tv Democracy Now PBS December 4, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
12/04/15 12/04/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from the u.n. climate summit in paris, france, this is democracy now! justice?is the that we have a huge bunch of men .epresenting the african woman amy: it's called the family photo -- the image of over 100 world leaders who gathered here in paris on the opening day of the u.n. climate summit. who is missing from the photo? perhaps there's a clue in the french national motto, liberté,
liberty, equality, fraternity. where are the women? we'll speak to two leading women environmentalists from both sides of the african continent, kenya and nigeria. but first, an update on progress on the paris accord. we'll speak to the chief climate negotiator from nicaragua. >> to take in the world to three or four degrees and at the distraction that represents. amy: and we speak with one of -- in the united states james , hansen. he comes from the country that's historically the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
in san bernardino, california thousands gathered thursday , night at a local stadium for a candlelight vigil to mourn those killed in wednesday's mass shooting at the inland regional center, a facility that provides services to people with disabilities. president obama ordered flags lowered to half-staff at public buildings across washington d.c. the fbi counterterrorism unit is overseeing the investigation, although the agency has said it has not yet determined whether terrorism was a motive in the shooting. one of the suspected gunmen in wednesday's shooting, syed rizwan farook, was a county health department employee who had attended a department holiday party at the center earlier in the day, and left after some kind of dispute. he allegedly returned to the party with his wife, tashfeen malik, and a cache of weapons and opened fire. it was the worst mass shooting in the united states since the shooting at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, when a gunman killed 20 children, six adults,
his mother and himself. , on thursday, members of the largest mosque in san bernardino county held a vigil for the massacre's victims. local muslim leader ahsan khan expressed the community's grief. , our gatheredims here tonight in a state of grief after the horrific events that transpired in our neighborhood a san bernardino county yesterday. , our messageemost is to the victims and the loved ones. we extend our heartfelt condolences to you and everyone who suffered yesterday. of gody koran, the book you just heard recited, it teaches us that the killing of an innocent is like the
destruction of all of mankind. amy: the "new york post" is facing criticism after it changed its front-page headline on the san bernardino mass shooting from "murder mission" to "muslim killers," after the suspects were identified as muslims. the early edition of thursday's "post," red "shooters slaughter , 14 in california." by the afternoon, after police identified the suspects as syed rizwan farook and tasfeen malik, the subheadline had changed to "terror eyed as couple , slaughters 14 in california." the change came as assistant fbi director david bowdich said, "we do not yet know the motive." the german parliament has voted to provide military support to the u.s.-led fight against the self-proclaimed islamic state in iraq and syria, only two days after the british parliament voted to join the bombing of syria. germany says it will not
actively engage in combat, it will provide warplanes, a tank aircraft and a warship. , before the 445 to 146 vote, anti-war protesters rallied outside the parliament. >> there are more and more terrorists, more and more attacks such as the one in paris, and no one is thinking about where this might really originate in what can be done about it. all they ever do is drop more bombs. amy: germany said it will not actively engage in combat. the pentagon has opened all combat roles in the u.s. military to women. defense secretary ashton carter announced the shift thursday. it overturns the longstanding policy of restricting women from holding combat positions, even though they have effectively served in combat zones in iraq and afghanistan. eight top fifa officials have pleaded guilty to corruption charges, agreeing to pay a total of $40 million in penalties.
none of the eight officials are slated to serve time in prison. on thursday, 16 more officials were indicted by u.s. attorney general loretta lynch on charges of also participating in the decades-long, multi-million dollar corruption scheme that has thrown soccer's world governing body into turmoil. in chicago, court records show that police officer jason van dyke, who has been indicted for shooting african-american teenager laquan mcdonald 16 times, may have also played a role in the cover-up of another fatal police shooting a decade ago. the family of emmanuel lopez says that in 2005, five chicago police officers shot lopez 16 times and then falsely claimed lopez had tried to run over an officer with his car. in a deposition, van dyke admitted that he copied the statements of his fellow police officers in order to corroborate their story. lopez's family has brought a
lawsuit over the killing, which goes to trial in february. a 22-year-old moroccan refugee has died after being electrocuted by a border fence between greece and macedonia. it sparked protests by refugees stranded in greece. the man was electrocuted thursday. his charred body was later carried during a protest march. human rights groups say he is the first refugee to be killed at greek-macedonian border. in israel and the occupied territories, israeli soldiers have shot and killed two palestinians they say were involved in stabbing and wounding a soldier in the occupied west bank city of hebron friday. the killings came one day after, -- israeli police in jerusalem shot and killed two more palestinians whom they say had carried out non-fatal attacks on israeli authorities. the latest killings bring the last two months' death toll to at least 100 palestinians, and 19 israelis.
meanwhile, israeli authorities say they arrested several young people in connection with the july firebombing of a palestinian home in the occupied west bank which killed an , 18-month-old child and his parents. in yemen, doctors without borders has accused the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition of bombing its mobile clinic in taiz, injuring nine people, including two staff members. doctors without borders says it had provided the gps coordinates of the clinic in advance. wednesday's bombing was the fourth attack on a doctors without borders facility in recent weeks. in october, u.s. airstrikes leveled a doctors without borders hospital in kunduz, afghanistan, killing at least 30 people, including 14 staff members. in somalia, a journalist was killed when a bomb planted under the seat of her car exploded thursday. hindia haji mohamed was a reporter for the state-run media outlets radio mogadishu and somali national tv. the committee to protect journalists say she is the 25th
journalist in somalia to be killed for their work in the past five years. no one took responsibility for the bombing, but the committee says journalists for state-run media outlets are often targeted by militants. her late husband journalist , liban ali nur, also worked for radio mogadishu and somali national tv before he was murdered in 2012. in ecuador, protests have erupted in quito after the national assembly approved controversial constitutional reforms that permit the indefinite reelection of public officials, including the president. the reforms also grant the military increased power and strip away some collective bargaining rights for unionized public workers. at the protest, opposition lawmaker ramiro aguilar called for the measures to be put to a national referendum. >> the decision is not to validate, not with presence nor with our votes was not this
process that started in the constitutional court, the constitutional court is controlled by the government. so we will stand firm, democratic, but in absolute respect of the popular decision based on a referendum. amy: ecuadorian president rafael correa has vowed not to seek reelection in 2017. in west virginia, former coal company ceo don blankenship has been found guilty of a conspiracy to violate federal mine-safety laws in a trial over the 2010 explosion at a massey energy coal mine that killed 29 workers. it was the worst coal disaster in the united states in 40 years. blankenship was acquitted of the more serious charges of lying to regulators and investors. the conspiracy charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum prison sentence of one year. he is expected to be sentenced in march. here in paris a group of mayors , from around the world have issued an open letter calling on cities to divest from fossil fuels. the mayors represent a dozen
cities from portland, oregon, to oslo, norway, to moreland city, australia. all of the mayors who have signed the letter have already committed to either fully or partially divesting the city's investments and pension funds from fossil fuels. they are part of a global movement in which more than 500 institutions with $3.4 trillion in assets have committed to fossil fuel divestment. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from the 21st,, conference of parties, united nations climate change conference here in paris. the first week of talks is wrapping up. nearly 150 world leaders gathered earlier this week. on monday, president obama praised world leaders for submitting voluntary pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
>> already part of paris, more than 180 countries representing nearly 95% of global emissions have put forward their own climate targets, that is progress. part, america is on track to reach the emissions targets that i set sixers ago in copenhagen. we will reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17% andw 2005 levels by 2020, that is why last year, i set a new target. america will reduce our emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels within 10 years from now. task here in paris is to turn these achievements into an enduring framework for human progress. , but atopgap solution long-term strategy that gives the world confidence in the low carbon future.
amy: while more than 180 nations have pledged to voluntarily reduce emissions, many scientists say far more needs to be done to keep global warming in check. we are joined now by two guests, paul oquist, nicaragua's chief climate negotiator. nicaragua is one of 11 countries not to cement a place to cut emissions. also with us is meena raman climate change coordinator for , the third world network. she is also the honorary secretary of friends of the earth malaysia. we welcome you both to democracy now! mr. paul oquist, what is happening here? why is to grok what not participating? why didn't you submit voluntary standards for your country? >> because the concept of universal responsibility and voluntary commitments doesn't work. universal responsibility is a spin, a spent on historical responsibility, differentiated
responsibilities. the first proof that it doesn't work -- amy: these terms are terms 99% of the world won't understand. even, differentiated is a term that is not commonly used. >> ok. we will say the voluntary the universalat responsibility -- everyone is responsible, is a spin on historical response ability. everyone did not create this problem. nicaragua has 4.8 million tons of emissions a year. that is 0.03% of emissions. do we feel responsible for having caused climate change? no, not at all. have we done something about it? yes, we have gone from 25% renewable to 57% renewable and we will be 90% renewable by
2017. amy: when you say you have gone -- you're going to 90%, what are you changing? what is happening? a contract for 323 megawatts of hydroelectric that smallere us to some projects also. but we went from 25% to 52% with geothermal power from the volcanoes, wind power, and now son power because the solar panels are kicking in, too. last year, we had a saving of 2.1 million tons of co2 because of our shift to renewable energy. and her actual omissions were 4.8%, so quite significant. plus we have committed to 11 million tons and are forced to sector, and we will cut in the next five years. so that is over two years of emissions. and the canal we're building represents 32.5 million tons per year of saving for the maritime
commerce. so really, nicaragua's house is in order terms of mitigation, but we are on planet earth and we have to keep this genie in the bottle. we have to achieve the objective of 1.5 degrees in the century or at worst, two degrees. and what does this process in paris lead to? three degrees. three degrees, and our country -- amy: where talking about celsius. >> exactly. three degrees celsius. and three degrees celsius is not acceptable. it is a disaster. it is catastrophic. so we think that we have to get out of this spin a backdoor the problem can be solved. can countries, amy, have 72% of the emissions. 10 countries. amy: in the world. >> in the world. 20 countries have 78%.
worldsso have 76% of the gross income. 100 countries -- amy: wait, you're saying that have much of the world's income so they can afford -- >> they can afford it and they have the co2 that can be cut. so 100 countries, the 100 lowest countries have 3% of the co2 emissions. the 20 largest have 78% of the co2 emissions. are we going to try to cut out of the 100 countries with 3% or out of the 20 countries with 78% , or even maybe just the 10 countries with 72%? amy: clearly, one of the countries you're talking about is the united states. what do you think they should do, historically the largest emitter of greenhouse gas? >> china has over 10,000 million tons. the u.s. has over 6000 million tons. europe has over 4000 million tons. the three of them are half. they are half.
they need to increase their level of ambition if we're going to solve this problem. there is no solution without them increasing their level of ambition. and right now -- amy: when you say level of ambition, ambition is a big term. what do you want them to do? >> they cut their co2 and other greenhouse gas emissions more to reformist and get more syncs through four street and bamboo and other ways of the co2 syncs. and then feel efficiency is another thing that can be done. but their contributions, their commitments are not enough to limit the two degrees right now, looking at a three degree world, and that is catastrophic and unacceptable. i would just like to point out that last week, the executive director of the world meteorological organization
stated that we are breached one degree above preindustrial levels. we have 400 parts per million of greenhouse gases. and that one degree, what do we have yet though we have all of the ice in the world melting, the arctic, the antarctic, greenland, melting glaciers. we have drought, for your fourhts in california -- your droughts in california and southern states and southern africa, southern australia. you can see a pattern, the southern edges. inhave the strongest nino years, one of the strongest since 1950, which is bringing drought to some areas and floods to others, and they also tell us that this is the hottest year ever. this is with one degree. so are we going to play roulette with the world's future? amy: three degrees celsius is about 5.6 degrees fahrenheit. >> that's right.
amy: meena raman, i want you to to bring you to this discussion. what do you think needs to happen here and what do you think of this first week of negotiations? how you feel this paris accord is anywhere close to acceptable? >> i think part of the difficulty we are having here is the way the u.s. has come to the talks. when minister paul oquist mention how the contributions that are on the table, the commitments that the pledges -- the pledges the parties up it on the table, if you look at those pledges, we agree they are far away from keeping the temperature below 1.5 degrees, let alone two degrees. but i think what has to happen is that historical emitter, which is the united states, not assuming its responsibility and its leadership, as president
obama mentioned in his speech. i listened to his speech. and president obama said that the developed world and the united states will assume its responsibility and will do something about it to combat climate change. however, that is cry -- quite rhetorical. if you look at the way the negotiations are going, the united states negotiators and the oppositions in the talks are far away from assuming any responsibility. what they're doing is shifting the responsibility to the developing world. minister paul mentioned about china and the united states. i don't think you can compare them equally. historically, the united states emitted much of the emissions, the wealth of the world grew in a frame where there was no constraint on climate. today we have a limited carbon space left and if we don't act responsibly, a 20 to 25 years,
that space runs away. now, the developing world is the least responsibility for much of the emissions, they have huge challenges. if you take countries like china, like india, if you look at it in terms of the huge numbers of population, if you look at how many people are poor, if you look at the kind of per capita emissions and you compare that with the united states, i think you can't put them on the same footing. and what we're seeing here is the united states once an approach that the united states nationally determines according to its national circumstances. what this essentially means is that the united states does not want the international community to set an international target for how developed countries must do their emission reduction. if everybody is when you take
the approach of the united states where it decides what he wants to do, when it wants to do, and so this is not assuming responsibility or leadership. so what president obama says is ringing hollow. the united states has taken every -- everybody on a path that bottom-up approaches can work. this is not about bottom-up approach. the time for that is long gone. so what really needs to happen is for developed countries to do the drastic emission reduction cut that they must do, and this is, of course, toxic because they won't have any targets set internationally. even the target the united states has put on the table, it does not want that to be legally binding. amy: i want to ask minister paul inist, in a grog were -- nicaragua, thousands of rural residents from across the country flocked to the capital managua in october to protest the construction of a canal you're talking about linking the atlantic and pacific oceans. the $50 billion project will be larger than the panama canal and could displace up to 120,000
people. many nicaraguan residents traveled days to attend the protest. police reportedly set up multiple roadblocks in a bid to prevent them from reaching the capital. this is one farmer, rafael ángel bermúdez, was among those calling for the repeal of a 2013 law allowing a chinese firm to expropriate land in order to build the canal. >> i am a producer. they want to take our land with this canal. here the fight is ours. we don't want to canal. get rid of law 840 it we won't continue. it is law 840 we want them to get rid of so we can work in peace and not waste our time here with this march. amy: can you respond, paul oquist, to the criticism of the canal? >> over 80% of the nicaraguan people in the survey research are in favor of the canal. us showed overens 7000 families with 28,000 people
along the canal route. president ortega's instruction is that with regard to the indemnification you with regard to the resettlement plans and the new villages that will have health and education facilities, markets, running water, sanitation facilities, that everyone will be better off than they were before. we think that these protests will have a short shelf life. the expiration date is when the settlement offers are made. families can either accept a cash payment or they can go into the resettlement plan in which it is a mix between cash, living in a new house with an agricultural set up for them to be able to work and have sustainable livelihoods. plus, the entire region's economy along the route will be dynamite by the canal. route was chosen not
because it was the least expensive, but because it had the lowest environment with social impact. and subsequently further actions have been taken to further reduce that impact. for example, one, no one in terms of these resettlement communities will be moved more than 12 kilometers from where they lived before. this is to maintain contact family structures, community structures, church structures so that the community, the sense of committed he is not lost in these resettlement. amy: willie have a minute -- -- not amy:ity president ortega is not here. explain for the final time what it means to say nicaragua is not participating here in submitting a voluntary standard or target for your country. >> nicaragua does not want to be to three or four
degrees which means steffen destruction. the increase in mortality has been studied that would wreak some places in in asia, and we don't want to be an accomplice to that. so we need to maintain a 1.5 world war two degrees world, but not a three to four degree world will stop amy: we have to leave it there, but we will continue the discussion. paul oquist, nicaragua's lead negotiator at the u.n. climate talks. meena raman is the climate change coordinator. when we come back, james hansen joins us. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "global warning," by steel pulse. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. cop21,broadcasting from the 21st conference of parties, summit here in paris, that is supposed to lead to the paris accord. we turn now to nasa's former top climate scientist james hansen. in 1998, dr. hansen first warned about the dangers of climate change when he testified before congress. he would go on to become the nation's most influential climate scientist. this year he is making his first appearance at a u.n. climate summit. he has come to paris to warn world leaders that they are on the wrong track to prevent dangerous global.
james hansen joins us now, the director of climate science at columbia university's earth institute. welcome back to democracy now! >> thanks for having me. amy: you wrote a piece in the guardian saying, we at the point now where temperatures are hitting the one centigrade mark will stop you said, the u.n. is on the wrong track with plans to limit global warming to two degrees celsius. >> absolutely. this is really a total fraud. we are not going to reduce emissions as long as we let fossil fuels be the cheapest form of energy. there are lots of countries that want to lift the people out of poverty. of course, they should do that. but everybody would be better fuels the price of fossil was honest. it should include its cost to society. amy: so what is the plan here? you are coming in,
interestingly, as an outsider. you have never been here before, which gives you an interesting perspective. >> remarkably, it is not much different than kyoto except that here, they're not even requiring any connection among the different countries. they are just sang, well, each country tell us what you're going to do to reduce your emissions. and at the same time, they allow fossil fuels to be the cheapest thegy, and appear to be cheapest energy. of course, they're not, really, if you include the cost to society -- and that is what we should do. we should add a rising fee to the fossil fuel price. it would be very easy to do at the domestic mine or port of entry, a very small number of places. instead, we're just saying, well, let's try harder. you know, we will give you a plan we're going to reduce our emissions -- although, some countries are not even saying that. amy: what did you think of
president obama's speech here at the climate summit on monday? >> we have to design, are these people stupid or are they just uninformed? are they badly advised? i think he really believes he is doing something. you know, he wants to have a legacy, a legacy having done something in the climate problem. though what he is proposing is totally ineffectual. i mean, there are some small things that are talked about here, the fact that they may have a fund for investment and butst more in clean energy, these are minor things. as long as also fuels are dirty cheap, people will keep burning them. amy: why don't you talk, dr. james hansen, about what you are endorsing, a carbon tax. what does it mean, what does it look like? >> it should be an across-the-board carbon fee and in a democracy, it is going -- the money should begin to the public.
just give an equal amount to every -- you collect the money from the fossil fuel companies. the rate would go up over time, but the money should be distributed 100% to the public. and you will out to every legal resident. amy: is alaska an example of this? >> welcome alaska's giving fossil fuel money to the public, of course, they like that. it shows how much the public does like getting a month the dock, but what this would some of those people who do better than average in limiting their fossil fuel use, would make money. wealthy people, people who fly around the world a lot and have big houses, they would pay more in increased prices than they would get in their monthly dividend. amy: explain what you mean. >> we are giving all of the money. you collect money from fossil fuel companies and you distribute it equaled all residents. so the one who does better than average and limiting his fossil fuel use will get more and the
dividend that he pays in increased prices. amy: how do you know what their fossil fuel use is? >> nobody has to think about this. they know. they will just look at prices. of course, the price at the pump is obvious and electricity bill will be obvious. this will move industry and businesses to develop no carbon and low carbon energy and products that use little fossil fuels. in fact, the economic studies shows the united states, after 10 years, emissions would be reduced 30% because you have the economy forcing you in the right direction. but as long as you just leave it fossil fuels cheap, you are not going to finally change things. amy: it is not only that fossil fuels are kept cheap, not only u.s. government, governments around the world subsidize the fossil fuel industry. >> yet. amy: far more than any kind of renewable.
>> that's right, on a total basis, per unit energy they're subsidizing renewables more. but that's ok. we should not be subsidizing any of them. let this carbon price -- it will favor renewables, favor energy efficiency, favor nuclear power. it will favor anything that is carbon-free. that is the way we should do it. and that is the way conservatives would accept it. this is a revenue neutral approach which does not make the government bigger. and i've talked to some leading conservatives who understand this is not a hoax, that climate change is not a hoax. thisare willing to accept concept of a revenue-neutral carbon base. any cap dr. james hansen, would you like to weigh in on the presidential election on the issue of climate change? i believe donald trump said he would not even see the pope because of his views on climate change. but it is not only donald trump, the republicans in congress and then go to the democrats.
>> there are some that cases who claim it is all a hoax, and that is absurd. i think most of the public recognizes that. you may get a fraction of one party that likes that point of view, but the majority of the public realizes that is nonsense. but i haven't seen any candidate, liberal or conservative, who is proposing what is actually needed, and that is making the price of fossil fuels honest, but not taking the money to make the government acre, instead, give it to the public. amy: what about the democrats? >> i was saying, i haven't seen any politician, democrat or republican who has proposed a revenue-neutral carbon fee. there's an organization, citizens climate lobby, which has been doubling in size each you're the last several years, which is beginning to be heard. in fact, democrats, bernie
sanders and barbara boxer, proposed a bill that was basically fee and dividends, except the government was going to take 40% of the money. and that makes -- it's not going to work. first of all, conservatives are never going to accept that. that makes it a tax. a tax depresses the country. spurs theividends economy. there are some income redistribution. the low income people will tend to have a better chance to come out ahead in this case, and they tend to spend the money when they get there -- amy: dr. hansen, you talk about the potential collapse of the ice sheet. what would that mean? >> it would mean several meters of sea level rise. that is the biggest threat that climate change has in store for us because it would mean that all calls to cities would become -- coastal cities would become
dysfunctional. the economic consequences of that are incalculable. the number of refugees that you would have, what hundred million people in bangladesh, which most of them would be having to find some place to go. it is something -- it is hard to imagine how we can have a governable world if we let the antarctic ice sheet collapse. amy: the coastal cities in the united states, for example, if climate change is an curved, what would happen? >> just look at new york city, for example. if you have a sea level rise, you cannot protect the cities. amy: what about building hyphae walls? -- high seawalls? >> for a small area, you may be able to do that, but, still, when you get storms, you will get water over thrown over the seawall. it is just not practical. we need to keep a sea level relatively stable or we have economic consequences. amy: how do you do that? >> you do that by phasing down
emissions rapidly, at least a few percent per year. and the only way that will happen is if we have a carbon fee. because otherwise, you know, summit is going to keep burning it. these countries are saying, ok, we're going to reduce our emissions 30%. but what does that do when the price remains cheap? some of the us will burn it. that just makes the price even cheaper. if it is less dear. so you have to make the fossil fuel price honest. amy: so you have been preaching about climate change, speaking about climate change, getting arrested around climate change now for decades. talk about the science back, what, in 1988? and where it is today. and that brings me to all the
exposés both "the los angeles times" and "insight climate news" have been around exon, doing brilliant research, decades ago, and then covering it up. you were at the earth institute at columbia. exxonmobil threatening colletti university saying the research that is done around this, wrote a letter to the president of columbia lee bollinger, is misleading, is wrong, and threatening the money then given to columbia. >> worse than that, i remember writing letters complaining about the fact that exxonmobil was funding changes to textbooks in grade school and junior high school to make it sound like we didn't understand climate change, and we didn't -- there was no evidence that humans were causing climate change. so, yeah, that sounds like criminal activity to me. the captainsst of
of industry actually say they would like to be part of the solution. they have children and grand 7, 2 -- grandchildren, too. if our government would give them the incentives to do that by putting arising fee on carbon, they would love to be part of the solution. i think that is true for most captains of industry, as i call them. but our governments are not doing that. so i really blame it on our governments. they pretend they're doing something, like what they're doing here. this is a fraud. they should be smart enough to understand that the policies that they are proposing here are not going to make a significant reduction in global emissions. amy: you got arrested over the keystone xl pipeline ultimately, it was torpedoed by president obama. what do you think it needs -- needs to happen now?
that was grassroots action that was sustained over a period of years. >> that's useful, but only we get a price on carbon because that is the only way we will keep that in the ground is with a rising fee on carbon so that we get other energies to replace the fossil fuels. so people should really -- we need grassroots support and now people have to actually understand what is needed because the leaders, you know, you would think you just tell them, we want to solve the problem? that's not enough. you have to tell them what to do. amy: a want to thank you for being with us, dr. james hansen, director of climate science at columbia universities are institute. this is democracy now! we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
it's called the family photo, the image of over 100 world leaders who gathered here in paris on the opening day of the united nations climate summit. organizers said it marked the largest gathering of heads of state in history. but who is missing from the picture? perhaps there's a clue the french national motto, liberty, equality, fraternity. where are the women? only a handful of female heads of state appear in the photo. when it comes to the national delegations negotiating a global climate treaty here at cop21, women are still few and far between. we turn now to two african-american women who are making their voices heard here at cop21. africa has been praised here for leading the way on renewable energy, with the african development bank announcing this week it would spend $12 billion on energy projects over the next five years. but as africa forges ahead, will it leave behind the women who
often bear the brunt of impacts from climate change? we're joined here by two climate justice leaders from both sides of the african continent. priscilla achakpa is a delegate from nigeria, and is with the women's caucus and the women and gender constituency here at the u.n. climate summit. she is the executive director of the women environmental programme in nigeria. edna kaptoyo is with the kenya-based indigenous information network. she is a member of the indigenous people's caucus and the women and gender constituency here at the u.n. climate summit. welcome to democracy now! priscilla, that picture, i'm sure you saw it, the family photo, talk about who is missing. here -- firste and foremost, thank you bring much for bringing the issue at this cop, which is very crucial to the african woman. just as you said, when it comes
to the issue of negotiations, the african woman is mostly completely absent are nearly absent. this is something that is very important for us. we cannot be talking about negotiations that half of the populations are affected, which are the women, and then the issues that have been discussed completely neglected. badlands of the africa, this is something that is crucial for us and something that we want our leaders to really take on board. because you cannot be discussing the issues that affect us without us being at the table to negotiate these issues. amy: ban ki-moon said climate change affects us all, but it does not affect us equally. why do women bear the brunt of the effects of climate change? >> first and foremost, when you look at the creation, how god created us, women were affected
devoutly because of their own ability. because of the reproduction of dust reproductive system. but when you look at the impact, it is so diverse that the impact of climate change on women is so heavy that because as caregivers, who took care of the elderly, take care of the children, most of the time, it just so difficult for them to deal with climate change. when you look at how it affects them, jeff allen, it affects them differently. for instance, i come from nigeria. i will talk about nigeria. talking about chad, in the past, was -- amy: explain where lake chad is. >> it is a river. there are millions of people. --the 1970's, the chad river
it is now dried up post of hundreds of millions of people have been displaced as a result of the dried up lake chad. most of the people affected are women and children because the men are forced to migrate, but the children cannot leave because they have children that have to be taking care of. so the women, most of the time, have to deal with climate impact. amy: how does climate change affect the politics of nigeria? interestingly, recently, u.s. secretary state john kerry talked about the role of climate change in syria's civil war and also with boko haram in nigeria. >> coming from the issue of the saidharam, i've often we're addressing the issues of boko haram and should look at in terminal insecurity -- environmental insecurity. if we address the issue of environmental -- the rivers are
drying up, the livelihoods of most of the people who are dependent upon this river, which is inke chad northeast badgering, therefore, a lot of people -- nigeria, a lot of people have been displaced. thehen you take out livelihood of these people and you leave with no options, no alternatives, the alternative is the result in violence. gete are they supposed to -- to take care of themselves? i mean, lake chad and all of these places, or the source of their livelihoods. amy: what are you doing around solar power and microcredit, and how do they relate to women's development and nigeria? >> we are dealing very much with the issues of solar power. solar dryers, particularly. we have a lot of perishable close.
and when that happens -- amy: what are some of the crops? oranges --, onions, most of these crops have been --troyed because the women packaging them has become impossible. for us and our organization, part of what we're looking at, how can we help the women to package these products that will of throwinginstead them away? that is how we brought in the issue of solar dryers. -- women have learned they use the process of generating back into the system. to be able to sell the products. amy: we are talking to priscilla
achakpa of nigeria and edna kaptoyo from kenya, actually, president obama just visited kenya. his father is from kenya. can you talk about the droughts there and what you see as the challenges of climate change for your country? >> thank you for the opportunity to speak at this event. yes, president obama is from kenya and of course, we also demanded he focus on climate change. can you, we have experienced a lot of climate change impact. in the past droughts we've experienced since 2009, 2010, were very severe. i come from a community where the droughts these two extremes lasted for a couple of months and then we would have rainfall, but since 2010, we had drought that went past two years. we never saw a drop of rain in areas like the northern part of kenya and a we lost our
livestock. our water access was terrible because freshwater is dependent on the rainfall. we never had water within our communities, and that has been impact on our community which is dependent on the ability to access the water and feed the livestock. in this affected the women, especially, because we had to migrate from places to places because we are nomadic people but the men had to migrate from the communities to move to the cities to be able to provide for their families. in the women were left behind to fend for their families with no resources, nothing to feed them because some do not farm at all, they're dependent on livestock. so we lost a lot of livestock. this has affected our livelihood as well. amy: what does this conference have to do with you? >> i'm here because i want my voice to be heard because as a young woman, i believe that this ,rocess, being discussed here
at the community level. as women, we also want to say we are affected by climate change but we're also doing something in the community to mitigate this impact and to adapt. --re doing initiatives protect our water, but you also want to do something on the ground. we want the resources to reach a local woman. if it doesn't reach individual woman at the local level,, finance, how are we able to support our communities? how are we able to continue with our livelihood? we are here because we want them to know that women's rights matter. we want them to make a difference and to move from negotiations into action. amy: what difference doesn't make when women are at the negotiating table, and how are you trying to get more women there? >> women being at the negotiating table, there able to bring in our priorities, our needs to the table.
because we say we have the same sky, but different impact. how it impacts me, i know what the climate change does to my community. i know what kind of intervention that is needed. and that is why we need more women delegations and women from the community to bring their voices here and say, this is our priority and this is our need, -- t can be amy: can you talk about, priscilla, the africa fund and what it would mean and how you want that money to be distributed and how, in fact, it is being distributed or will be? >> the president of the [indiscernible] for me, that was heartwarming. how thee very concerned funds are going to be allocated. sometimes we hear funds, but
when it comes to the actual disbursement of the funds, never gets to anybody. especially the women groups. for us, we want to see the practical disbursement of practical applications of these funds reaching, especially the grassroots woman. ambiguous and difficult -- we want to see more of the women using those funds, applying it on the ground, but also using it as solutions to address the impact of climate change for them. so we are calling, while we are very much happy that the bank has talked about the money for special funds for the women, we want -- we don't want as funds at the end of the day the women will not be able to -- amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, priscilla achakpa of the women
environmental programme in nigeria. and edna kaptoyo is with the kenya-based indigenous information network. as we wrap up today's broadcast in the streets, we're inside a highly fortified u.n. climate summit, but right now, we're going to turn to the issue of corporate sponsorship here at the cop21 host of today there was a mass sit-in in paris, the grand palace to protest corporate sponsors pushing for so-called solutions to climate change that include genetically modified foods, privatized water and biofuels. we will see we can make this connection by cell phone on the streets of paris with pascoe sabido of the corporate your observatory. we thought it first you were arrested, but it looks like they sit-in is just taking place right now. why are you there? the givingre because huge platform to some of the
most polluting companies in the world. we're not accepting this. these empties are having a huge impact not just -- [indiscernible] we're here to speak truth to power. amy: i want to thank you, pascoe , for being with us. why did you choose that location? >> of course, one of the oldest buildings and paris, but their opening their doors to the likes [indiscernible] gmo's and biofuels, destroying the lives of local farmers. we have companies building airports. you name it, they are in here. the biggest coal financiers are in here. the platform to these -- john amy: we have to leave it there. thank you for being with us. we will continue to cover this issue. pascoe sabido, researcher, campaigner for the corporate europe observatory.
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