it.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

24 March 2010

A High Court judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Collins, refused to grant permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to bring a full judicial review hearing against the decision by the UK Serious Fraud Office to make a controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems.

Refinancing through GEFCO raises questions about ECGD's financial losses

23 March 2010

In March 2010, The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) submitted a complaint to the European Commission alleging that the UK gives unlawful state aid to GEFCO, a special purpose vehicle used by the UK's export credit agency, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), to refinance its loss-making interest-rate support scheme provided to UK exporters. After much correspondence, it emerged in March 2011 that the complaint should have been directed at the companies receiving the support rather than at GEFCO itself and should have cited a different clause in the WTO's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The groups will submit a new complaint on this basis.

to apply for Judicial Review of SFO-BAE-Tanzania settlement
Honourable Mr Justice Collins

22 March 2010

On 22 March 2010, a High Court judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Collins, refused to grant permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to bring a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office February decision to make a plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent.

Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems

12 March 2010

After CAAT and The Corner House had submitted their application on 26 February 2010 for a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office decision to make a plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems submitted their versions of the facts and legal grounds to contest the application, arguing that permission to bring the review should not be given.

BBC Radio 4 "Law in Action"

9 March 2010

A BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action examined what difference proposed reforms of the UK’s anti-bribery laws would make and recent cases, such as the Serious Fraud Office's settlement with BAE Systems.

NGO submissions and correspondence
The Corner House and others

3 March 2010

In December 2009, the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) announced a public consultation on proposed revisions to its Business Principles, including wide-ranging changes to its environmental, social and human rights safeguard policies and its anti-bribery and corruption measures. The Corner House and others submitted a joint response detailing the potentially signficiant negative impacts triggered by the proposed changes to policies on child labour and forced labour, greenhouse gas accounting, transparency, anti-bribery and financial risks.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

1 March 2010

The High Court granted an injunction prohibiting the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from taking any further steps in its February 2010 plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems. The injunction is in force until the Court decides whether or not to give permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to apply for a judicial review of the settlement.

PRESS RELEASE

Judicial review papers lodged
The Corner House and CAAT

26 February 2010

Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House lodged papers on 26 February 2010 at the High Court in London asking for an injunction to delay the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from seeking court approval for its controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems pending the outcome of a Judicial Review. They lodged papers requesting the Judicial Review at the same time.

In Which Various Men with Beards are Enlisted to Help Explain Why Official Efforts to Address Climate Change Have Reached an Impasse
Larry Lohmann

25 February 2010

The approach to climate change that came to grief in Copenhagen in December 2009 is based on fetishism about molecules, numbers and targets. By trying to stuff politics, uncertainty, and history into a black box that is then set to one side, it has ensured its own demise. Tackling global warming effectively requires facing, rather than evading, the realities of inequality, conflict, exploitation, context and uncertainty.

against UK Serious Fraud Office's BAE settlement
CAAT and The Corner House

12 February 2010

Lawyers acting on behalf of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House issued a letter to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) laying out their intention to request a judicial review of the 5 February 2010 decision by the SFO to enter a plea agreement with BAE. The basis for the legal challenge is that the SFO failed properly to apply prosecution guidance (including its own guidance). In particular, the plea agreement reached fails to reflect the seriousness and extent of BAE's alleged offending, which includes corruption and bribery, and to provide the court with adequate sentencing powers.

Denial of justice say NGOs
CAAT and The Corner House

5 February 2010

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House expressed disappointment, anger and outrage at the announcement of a settlement between the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and BAE Systems of the long-running investigations into alleged bribery and corruption in BAE's arms deals in several African and European countries.

The Political Economy of Offset Markets
Steffen Bohm and Siddhartha Dabhi

10 January 2010

This book presents case studies and critiques of carbon offset markets from around the world, emphasizing how this pillar of current mainstream climate policy affects the lives of communities. The book also presents alternatives to carbon markets which enable communities to live low-carbon lives.

The Policy Reality
Larry Lohmann and Sarah Sexton

5 December 2009

This short contribution to a Forum discussion on climate change in the journal Global Social Policy outlines how and why the climate solution requires turning away from fossil fuel dependence and how the main official approach to the climate crisis worldwide -- building a single, liquid global carbon market worth trillions of dollars -- is likely to make climate change worse, not only exacerbating its social impacts but also generating negative impacts of its own.

Some reflections
The Corner House

5 December 2009

Overpopulation arguments in climate debates serve to delay making structural changes in North and South away from the extraction and use of fossil fuels; to justify increased and multiple interventions in the countries deemed to hold surplus people; and to excuse those interventions when they cause further environmental degradation, migration or conflict. Population numbers, in sum, offer no useful pointers toward policies that should be adopted to tackle climate change.

How It Works and Why It Fails
Oscar Reyes and Tamara Gilbertston

2 November 2009

This streamlined sequel to the 2006 book Carbon Trading brings climate activists up to date with the disastrous record of carbon trading -- which in the wake of the debacle at the Copenhagen climate negotiations continues to be world elites' main response to climate change.

Larry Lohmann

1 November 2009

These days, being a climate activist can easily get you arrested -- or worse. But the bigger danger -- especially for activists in industrialized countries -- may be that of being seduced into expending all your energies promoting "solutions" that turn out to be bogus.

CAAT and The Corner House

1 October 2009

1 October 2009: Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House welcomed the decision of the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to begin prosecution proceedings against BAE Systems for "offences relating to overseas corruption". The SFO has been investigating the business activities of BAE Systems in African and Eastern European countries.

Learning about Climate Policy from the Financial Crisis
Larry Lohmann

18 September 2009

40. Studying the financial crisis and the climate crisis together can provide useful tools for understanding how to tackle both. Overconfident commodification of uncertainty (in the form of a trade in new and complex derivatives) helped precipitate a global economic crash. Overconfident commodification of climate benefits (in the form of a trade in carbon) threatens to hasten an even worse catastrophe.


Cuando los mercados son veneno: Aprender sobre política climática de la crisis financiera

El estudio simultáneo de la crisis financiera y la crisis climática puede proporcionar herramientas útiles para hacer frente a las dos. Los intentos imprudentes de mercantilizar incertidumbres (en la forma de un mercado de derivados complejos) ayudaron a provocar una crisis económica mundial. Los intentos irresponsables de comercializar el clima amenazan con contribuir a una catástrofe aún peor.

Talking Climate in Public Space
NESPON, NFFPFW and Nagarik Mancha

1 September 2009

Here is the long-awaited latest issue of a magazine aimed at returning the dialogue about climate change and its solutions to the "public space." Featured are pathbreaking articles uncovering the reality of UN-sanctioned "carbon saving" projects in the metals, hydroelectric, wind power, chemicals, waste management and electricity generating sectors, as well as analyses of the political economy of the scientific controversies over the monsoon and over Asia's so-called "brown cloud" of pollution.

BPU Review made public after Information Tribunal

11 August 2009

After the BTC Consortium, led by BP, formally asked the UK's export credit agency, ECGD, for financial support for its BTC oil pipeline project, ECGD's Business Principles Unit (BPU) assessed the potential environmental and social impacts of the project. The BPU's findings and recommendations were critical to ECGD's issuing significant financial guarantees for the project in February 2004.

 

When The Corner House put in an information request for a copy of the BPU's report, it was refused. Only after appeals and counter appeals was the information finally released in August 2009.

Joint Committee

28 July 2009

In March 2009, the UK government published a Draft Bribery Bill, which a Joint Committee comprising members of both Houses of Parliament scrutinised in May and June, taking oral and written evidence from a wide range of individuals and organisations, including The Corner House. The Committee's final report, published on 28 July 2009, "strongly support[s]" the draft Bribery Bill. "It represents an important, indeed overdue, step in reforming the United Kingdom's bribery laws, which have been a source of criticism at home and abroad for more than thirty years."

The Rise of Carbon Trading
Larry Lohmann

22 July 2009

Carbon permit prices flashing on electronic screens in Wall Street trading rooms reflect a complex political movement to reorganize and redistribute power and knowledge. The carbon markets associated with the Kyoto Protocol, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the US's Waxman-Markey Act constitute perhaps the last great class project of a waning neoliberal regime – the ill-fated attempt to privatize the climate itself.


El neoliberalismo y el mundo calculable: El ascenso del comercio de carbono

Los precios de los derechos de emisión de dióxido de carbono que aparecen en las pantallas de las computadoras de Wall Street reflejan un movimiento político complejo para reorganizar y redistribuir el poder y el conocimiento. Los mercados de carbono del Protocolo de Kioto y el Esquema del Comercio de Emisiones de la Unión Europea son uno de los últimos grandes proyectos del neoliberalismo – un intento malhadado de privatizar el clima. Este capítulo del libro, "El neoliberalismo y el mundo calculable: El ascenso del comercio de carbono", describe las contradicciones del intento de formar una mercancía con el clima.

Larry Lohmann

22 July 2009

Proposals for Green New Deals aimed at tackling both global warming and global recession are streaming forth worldwide. Unfortunately, many give short shrift to the need to phase out both fossil fuels and fossil fuel substitutes. Many also rely on obsolete conceptions of technology transfer. Future climate movements will have to focus increasingly on the democratization of research, planning and finance.

Larry Lohmann

21 July 2009

Can the financial derivatives markets be regulated? Can the carbon markets be regulated? The questions are parallel. Both markets try to commodify new things: in the case of the financial markets an unprecedented range of uncertainties; in the carbon markets, the earth's carbon-cycling capacity. Regulation tends to assume that any problems with either market can be handled by "internalizing externalities"; this approach will fail. A more practical approach to these markets' problems looks to decommodification. Both approaches, however, have attracted supporters from across the political spectrum.


La imposibilidad de regular los mercados derivados financieros y de carbono

¿Es posible regular los mercados derivados financieros? ¿Es posible regular los mercados de carbono? Estas preguntas son parecidas. Ambos mercados tratan de comercializar nuevas cosas. Los nuevos mercados financieros tratan de comercializar una serie de incertidumbres sin precendentes; los mercados de carbono tratan de comercializar la capacidad del mundo natural para absorber dióxido de carbono. Muchos funcionarios gubernamentales y académicos asumen que cualquier problema de estos mercados puede ser manejado con "internalizar externalidades". Esto no es cierto. Un enfoque más práctico a los problemas de estos mercados es la desmercantilización.

Memoranda to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Corner House

30 June 2009

The Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament requested evidence for its inquiry into business and human rights on the State's duty to protect against human rights abuses by businesses; corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for individuals to have effective access to remedies when their human rights are breached. The Corner House submission to the Committee focused on the policies and practices of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in the context of the state's duty to protect human rights. The Committee subsequently called for supplementary evidence on the government's Draft Bribery Bill and the Industry and Exports (Financial Support) Bill, which The Corner House provided.

Memoranda to Joint Committee scrutinising the Bill
The Corner House

25 June 2009

On 25 March 2009, the UK Ministry of Justice published its long-awaited Draft Bribery Bill, the stated aim of which is "to reform the criminal law to provide a new, modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences that will enable courts and prosecutors to respond more effectively to bribery at home or abroad". The Corner House was requested by the Joint Parliamentary Committee scrutinising the Bill to submit evidence on the proposed new offence of bribing foreign public officials.

Cowboys and Choirboys United
Larry Lohmann

8 June 2009

Not all markets can be regulated effectively. Two examples are the markets for advanced credit derivatives – largely responsible for the current economic crisis -- and the growing carbon markets that are claimed to be capable of addressing global warming and that are the particular subject of this draft chapter. The attempt to regulate such markets does little more than create an illusion of governance where none actually exists. That only allows the dangers to grow larger.


Cuando la regulación se convierte en corrupción: El caso de los mercados de compensación de carbono

No todos los mercados se pueden regular con eficacia. Un ejemplo son los mercados de derivados de crédito que son una de las causas de la crisis financiera. Otro ejemplo son los mercados de carbono que constituyen la "solución" al calentamiento global, favorecida por la mayoría de los gobiernos del mundo. El intento de regular estos mercados no hace más que crear una ilusión de una gobernabilidad que en realidad no existe. Esta ilusión sólo permite que los peligros crezcan más.

Peter Marshall, Newsnight

29 May 2009

BBC2 Television's Newsnight current affairs programme summarised its 8 minute broadcast: "In 2006, the British government scotched a serious fraud investigation into BAE's biggest deal, with Saudi Arabia. Now, Peter Marshall [Newsnight presenter] reveals that the company may have returned the favour. It has stopped a billion pound insurance contract which tied the government to the Saudi business." Information about stopping the insurance contract came to light as a result of legal correspondence between The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade with the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department.