Fighting climate change by tackling food waste

One-third of all food worldwide ends up in the garbage, with industrialized countries contributing the most. A new foodsharing platform wants to help tackle the impact this has on our climate.

Man working at Leipzig bakery (DW/K. Palme)

It’s raining cats and dogs as Jonas Korn rescues baked goods from being thrown away. It is midday on a Saturday and the Falland bakery in the south of Leipzig is getting ready to close. Five baking trays with cakes, donuts and fruit pastries are lined up on a long counter in the entrance area. Behind it, ten boxes are stacked with rolls, croissants and loves of bread.

“If you were to put all this in a trash can, it would be full. It would fill a 120 liter dumpster,” muses the 26-year-old student.

Read more:  Waste food and emissions: Landfill or the plate?

In order to make sure the leftover products are distributed instead of discarded, Jonas has brought reinforcements: three fellow campaigners from the organization Foodsharing. The online platform links more than 50,000 “food savers” with businesses that want to give away food for free instead of throwing it away.

“According to 2011 estimates, one-third of all food produced globally ends up in the garbage,” says Rosa Rolle, head of the Food Loss and Food Waste Project at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In total, that is 1.3 billion tons of food per year that goes uneaten. The FAO estimates that collectively this food waste has a CO2 footprint of 3.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide. These figures don’t include the CO2 emissions produced when forests are cleared for animal farming or to create soybean or palm oil plantations. In other words, if food production were a country, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter in the world after the US and China.

Infografik Lebensmittelverschwendung durch Konsumenten EN

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Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency

“It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority. We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.” -Greta Thunberg

Labour will attempt to force Commons vote as it is revealed that the government has failed to spend anti-pollution cash


Jeremy Corbyn campaigning with Labour activists for the local elections in Peterborough on 27 April. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Labour will this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency as confidential documents show the government has spent only a fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party will demand on Wednesday that the country wakes up to the threat and acts with urgency to avoid more than 1.5°C of warming, which will require global emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” before 2050.

The move will place Conservative MPs under pressure to back the plan, or explain why they refuse to do so, now fears over the combined problems of air pollution and climate change have risen to the top of the political agenda.

On Saturday night Corbyn said the recent wave of protests were “a massive and necessary wake-up call” that demanded “rapid and dramatic action, which only concerted government action and a green industrial revolution can deliver.” He said that if parliament backed the move and became the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency it would “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.

The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has criticised the inaction of the world’s politicians. “It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority,” she said. “We can not solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency. “I hope the other UK political parties join in and together pass this motion in parliament – and that political parties in other countries will follow their example.” MORE

 

Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders level human rights complaint during speeches at United Nations forum

 

Hereditary leaders speak at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York


Members of the RCMP move in to enforce an injunction against Wet’suwet’en people and their supporters on a forest service road in the nation’s traditional territory in northern B.C. on Jan. 7, 2019. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

Hereditary leaders from the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern B.C. told the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples Wednesday their human rights are being violated by pipeline development on their territory.

Hereditary chief Na’moks and FredaHuson, longtime spokesperson and resident at the Unist’ot’en camp in Wet’suwet’en territory, made statements to the special rapporteur at the meeting of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

They expressed concern over how tensions between their leadership, Canadian institutions and industry have been playing out in recent years, asking for the UN to take specific action.

“We are troubled by the ongoing trend in Canada that the interests of corporations for natural resource extraction are superseding the rights of Indigenous people on our lands and territories,” Na’moks told the rapporteur.

Hereditary leaders from the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern B.C. told the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples Wednesday their human rights are being violated by pipeline development on their territory.

Hereditary chief Na’moks and Freda Huson, longtime spokesperson and resident at the Unist’ot’en camp in Wet’suwet’en territory, made statements to the special rapporteur at the meeting of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

They expressed concern over how tensions between their leadership, Canadian institutions and industry have been playing out in recent years, asking for the UN to take specific action.

“We are troubled by the ongoing trend in Canada that the interests of corporations for natural resource extraction are superseding the rights of Indigenous people on our lands and territories,” Na’moks told the rapporteur.

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership has long maintained it does not consent to pipelines being built through the traditional territory.

Watch the video HERE

Na’moks asked the UN to emphasize to Canada the need to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and that states need to recognize the human right of people to peacefully express dissent to activity in their territories without being criminalized. MORE

 

First Nations leaders at odds over potential pipeline ownership

Is the Trudeau government cynically trying to pass over liability to First Nations?

‘The bottom line is that there is no certainty in this investment,’ says Judy Wilson


Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project at a stockpile site in Kamloops, B.C. (Dennis Owen/Reuters)

An Indigenous group is urging other First Nations to not invest in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, arguing it is not a sound investment.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has penned an open letter to some leaders who are exploring the idea of partial ownership in the project.

It warns of potential financial risks tied to the proposed pipeline expansion if it gets the ultimate green light from Ottawa.

“The bottom line is that there is no certainty in this investment,” said Judy Wilson, secretary treasurer with the UBCIC. She co-signed the letter with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

“A lot of the communities may not have the full financial information and a lot of things they should know if they are going to be investing.”

Chief Judy Wilson with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says that she chooses the health of the southern resident killer whales over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

The letter outlines concerns around ballooning constructions costs of the project, citing total cost estimates upwards of $15 billion.

“When people start doing the actual number crunching they’ll see there’s no real return,” said Wilson, referencing last year’s buy-out by the federal government. MORE

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Letter: Trans Mountain poses significant financial risks for First Nations

Extinction Rebellion activists stage die-in protests across globe

Extinction Rebellion vows to hold protests until local and central governments commit to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 11 years and the established climate citizens assemblies to oversee the changes.

Environmental protesters lie on ground at transport hubs, venues and shopping centres


About 300 people join a protest beneath Dippy the dinosaur at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Photograph: Extinction Rebellion/PA

Extinction Rebellion supporters around the world have held a series of mass die-ins to highlight the risk of the human race becoming extinct as a result of climate change.

Protesters in France, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands, the UK and other countries lay across the ground on Saturday at transport hubs, cultural centres and shopping centres to demand drastic action to avert environmental collapse.

At the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow, about 300 activists lay down beneath Dippy, the famous copy of a diplodocus skeleton which is currently touring the UK, for 20 minutes on the sound of a violin.

Many held handwritten signs with the question “Are we next?”, while children held pictures they had drawn of their favourite at-risk animals as part of the event organised by Wee Rebellion, a climate-change protest group for young people in Glasgow associated with Extinction Rebellion.

Twelve-year-old Lida said: “We want to raise awareness about climate change. If we keep carrying on the way we are humans may become extinct, like Dippy.” Aoibhìn, 7, said: “Lots of animals are dying out because of climate change.”

Organisers of the die-in said Wee Rebellion would continue to hold protests until local and central governments committed to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 11 years and established climate citizens assemblies to oversee the changes. MORE

Tell your MP and the Canadian government to support the student #ClimateStrike

Please support youth and students in at least 40 communities in Canada.

You may have children or grandchildren who are worried about the future of our planet in the face of climate change.

The distressing reality is that we all have a lot to be concerned about when it comes to making sure Earth has a livable environment for current and future generations.

But there is hope, and it is coming from our youth.

Inspired by Swedish student Greta Thunberg, the youth-led #ClimateStrike movement is taking the world by storm.

On March 15, 160,000 students from coast-to-coast-to-coast joined a #ClimateStrike of 1.4 million more around the world. And on May 3, youth and students in at least 40 communities in Canada will strike again for the climate.

Will you stand with them?

As Greta said in her recent address to Parliament in the UK:

“I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable – we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.

We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created.

We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.”

Many of the world’s leading scientists have sounded the alarm that we only have 11 years to cut our global emissions in half to prevent climate catastrophe. We are running out of time.

The urgency is real and young people are leading the way to a safe climate future. They need our support.

Here’s what you can do:
  • Send a message to your Member of Parliament and the Canadian government to support the #ClimateStrike demands with a comprehensive and bold plan for climate justice, in solidarity with the youth #ClimateStrike.
  • Help amplify the organizing on social media using the hashtags #ClimateStrike, #FridaysForFuture, and #InspiredtoStrike.
  • Participate in a #ClimateStrike event near you on May 3 in solidarity with your kids, grandkids, and future generations.

School Strike for Climate, Belleville, ON May 03, 2019 • 8:00 AM In front of townhall, 169 Front Street, Belleville, CA K8N 2Y8

School Strike for Climate, Kingston, ON May 03, 2019 • 2:30 PM In front of townhal, l216 Ontario St, Kingston, CA K7L 2Z3

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Swedish teen accuses UK of ‘irresponsible behaviour’ over #Climate