Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Amid Climate Hoopla, Inner City Press Asks UN's Hart & Nabarro of $100B, Aviation Excluded

By Matthew Russell Lee, Expose series
UNITED NATIONS, April 19 -- Days before the signing of the Paris climate change agreement, Inner City Press asked the Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team Selwin Hart and Mr. David Nabarro, Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change about critique of the agreement.
  Specifically, Inner City Press asked if where are the $100 billion dollars, why aviation and shipping are excluded, and how hot current commitments would make the planet. Hart said it's imperfect but praised it, as did Nabarro. Video here.
   This takes place days after the UN evicted Inner City Press' longtime UN office, ostensibly based on Inner City Press seeking to cover an event of the UN Correspondents Association in the UN Press Briefing Room January 29, the day day Inner City Press showed the UN's Janos Pazstor the faux recycling in front of UNCA's office.
While the UN purports to be recycling, its garbage cans with separately holes for glass, paper and waste in fact have a single bag behind them: nothing is separated. 
After exposing the fake recycling on January 22, and asking UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about in on January 25 (he said everyone can see it's fake, so it's OK), on January 29 Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Climate Change Janos Pasztor about it. Video here.
  To his credit, after the briefing Pasztor came with Inner City Press to see one of the fake recycling garbage cans, directly in front of the door of the UN Correspondents Association. Looking in through the separate Glass, Paper and Waste openings and seeing inside a single garbage bag, Pasztor agreed that it was and is totally unacceptable.  We'll see.
   Later on January 29, the response of UNCA -- whose president Giampaolo Pioli was right there when Pasztor was shown the scam -- was not to recycle, but to simply remove the top of the garbage can.Tweeted photo here. This is today's UN, and those who are supposed to watch it. We'll have more on this.
  Inner City Press also asked Pasztor about the $100 billion in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and what percentage might just be market rate loans, even to coal projects. Video here. We'll have more  on this, too.
 On January 22, Inner City Press tweeted a phototweeted a photographof the faux-recycling garbage can on the UN's third floor. 

 On January 25, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the fake recycling. Video here. Dujarric said that everyone can see it, then that he was going to lunch. Video here.
  But not only is this fake recycling contradictory to the UN's and Ban's ostensibly environmental positions - it also appears, from responses Inner City Press has received, that many people are not aware of this particular pretense by the UN. From the UN's January 25 transcript: 
Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about recycling at the UN.  I noticed that these cans that are, that exist that have circles for glass and plastic, paper and waste, when you look into them, there's just one bag.  So, it seems like it's all mixed, and it's not actually being separated or recycled.  Is that true?  And if so, what's the point of having the separation?

Spokesman:  Well, if you've seen it, I have no doubt that it's true.  I can look into the situation and… I can look further into the garbage recycling issue.

Inner City Press:  I think the question really is, is it misleading to pretend to be recycling if you're not?  If you're just not, just say you're not.

Spokesman:  I think anybody can look, when you throw something into the garbage, anybody can look and see what's going on.  On that note, I'm going to have lunch. 
Then after interaction, Inner City Press broadcast the garbage can live on Periscope, preserved on YouTube here.

Isn't this hypocrisy? Why didn't the media using this scam garbage can -- CBS, Voice of America, Foreign Policy, Reuters and AFP from down the hall, the UN Correspondents Association right next door -- say anything about this?
  Inner City Press, aware of UNCA's and these media's attempts to censor and even through the investigative Press out of the UN, filmed it and puts it online here. 
Amid self-congratulations about the Paris Agreement on climate change, several environmental groups even inside the conference site on December 12 were critical. But when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took three softball questions from correspondents at the UN on December 14, it was another stage in Ban and his enablers' use of the UN to campaign for a Nobel Prize. The first question was, by CBS, to ask Ban about his legacy. 
The next, by the outgoing vice president of the UN Correspondents Association -- selling seats with Ban for $6000 on Wall Street -- was, There is criticism, what is your response? But not a single criticism was listed: the easiest question possible. The last was, from UNCA's earlier in the day question, was What should be do?
  Inner City Press asked loudly about corpses dumped in the streets over the weekend in Burundi, where several UN member states are warning of a new genocide, and on which Ban and his office have yet to comment. Ban had no response - he returned to say he will brief the General Assembly; his spokesman said he will take more questions on December 16: also pre-selected?
  Later in the day, Ban and his UN Censorship Alliance which sells access with him will be reviving and re-establishing UN corruption in the wake of the indictments of former President of the General Assembly John Ash, Sheri Yan, the founder of South South News and Ng Lap Seng. Watch this site.
On COP 21, earlier on December 14, Inner City Press asked at the UN climate change press conference which replaced the noon briefing and all other topics about developed countries skirting responsibility and liability, and of the Trans Pacific Partnership undercuts efforts on climate. The answer was of a Twitter feed nearly uniformily positive. The UN, apparently, hears and answers only what it wants.
An NGO from the United States pointed out that President Barack Obama is pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will undercut climate change efforts; Obama's “climate change hiatus” after the failure of the Waxman Markey bill failed in 2009. 
  An NGO from the Philippines called the agreement less concrete than in the past; another called it a “huge disappointment” on human rights. But there was Ban Ki-moon, talking about all his travel in the past nine years (and, one surmised, campaigning of a Nobel Peace Prize, with an eye on the Korean peninsula). A stream of press releases ensued; we'll have more on this.
  Back on November 20 in the run-up to the talks, Inner City Press asked UN official Janos Pasztor if commitments on adaptation funding will be increased, about corporations making sometimes dubious pledges in connection with CoP21 and specifically about requests that the Green Climate Fund not accredit HSBC or Credit Agricole, given their track records.
  Pasztor earnestly answered the questions, though he said he was unaware of the request to the GCF about the two banks (see here); he also said that while the march planned in Paris for November 29 has been canceled by the government, marches can be held elsewhere - in other countries.
   Agence France Presse, before other journalists got even one question, cut in with repeated “follow-ups.” France is branding CoP21, while now limited civil society participation - except for corporations.
  Relatedly, when the UNFCCC held a press conference in Bonn earlier in the week, the corporate media in the room had no questions, then few questions. But the selection of questions submitted by social media trended toward Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Climate Group; press questions submitted by Twitter and email were never answered. We'll have more on this.
On October 13 Inner City Press asked Pasztor about criticism of the OECD's claims about developed countries' progress toward $100 billion in 2020, and about the IMF's or Christine Lagarde's call for a carbon tax.Video here.
  Pasztor replied that at the meeting in Peru, finance ministers had raised questions about the OECD's methodology, which he said the OECD Secretary General had responded to. He called Lagarde's proposals “an important way that countries can address this issue.”

  Back on September 21 the 2015 Equator Prize winners were announced at a UN press conference featuring Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin, UNDP's Helen Clark and UNFCCC's Christiana Figueres, about whose 3 degree Celsius prediction Inner City Press asked last week.
 Inner City Press asked Figueres about her fellow UN official Janos Pasztor's prediction that current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions would equate to 3.5 degrees. She did not disagree; UNDP's Helen Clark said the INDCs are not ambitious enough yet.  
  Given UNDP's direct work with governments, Inner City Press asked Helen Clark about, for example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo being accuses of going soft on illegal logging, for example on Lebanese-owned firm Cotrefor. Video here.
  Alec Baldwin cited Canadian tar sands, and also ExxonMobil (earlier on September 21, Inner City Press asked about BNP Paribas funding coal power plants). Climate Week began... 

  Inner City Press on September 17 asked UN's Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor whether INDCs to date would raised temperatures by 3 degrees Celsius, as Christiana Figueres has said, or 2.5 degree as the Guardian has an unnamed UK official saying.Video here.
  Pasztor's answer to Inner City Press included "3.5 degrees;" Figueres' spokesperson chimes in this is the difference between frying and cooking. But who was the Guardian's anonymous "merely warming" source?
  Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, spoke about financing issues, on which Inner City Press asked about how to count if the $100 billion goal is reached by 2020. 

Back on August 11 after the climate change announcement of Australia, Inner City Press on August 11 asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, video heretranscript here:
Inner City Press: in the statement about the countries coming out with their climate change targets, Australia came out with one.  It's sort of become a touchstone, many people are saying there's no way it would lead to 2°C…

Spokesman Dujarric:  First of all, we very much welcome countries that issue their INDC.  It's an important step, and we very much hope that all Member States will do so.  They really need to be seen as a floor and not a ceiling.  They're a starting point.  There will be discussions prior to Paris.  There will, obviously, be discussions in Paris.  People are free to, obviously, express their opinion on certain countries' INDCs, but for our part, we're glad we have them, and we do see them as a starting point in the discussions.
Back on June 18 when the UN gave a climate change briefing by UNDP's Cassie Flynn, and Jo Scheuer, on June 18 Inner City Press asked about the under-funding of the Least Development Countries Fund, and if South Korea is backsliding in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Video here.

  The answers, on film, were to promote other funding vehicles, and to say that South Korea has still yet to file its INDC.

Back on June 4 the UN's Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor held a press conference and Inner City Press asked him about unspent funds at the Clean Development Mechanism in Bonn, and about reported backsliding by South Korea on its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions on greenhouse gas reduction.
  Pasztor said that the CDM is still needed; he said country have committed not to backslide. Video here. (South Korea had yet to submit its INDCs, it seems). Inner City Press asked Pasztor to provide a comment, if he has one, once South Korea's filing is made.

Back on May 5, Inner City Press asked him about criticism of the Green Climate Fund, including at the recent Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Video here and embedded below.
  Specifically, why will the "Green" Climate Fund provide financial for coal-powered plants? Pasztor replied that some felt that an exclusion for coal would have been divisive. On statements at the PFII that the UN is helping to "monetize" nature, Pasztor replied that most states feel differently. But what about the indigenous?
  Pasztor in his opening statement had praised the UN Pension Fund for now investing in "green equities" and "green bonds." Since the UN has responded to Press questions about irregularities alleged at the Pension Fund by emphasizing how separate and independent it is, Inner City Press asked Pazstor if the UN Secretariat had brought about this Pension Fund decision.
 Pazstor replied that the Pension Fund answers to the Secretary General and that "she" - Carolyn Boykin, presumably - had made this decision. We'll have more on this, after noting Pasztor by no means the least responsive UN official...

 When last September 21 the People's Climate March assembled at Manhattan's Columbus Circle, there were anti-corporate puppets in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower, speeches by coal miners and from the Marshall Islands.
   Many called on the UN to do better. But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the march mid-way, at Radio City Musical Hall with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Senator Chuck Schumer was on hand, walking by a Bronx contingent chanting how Fresh Direct has broken its promises.
  Inner City Press' 90 second video of the march is here.
  The UN's or "BKM" (Ban Ki-moon) Climate Summit will feature Cargill and Walmart, Credit Agricole and Bank of America. The last of these is the first, in terms of funding mountain top coal removal. These are the contradiction. Inner City Press tweeted photos on@InnerCityPress. More to follow.
  The night before the People's Climate March, the UN buildings on First Avenue lit up with photos and footage of trees and fish and written messages. It is called "illUmiNations." Inner City Press video here.

   Inner City Press late on September 19, after covering the Ukraine,IraqEbola and Iran nuclear meetings inside the UN, went out and found a sort of trial run for the screening taking place on First Avenue, alreadylined with NYPD cement blocksPhoto here.

   Looking back at the UN's press release for the upcoming "VIP Press Screening" -- hard to know how they could exclude non-VIPs from it, or why they would want to -- there were laudatory quotes about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and: 
Obscura Digital has staged similar large-scale architectural mapping projection events on the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. For examples of previous work, please visit the following link
 In that video compilation, well worth watching, there are also corporate projects for Coca-Cola and YouTube owned by Google, with history at the UN
  A message Inner City Press photographed on September 19, here,  was "In nature's economy, the currency is not money but life." Is this true of Coca-Cola?
   There are questions about the UN's UNcritical approach to corporations and corporate "partnerships."
   In the run up to the UN's September 23 Climate Summit, the UN put out a media advisory promoting the participation of 14 corporations ranging from Saudi Aramco through Cargill, McDonald's and Walmart to Bank of America and Credit Agricole. 
  Inner City Press on September 16 asked Summit promoter Robert Orr how these 14 were selected for listing in the media advisory, and if the UN had reviewed their wider record. For example, the recent court decision involving Cargill and child slavery in Cote d'Ivoire, or Saudi Aramco not allowing employees in Saudi Arabia to protest.
   Orr mentioned a luncheon during the summit about carbon pricing and the UN Global Compact, a branch of the UN which repeatedly says it does not enforce substantive standards, only encourages reporting and dialogue.  Well, Saudi Aramco did not respond to the complaint about “employees allegedly dismissed after being detained for participation in civil rights protests in Saudi Arabia.”
   And what of the environment? Bank of America has been the number one funder of mountain-top removal coal mining, but Ban Ki-moon made it chairman the chief of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
  On behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press asked that those making commitments, like the 14 corporations named, hold question and answer sessions during the summit. We'll see.