Climate capitalism

A note from the editor

Nick Dawson

Exploitation in the green transition

Just days after Hamas’s 7 October attacks, as Israel’s devastation of Gaza was getting into full swing, I received an odd email. It pitched a potential article from the CEO of the Israeli government’s Innovation Authority arguing that the COP28 climate conference could help rescue the process of strengthening political ties between Arab nations and Israel, which had been dealt a serious blow by the conflict.

The proposed piece argued that the summit would provide ‘an unprecedented opportunity’ to build ‘mutual economic gains’ from joint renewable energy ventures between Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as other Arab countries.

The gall of trying to use the climate crisis to justify money-making ventures between authoritarian regimes, when the government you work for is publicly undertaking ethnic cleansing, turned my stomach.

We urgently need to transition away from fossil fuels to prevent the worst harms of climate change, but the process is turning into a massive, and often damaging, bonanza for companies looking to profit from a slice of the climate action – and from a range of false solutions.

The Big Story has been a collaboration with the Transnational Institute whose research and advocacy has produced vital work in this area. We examine the way transition is taking place across the Middle East and North Africa, including Israel’s eco-normalization policies, and look at the mining and offshore wind energy required for a new green economy.

Elsewhere we have reports from Palestine, and Tilda Kämmlein explains how the illegal timber trade is fuelling conflict in Senegal.

Nick Dawson for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

The big story

An oil and gas drilling rig is towed past Teesside Offshore Wind farm off Redcar, North East England. The windfarm is operated by French state-owned energy company EDF. Photo: Alan Dawson/Alamy

An oil and gas drilling rig is towed past Teesside Offshore Wind farm off Redcar, North East England. The windfarm is operated by French state-owned energy company EDF.

Photo: Alan Dawson/Alamy

Green face, old tricks

How can we prevent an unjust transition? As the clean economy gets into gear, Nick Dowson asks whether a market-focused, subsidies-led approach will just mean more of the same.

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The Big Story

The Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco is one of the world’s largest solar power projects.Photo: Teresa Dapp/DPA/Alamy Live News

The El Dorado of energy

Amid the buzz surrounding green energy from the Arab world, Hamza Hamouchene sounds an alarm.

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Action & info

Action & info

Action, and further reading on climate capitalism.

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Green colonialism - The Facts

Green colonialism - The Facts

Green hydrogen and electricity access; Carbon Credits.

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The Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm and Red Sands Maunsell Fort are seen in the mouth of the Thames Estuary, UK, behind walkers enjoying the evening sun.Photo: Avpics/Alamy

Tilting at windmills

Offshore wind will be vital to weaning our economies off fossil fuels. Nick Dowson explores its potential and warns of the circling sharks looking for profit.

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The abandoned mining town of Ivittuut in the South West of Greenland.Photo: Carolyn Jenkins/Alamy

Held to ransom

A mining company wants to extract billions of dollars from Greenland’s government as compensation for a defeated rare earth mining project. Sebastian Skov Andersen reports on the case that’s divided the region.

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Kiruna church and town, Sweden, in 2016. The town is currently being relocated wholesale due to mining.Photo: Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/Alamy

‘Some things are priceless’

European authorities are trying to make sure they don’t get left empty handed in the new ‘green’ mineral rush. But are these policies simply ways to export harms to the Global South? Juliet Ferguson of Investigate Europe takes a look.

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Transition mining

Transition mining

Nick Dowson looks at the figures.

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Trade colonialism, again

Trade colonialism, again

Luciana Ghiotto, Bettina Müller and Lucía Barcena examine how Europe’s attempts to secure the raw materials for green technologies are following a tried and tested path across the Global South.

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Greta Thunberg and Sahar Shirzad on stage at an Amsterdam march for climate justice on 12 November 2023. Thunberg was interrupted during her speech when she made a call for international solidarity.Photo: Robin Utrecht/ANP/Alamy

How to end eco-apartheid: disrupt, abolish, and repair

Ecological destruction has been fuelled by extraction and colonialism for hundreds of years, and green capitalism is no different. We need to dismantle the political and economic structures that maintain the status quo, argues Vijay Kolinjivadi.

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Illustration: Andy K using Shutterstock

Quantitative easing and its aftermath

Richard Murphy takes down the financial shenanigans and mythmaking that rich governments have used to hide their powers to spend for good.

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Fossar Dabo, a physics teacher and environmental activist, after the discovery of a rosewood tree that had just been illegally cut down. Dabo and other volunteers founded the Green Sedhiou, an organization that denounces illegal timber trafficking at the Gambian border.Photo: Marco Simoncelli

Wood-fired war

The lush Casamance region of Senegal is home to a long running conflict between the state and an armed separatist movement. Tilda Kämmlein reports on how the illegal trade in timber is fuelling the strife and devastating the local environment.

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from left to right: Jerome Kendricks Okiror, Quin Karala, Joan Amek, Ashley Karungi, Eunice Maltego pose for a photo on 4 April 2023 in in Kampala. Amek is an LGBTQI+ rights activist and executive director of Rella Women’s Empowerment Program, Uganda.Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Reuters

‘They want to erase us’

After the government introduced one of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world, LGBTQI+ Ugandans have been living in an increased climate of fear. Amid preparations for a landmark case challenging the law, Sophie Neiman speaks to the people who are promoting the legislation, and the human rights activists putting everything on the line to get it overturned.

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Opinion

View from India

View from India

The quota conundrum, by Nilanjana Bhowmick.

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View from Africa

View from Africa

We can see the wounded, by Rosebell Kagumire.

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View from Brazil

View from Brazil

What does the Amazon’s worst drought in a century tell us? Asks Leonardo Sakamoto.

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Currents

Settler rampage

Settler rampage

Report from the West Bank by Leila Warah.

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Silencing solidarity

Silencing solidarity

Report from Haifa by Bethany Rielly.

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The aftermath of an Israeli air-strike in central Gaza.Photo: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

24 hours in hell

Report from Gaza by Wafa Al-Udaini.

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Emergency services deal with a Turkish air strike on a power station in Qamishlo, North and East Syria, 6 October 2023.Photo: Rojava Information Center

Energy warfare

North and East Syrian civilians face a winter without power or water after Turkish airstrikes, reports Eve Morris-Gray.

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Illustration: Emma Peer

Introducing... Wab Kinew

Manitoba’s first First Nations premier, by Richard Swift.

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Djirri Djirri Dancers perform for supporters at the Aboriginal Advancement League in Melbourne, on 10 September 2023, as a press conference was held in support of the ‘yes’ campaign in the Voice referendum.Photo: Australian Associated Press/Alamy Live News

Cold-hearted no

Zoe Holman reports on the Australian public’s overwhelming decision not to recognize Indigenous people in their constitution.

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Saviour or failure?

Saviour or failure?

Gabriella Jóźwiak reports on the civil unrest in Haiti.

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Illustration: Emma Peer

Reasons to be Cheerful

Herding cats; Union strong; Mauritian pride.

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Regulars

Letters

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Give us your feedback.

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Illustration: Kate Evans

Thoughts from a Broad

But they could have been terrorists. Illustration by Kate Evans.

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Photo: Jim West/Alamy Live News

Sign of the Times

"These Jews want everyone free from the river to the sea".

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Borderlines

Borderlines

Nomads uprooted in Ladakh, India. By Durdana Bhat and Kamran Yousuf.

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Illustration: Emma Peer

Seriously?

Political petulance in Uganda, writes Amy Hall.

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Illustration: Paolo Lombardi

Open Window

‘Doctor in Gaza’ by Paolo Lombardi (Italy).

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Uruguay

Uruguay

The photos, facts, and politics of Uruguay.

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Illustration: P J Polyp

The Luddite Rebellions

Polyp charts the 19th century textile worker rebellions in graphic form.

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Photo: Erika Piñeros

Southern Exposure: Erika Piñeros

Highlighting the work of artists and photographers from the Majority World.

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Illustration: Marc Roberts

Only Planet

Not this again, by Marc Roberts.

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Even in cold weather, heat pumps extract enough heat from the air to keep people warm inside their home.Photo: Island Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Temperature Check

Pumped up. Are heat pumps the low-impact solution we need to heat our homes? Words by Danny Chivers.

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Photo: Ruth McDowall/ActionAid

The Interview: Anna Scott

Anna Scott speaks to Ghanaian activist Abiba Nibaradun about her motivation to stop the forced marriage of girls.

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Illustration: P J Polyp

Big Bad World

Double-edged sword. By P J Polyp.

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The Puzzler

The Puzzler

Crossword Puzzle, Association Words and Wordsearch.

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Agony Uncle

Agony Uncle

Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. This month: Racist family.

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Illustration: Andy Carter

What if...

..we had a right to public transport? Pipe dream or tested model for a better world? Conrad Landin jumps on the bandwagon.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews

Mixed Media: Books

Mixed Media: Books

If We Burn; Mick Lynch; Praiseworthy; Between Meals.

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Mixed Media: Music

Mixed Media: Music

Women in Revolt; Last Night a Woman Saved My Life.

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Books Essay: In the salon

Books Essay: In the salon

A new history of dissenting women artists in early 20th century New York City offers an insight into largely undocumented networks of practice, writes Rachel Boyd.

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