Today marks UN International Peace Day

Today marks UN International Peace Day

To coincide with this and the UN General Assembly meeting September 14-27, Tipping Point North South’s Transform Defence project publishes its updated briefing:

‘Reset for the 21st century’: The Global Military and the United Nations

We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction yet the foreign and defence policies of nations around the world – especially the top 20 nations which allocate large sums to defence spending – are preoccupied with a plethora of adversarial and conventional threats on land, air, sea and space as well as with nuclear weapons, cyber weaponry and AI.

Meantime, climate change and pandemic are laying bare the magnitude and depth of the desperate state we are in. The post-pandemic global economy, coming not so long after the 2008 crash, will further compound this with ever greater poverty and inequality.

Alongside all past and present wars and conflicts, it seems we have also collectively declared war on ourselves and our planet. But no F-35 will stop New York City, Alexandria, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Venice, Bangkok, Mumbai and London going under water; no nuclear warhead will solve India and Pakistan’s disappearing water-table; no anti-terror AI will stop West Africa’s growing desertification.

The briefing pulls together the various ways in which the global military as whole- primarily the top 20 spenders and arms sellers- impact on the SDGs; on climate change itself;  and the intersection of both.

It explores:

  • Why the impact of the global military on climate change demands much more attention and scrutiny at UN level
  • Why we need to divert runaway military spending to make up the SDGs funding shortfall
  • How a wider debate on definitions of ‘security’ and ‘defence’ is of benefit to the UN and citizens of the world
  • Why a Security Council high level open debate is needed to bring all these inter-related issues together in order to frame an urgent new 21st century paradigm for security – that of ‘sustainable human safety’.

In light of the UN Secretary General’s call to ‘launch a reset for the 21st century,’ five recommendations are offered up as a way to explore a reset in relation to this much overlooked issue and in turn raise ever greater awareness, debate and action:

  • Apply rigorous evidence-based value-for-money approaches to military spending
  • Part-fund the $2-4 trillion SDGs 2021-2030 funding gap from escalating military budgets 2023-30 and beyond
  • Create a new UNFCCC TOPIC ‘Carbon Neutral Peace and Defence’ and fill the ‘Knowledge Gap’ across UN and national processes on the global military’s greatly under-estimated carbon bootprint
  • Make SDG 16 ‘Peaceful Societies’ much more challenging in its remit in relation to the global military and spending
  • Hold a Security Council high-level open debate on the impact of the global military on climate change and under-development and the concept of ‘Carbon Neutral Peace and Defence

In 2020, the UN issued a report on the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary, in September 2020. In the Declaration (A/RES/75/1), Member States recognize that while there have been many achievements in the past 75 years, the world envisaged by the UN’s founders 75 years ago has not yet been realized: it is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change, and pandemics; people are forced to make dangerous journeys in search of refuge and safety; the LDCs are falling behind; and complete decolonization has not been achieved.

In 2021, the UN has mapped out how to take this forward with key proposals across the 12 commitments.

Recommendations from ‘Reset for the 21st century’: The Global Military and the United Nations connect with a number of items within the 12 proposals including:

  1. PROTECT OUR PLANET
    • Commit to the 1.5-degree Celsius goal and net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner
    • Package of support to developing countries
  1. PROMOTE PEACE AND PREVENT CONFLICTS
    • New agenda for peace
      • Invest in prevention and peacebuilding, including Peacebuilding Fund and Peacebuilding Commission
  1. ENSURE SUSTAINABLE FINANCING
    • Support a Sustainable Development Goal investment boost, including through a last-mile alliance to reach those furthest behind
  1. LISTEN TO AND WORK WITH YOUTH
    • Future generations
      • Summit of the Future in 2023
      • Ensure long-term thinking, including through a United Nations Futures Lab
  1. BE PREPARED
    • On global public health
      • Empowered WHO
      • Stronger global health security and preparedness

**********************************

Climate change is increasingly a part of UN Security Council debates and publications and while it may not be accepted by all nations, the time is already upon us to up-end our 19th and 20th century models of security thinking.

We have to acknowledge climate change, global health, inequality/poverty reduction and conflict prevention as top priority, inter-related hard defence issues. We must call time on the ‘Cinderella’ status of these extreme threats to our collective human safety.

The IPCC’s ‘Code Red for Humanity’ speaks to this. The time has come to transform defence for sustainable human safety in the 21st century. The UN, in all its diversity, through all its departments, is at the heart of this much needed transformation

Spring News And Summer Plans

Spring News And Summer Plans

Climate change and pandemic are changing everything, including our activity priorities

Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,

We hope the sunshine finds you well and that you are perhaps able to do a few less zooms and little more socially distanced face-to-face 😀

Hope there’s something of interest for you in our round-up of activity over the past few months – as well as plans for the coming months. Continue reading

Open Letter to UK hosted G7 meeting. Military emissions, climate change and net zero

Open Letter to UK hosted G7 meeting. Military emissions, climate change and net zero

Ahead of the G7 meeting in Cornwall, TPNS/Transform Defence published an Open Letter to PM Boris Johnson. The 26 (international) supporting signatories are seniors figures from science/academia, development and environment NGOs, activism and the arts.

The open letter called for G7 militaries to come clean on their carbon emissions and absence of any meaningful path to get to net zero, ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow. The letter provided four concrete recommendations. Open letter & signatories below

Transform Defence was also covered in a recent article for German public media broadcaster and publisher Deutsche Welle: Scorched Earth: The Climate Impact of Conflict by Stuart Braun.


Open Letter

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

United Kingdom Presidency of the G7 Summit, 2021

Dear Prime Minister,

The global military: clock is ticking on fulfilling its responsibility in reaching net-zero

The world must cut global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% by 2030 if we are to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5˚C – we have less than nine years.[1] While all aspects of human activity are required to urgently decarbonise, one sector remains out of view: the global military.

The global military is currently exempt from compulsory reporting of GHG emissions to the UN/IPCC. Some countries, including the USA, the UK and Germany, voluntarily report, but this is a bare-minimum disclosure as the IPCC template and codes have only a handful of items mentioning domestic military-related activities.

This means the public and policy makers are unable to obtain an accurate picture of the global military’s overall contribution to climate heating ― from its massive fossil fuel consumption both domestically and overseas to its military exercises and expeditions; from the impacts of conflict and war to GHG emissions arising from post-conflict reconstruction or nation re-building.[2]

As a result, the global military, a significant contributor to climate change over decades, continues to carry out its business as usual. Its emissions are estimated to be several percent of total global carbon emissions and are comparable with the carbon emissions of civilian aviation.[3] Military organizations’ efforts to use renewable energy for installations and achieve greater efficiencies in operations are a start, but as yet insufficient and do not address the root cause — namely, modern militaries are completely dependent on fossil fuels and are among the biggest institutional consumers of oil in the world, with no sign of realistic or practical net-zero plans to offset their carbon emissions.

Dr Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency[4] have said: “Decarbonising entire economies means tackling sectors where emissions are especially difficult to reduce, such as shipping, trucks, aviation, heavy industries like steel, cement and chemicals, and agriculture.”

The global military must be added to this list.

As part of climate change-related discussions in Cornwall and, critically, in advance of the UK hosting the COP26 UN Climate Conference in November, the time has come for the world’s leading military spending nations to acknowledge the deliberate omission of full compulsory military emissions reporting, the consequential knowledge gap, and the imperative for the world’s militaries to transform themselves and help the world reach net-zero.

The G7 countries (UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the USA) are all in the top 20 military spending nations.

To fully comply with the urgent need to reach net-zero, we call upon the G7 nations to support:

    1. AN IPCC TASK FORCE FOR DECARBONISATION OF MILITARIES AND MILITARY TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES. This task force should investigate the climate impact of the military/military technology sectors and devise proposals to address existing (and prevent further) damage. The task force should explore options and recommend solutions to fully decarbonise the world’s militaries and military technology industries without resorting to solutions that have other adverse environmental and social impacts (eg nuclear power and biofuels). Among these solutions should be proposals to transform military assets into climate-resilience hubs in vulnerable communities and countries, explore demilitarisation options, and enhance sustainable human security as defined by the United Nations.
    2. AN IPCC SPECIAL REPORT on the role of the global militaries and military technology industries in contributing to climate change, assessing existing and future social and environmental impacts and exploring response options.
    3. COMPULSORY SUBMISSIONS TO THE IPCC/UNFCCC OF FULL GHG MILITARY EMISSIONS REPORTING BY ALL NATIONS. Nations’ militaries, military industries, and attendant conflicts and wars must be included in their GHG emission reporting and carbon-reduction targets. This reporting must also include emissions incurred overseas, especially for nations with overseas bases. The Task Force on National GHG Inventories must look into how to incorporate these into the next Refinement to the IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories.
    4. NATIONALLY DETERMINED CONTRIBUTIONS (NDCs): ALL COUNTRIES TO INCLUDE THEIR MILITARIES AND MILITARY TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES IN THEIR GHG EMISSION REDUCTION PLANS AND TARGETS, taking into account total carbon bootprints of their militaries and military technology industries. Governments and militaries to publish their plans to decarbonise to meet the net-zero goal: simple technical measures (e.g. solar panels on military bases or electric killer drones) are not adequate and cannot be substitutes for serious demilitarisation options.

Critical relationship to the SDGs

Calculating and addressing the carbon burden of conflict and war means acknowledging the impact of military activity on conflict-driven poverty and displacement. It also means addressing the untold billions of dollars in military spending that is spent unnecessarily — as a consequence of waste, fraud and abuse — on many nations’ military spending and which should now be part of all discussions concerning funding sources to plug the significant SDGs funding gap.

The eyes of the world are on the UK for this hugely important G7 meeting. The climate change related concerns of civil society must not be side-lined. In a climate-changed world that urgently needs to get to net-zero, this is yet one more challenging social and environmental justice issue for the G7 of 2021 which can no longer be swept under the carpet.

Yours sincerely,

Deborah Burton, Kevin McCullough

Co-Founders Tipping Point North South/Transform Defence Project

Supporting Signatories

Christine Allen Executive Director, CAFOD (UK/Int’l)
Amir Amirani Documentary Filmmaker (UK)
Nick Buxton Future Labs Co-ordinator, The Transnational Institute (Netherlands/Int’l)
Linsey Cottrell Environmental Policy Officer, The Conflict and Environment Observatory (UK/Europe)
Dr Neta C. Crawford Professor and Chair of the Department Political Science, Boston University and Co‑Director of the Costs of War Project. (USA)
Nick Dearden Director, Global Justice Now (UK)
Fiona Dove Executive Director, The Transnational Institute (Netherlands/Int’l)
Martin Drewry CEO Health Poverty Action (UK/Int’l)
Brian Eno Musician (UK)
Andrew Feinstein Author, former ANC MP, Executive Director Shadow World Investigations (UK/Int’l)
Pat Gaffney Vice President Pax Christi (UK)
Jeff Halper Author, Founder Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (Israel)
Dr Jason Hickel Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths University of London; Visiting Senior Fellow, International Inequalities Institute at LSE (UK/Eswatini)
Charles Kenny Author, Economist (USA)
Dr Ho-Chih Lin Lead Researcher, Tipping Point North South / Transform Defence (UK)
Tamara Lorincz Author, PhD candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School for International Affairs (Canada)
Caroline Lucas Green Party MP (UK)
Priya Lukka Visiting Fellow Goldsmiths University of London, International Development Economist (UK)
Linda Melvern Author, Journalist (UK)
Pablo Navarrete Journalist, Documentary Filmmaker (UK/Chile)
Dr Benjamin Neimark Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University (UK)
Dr Stuart Parkinson Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility (UK)
Dr. Samuel Perlo‑Freeman Research Coordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK)
Prof Paul Rogers
John Sauven Executive Director, Greenpeace UK
Andrew Simms Co-director New Weather Institute, Co-ordinator Rapid Transition Alliance (UK)
Fionna Smyth Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid (UK/Int’l)

References

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

[2] Ho-Chih Lin and Deborah Burton, ‘Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security,’ Transform Defence, 2020, https://transformdefence.org/publication/indefensible/; Neta C. Crawford, “Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War,” Costs of War Project, 2019, https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/ClimateChangeandCostofWar; Oliver Belcher, Patrick Bigger, Ben Neimark, and Cara Kennelly, “Hidden Carbon Costs of the ‘everywhere war’: Logistics, Geopolitical Ecology, and the Carbon Boot-print of the US Military,” 2019, https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12319; Various reports by Stuart Parkinson and colleagues, Scientists for Global Responsibility, https://www.sgr.org.uk/projects/climate-change-military-main-outputs.

[3] Ho-Chih Lin and Deborah Burton, ‘Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security,’ Transform Defence, 2020, https://transformdefence.org/publication/indefensible/; Various reports by Stuart Parkinson and colleagues, Scientists for Global Responsibility, https://www.sgr.org.uk/projects/climate-change-military-main-outputs.

[4] https://www.ipcc.ch/2020/07/31/energy-climatechallenge/

Research Partnership with TNI State of Power 2021: Coercive World

Research Partnership with TNI State of Power 2021: Coercive World

Each year, TNI produces a STATE OF POWER resource on a highly topical issue.

TNI, founded in 1974, is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable planet.

State of Power 2021

The research for COERCIVE WORLD infographics was undertaken by TPNS/Transform Defence and covers military, police, homeland security and prisons around the world. In light of attacks on Gaza, an additional tab was added addressing Israel’s military and defence industry.

https://longreads.tni.org/state-of-power-2021

MLK Day: Dismantle Triple Evils and Transform Defence

MLK Day: Dismantle Triple Evils and Transform Defence

Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church – then and now.

As the confederate flag was held aloft by white supremacist Trump supporters inside the smashed up heart of USA democracy, it’s clear that America is not turning the corner away from Trumpism. Rather, it seems even darker times are ahead as Biden takes office and the battle between progress and regression takes a terrible new turn for American society.

In all this chaos was the bittersweet win for both the democratic candidates in the Georgia State elections – bittersweet because their win was both the final straw for Trump and those intent on ‘insurrection’ and also a crystal clear rejection of racism as Jon Ossoff, Jewish, and Raphael Warnock, African American, became Georgia’s new senators-in-waiting.

And it was all the more poignant a win since Raphael Warnock is the pastor of Martin Luther King’s church – the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, a church with a longstanding history of fighting racial and social justice struggles and the church where Dr. King’s funeral service was held.

Since 2005, the Reverend Warnock has served as the Senior Pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The son of two Pentecostal pastors, Dr. Warnock responded to the call of ministry at a very early age, and at age 35, became the fifth and the youngest person ever called to the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded in 1886. 

As we watch the USA implode with racism at the heart of this conflagration; as millions die from a preventable disease; as the world faces another economic crisis post the pandemic, global military spending reaches its highest ever annual sum – $1.9trillion. All this combined with the ever-increasing militarisation of police forces, MLK’s 1960s analysis is as relevant now as ever.

 ‘The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.

Continue reading

New release films to catch this week: MLK/FBI & Santiago Rising

New release films to catch this week: MLK/FBI & Santiago Rising

Two newly released films and the spirit of the moment:
MLK/FBI & Santiago Rising
Dear friends,
FILM: MLK/FBI
As the confederate flag was held aloft by white supremacist Trump supporters inside the smashed up heart of USA democracy, it’s clear that America is not turning the corner away from Trumpism. Rather, it seems even darker times are ahead as Biden takes office and the battle between progress and regression takes a terrible new turn for American society.

In all this chaos was the bittersweet win for both the democratic candidates in the Georgia State elections – bittersweet because their win was both the final straw for Trump and those intent on ‘insurrection’ and also a crystal clear rejection of racism, as Jon Ossoff, Jewish, and Raphael Warnock, African American, became Georgia’s new senators-in-waiting.

And it was all the more poignant a win since Raphael Warnock is the pastor of Martin Luther King’s church – the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

At this very moment, there is no better time to be remembering Dr. King. Ahead of MLK Day (18 January) Dogwoof are releasing the latest film from award-winning film-maker Sam PollardMLK/FBI follows the dirty war that America’s FBI declared on civil rights figurehead Martin Luther King, a vendetta that began in the 50s and ended with his assassination in 1968, inspired by recent revelations and backed up by declassified secret government documents.

Watch trailer

BOOKING

VIRTUAL PREMIERE: TUES 12 JANUARY – BFI PLAYER.  The virtual premiere of this film will be followed by a recorded Q&A with MLK/FBI director Sam Pollard, and a newly commissioned spoken word piece from Aicha Loubassou, exploring and reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr’s experiences while the target of FBI harassment.

Tickets here
https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-mlkfbi-2020-online

Virtual Cinema Tour See the film locally 15-20th January
Find your nearest cinema & booking here
https://watch.dogwoof.com/page/virtual-cinema/

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THE EVILS OF CAPITALISM ARE AS REAL AS THE EVILS OF MILITARISM AND EVILS OF RACISM.

Find out more about our MLK Global project and why MLK’s ‘triple evils’ remain an interconnected ‘nexus’ that civil society has yet to fully address.

In this essay we explore the damage done by the longstanding, deliberate media and political sidelining of MLK’s radical activism and how led to the masking of the full facts of his murder.  And finally, always inspired by Dr. King’s analysis of militarism, here is our latest project Transform Defence launched in December.

****************
FILM: SANTIAGO RISING
Santiago Rising is the latest documentary film from our colleagues at Alborada Film and directed by Nick MacWilliam.

It takes place on the streets of Chile’s capital city in late 2019 as massive protests over economic inequality engulf the country. Filmed during the weeks after protests began, Santiago Rising meets social movements, protesters and ordinary people in their struggle for equality and human rights.

The film charts the build-up to the historic vote, in October 2020, that saw Chileans vote for a new constitution to replace the one imposed during the brutal Pinochet dictatorship and emphasises the prominent role of music and art in political dissent.

The film shows the state’s attempts to crush the protest movement through a violent police crackdown but although the odds are stacked against them, Chileans find strength in unity as they fight to overcome Pinochet’s enduring legacy.

Watch trailer

‘Chile’s elected governments which followed Pinochet kept the economic model in place: they were largely happy with the anti-trade union laws, the anti-environmental laws, the indigenous discrimination.’
Santiago Rising director Nick MacWilliam. 

BOOKING

THURSDAY 14TH JANUARY Online International Launch: 6.30pm-9.00pm GMT  6.30-9pm London / 3.30-6pm Santiago / 1.30-4pm New York / 10.30am-1pm Los Angeles

Tickets here
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/documentary-premiere-qa-santiago-rising-tickets-133211502189

TPNS 2020 ROUND-UP

TPNS 2020 ROUND-UP

Season’s greetings to all our friends, colleagues and supporters, in this most difficult of years.

The pandemic, coming on top of the climate emergency, demands solutions that rise to the phenomenal challenges facing humanity.  The call for #SystemChange really took hold during the BLM protests after the murder of George Floyd and at the height of the pandemic in the USA. And we do so desperately need system change to address the collective threats of climate breakdown, racial injustice, economic/class inequality alongside deep societal and economic uncertainty.

And when system change does come, as it surely must, our own constant refrain has become this: we must not overlook foreign, defence, security and development in all this.  Our Transform Defence project is at the heart of this. We need a practical, imaginative, brave discussion about redefining and re-making foreign and defence policy such that it is truly fit-for-purpose. That means as understanding its role in climate change, pandemic, economic, racial and gender injustice as part of the system change process.

We want to thank all our funders, major donors and regular givers for their support.   And sadly, on that note, on December 8th, Tipping Point lost another very dear friend. Elizabeth Block – Liz – was a founding member of TPNS, with a deep passion for documentary film.  A New Yorker by birth, she was a journalist specialising in climate change, particularly renewable energy and previously financial journalism.  Liz was a major donor to TP over many years and was always unfailingly supportive and encouraging.  We miss her so much and she has gone too soon. Rest in peace our dear friend. We journeyed a wonderful journey together

So, as we come to the end of 2020, a round-up of links to our activities is below. All’s that left if for us to wish you a safe, happy Christmas and all good things for your New Year.

Deb, Ho-Chih, Kev and all at TPNS


TPNS 2020

TRANSFORM DEFENCE

https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2020/12/08/tpns-newinitiative-launched/

Media Release https://transformdefence.org/2020/12/07/media-release/

(Report) INDEFENSIBLE: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security. https://transformdefence.org/publication/indefensible/

Preface by Professor Neta Crawford , Chair Dept Political Science Boston University

(Report) GLOBAL MILITARY SPENDING, Sustainable Human Safety and Value for Money https://transformdefence.org/publication/value-for-money/

Foreword Jen Maman, Senior Peace Advisor of Greenpeace International.

GREEN NEW DEAL / COVID-19 RECOVERY

Submission to GND Parliamentary Group https://thefivepercentcampaign.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/tipping-point-northsouth-evidence-24-july.pdf [PDF]

(Blog post) Building back better for a post-pandemic Green New Deal

https://transformdefence.org/green-new-deal-plus/gnd-plus-in-a-post-covid-19- world/

(Blog post) In times of Coronavirus: UBI is an idea whose time has finally come

https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2020/04/04/in-times-of-coronavirus-ubi-is-an-idea-whose-time-has-finally-come/

OPEN BETHLEHEM Christmas 2020

Special virtual Christmas screening at the Toronto Palestine Film Festival  December 21st

https://www.tpff.ca/virtual-pals-holiday-edition

WE ARE MANY – APRIL SCREENING / SEPT USA LAUNCH

https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2020/04/04/sharing-some-more-links-film-event-palestine-covid-appeal-our-future-work/

https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2020/09/15/sept-22nd-join-us-to-mark-a-special-north-american-100-cities-virtual-screening-of-we-are-many/

MLK GLOBAL PROJECT – BLM / GEORGE FLOYD STATEMENT

https://mlkglobal.org/2020/07/01/mlk-globals-statement-on-the-killing-of-george-floyd/

TPNS new initiative launched with two new reports and a call to ‘Transform Defence’ on 5th anniversary of Paris Climate Agreement

TPNS new initiative launched with two new reports and a call to ‘Transform Defence’ on 5th anniversary of Paris Climate Agreement

Tipping Point North South has pulled together its various military spending strands under one new banner: Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety is a project comprising a number of elements including the Five Percent Proposal and the case that military spending is an urgent international development issue; the global military’s impact on climate change and human insecurity; the absence in UN processes of the global military’s emissions accounting; and its Green New Deal Plus.

Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety ​describes the paradigm shift we need for all defence, security​, foreign and international development​ policies​ in a climate changed, post-pandemic world. It challenges NGOs and policy-makers alike to undertake brave discussion about redefining and re-making foreign and defence policy.

The two reports detail the staggering cost of military spending to people and the planet.

The first report, Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security assesses the impact of the global military on climate change, human security and development. The second report Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money makes the case for modernising defence and security thinking and spending in order to effectively deal with the biggest threats to our collective safety: climate change and pandemic.[1]

Together, the reports argue that the US$1.9 trillion[2] spent globally each year on the world’s military delivers nothing to defend citizens facing these twin threats. Five years after the Paris Climate Conference, it is time to add the global military’s carbon footprint to the ‘net zero’ debate. The reports call for an assessment of the accountability, efficacy, relevance and value for money of our global military to the threats we face could not be more timely as lives and livelihoods worldwide are destroyed by a foreseen yet completely unaddressed ‘Tier 1’ security threat – pandemic.

For example, Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security estimates that if the world’s militaries were combined together as a single country, they would be the 29th biggest oil consumer in the world, just ahead of Belgium or South Africa. To put it another way, this is half the oil consumption of the world’s 5th biggest economy, the UK. Runaway global military spending enables the world’s militaries to remain the biggest institutional users of fossil fuels in the world and to be major driver for climate change. A carbon-neutral world demands we fully decarbonise our militaries.

“[This report] is an important addition to the growing evidence on the significant role of military emissions in causing climate change. Using a novel methodology, it widens the analysis to all the world’s militaries… it connects the dots between military fuel use, military spending, war, and the burden of climate change on development,” says Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of Political Science Boston University and Co-Director of the Costs of War Project. “… it [also] offers important solutions. It is essential reading for all those concerned with climate change and the path to a sustainable and secure future.”

And as nations update their 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions,[3] the Transform Defence reports call for NGOs and policy-makers alike to undertake a practical, imaginative, brave discussion about redefining and re-making defence policy so it is truly fit-for-purpose and accords the same level of attention, urgency and resources to pandemic and climate change as is granted to conventional security threats.

“[TPNS’s] Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money report … demonstrates how deeply inadequate the concept of ‘national security’ is in light of the ongoing pandemic and the rapidly unfolding threats of climate change,” says Jen Maman, Senior Peace Adviser, Greenpeace International. “It asks what we can learn by looking at the policy and spending priorities of governments, and argues that, unquestioned and at our peril, governments are massively outspending on weaponry compared to the climate emergency or global health protection.’’

As we end this very difficult year and look ahead to 2021, we very much hope this new project can add value to the post-Covid recovery debate and in tandem with the discussions leading up to the Glasgow hosted COP in 2021, make the case that the time has come to transform defence for sustainable human security.

Twitter: @TransformDef

Facebook: facebook.com/transformdefence

Notes:

In 2016, total public expenditures on climate change (international and domestic) amounted to US$141 billion while global military expenditures was US$1.7 trillion.[4] On average, the expenditure of national governments on climate change amounted to 8.5% of what they spent on defence, a ratio of 12:1.[5] Since 2016, global military spending has gone up significantly.

Indefensible: The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security also estimates that the global military and defence industry combined accounts for at least 1% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. This is larger than the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the entire country of Italy and not much smaller than the total GHG emissions of the UK and France respectively.

For comparison, international civil aviation is responsible for around 1.3% of global GHG emissions and is a climate change focus of public and political attention. Meanwhile, the global military-industrial complex accounts for a similar  amount of greenhouse gas emissions as civil aviation but it receives no such scrutiny.

Global military spending, sustainable human safety and value for money report uses the F35 fighter jet as a case study to illustrate this imbalance. Had the US$2 trillion estimated global total lifetime cost of F-35 programme been applied to the activities/areas/agencies below this is what the global community would be receiving instead:

  • Climate finance for 20 years
  • UN disaster response for the next 400 years
  • UN disaster risk reduction for the next 4,000 years
  • Global biodiversity conservation at US$100bn per annum for the next 20 years
  • WHO at US$2bn per annum for the next 1,000 years
  • WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for 2,963 years
  • Global pandemic surveillance and control at US$8bn per annum for the next 250 years
  • UN peacekeeping operations at current US$5bn per annum for the next 444 years
  • UN peacekeeping at US$15bn per annum for the next 133 years

References

[1] Both reports build on major work published earlier: the USA Pentagon emissions report “Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War,” by Professor Neta Crawford of the Costs of War Project; UK military emissions “The Environmental Impacts of the UK Military Sector,” by Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Global Responsibility; and “Hidden Carbon Costs of the ‘everywhere war’: Logistics, Geopolitical Ecology, and the Carbon Boot-print of the US Military,” by Oliver Belcher, Patrick Bigger, Ben Neimark, and Cara Kennelly.

[2] Trends In World Military Expenditure, 2019, SIPRI. https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/fs_2020_04_milex_0.pdf

[3] See https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement/nationally-determined-contributions-ndcs

[4] https://climatepolicyinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-Global-Landscape-of-Climate-Finance.pdf

[5] https://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/a-tale-of-two-puzzles-accounting-for-military-and-climate-change-expenditures

Sept 22nd Join Us To Mark A Special North American ‘100 Cities’ Virtual Screening Of We Are Many

Sept 22nd Join Us To Mark A Special North American ‘100 Cities’ Virtual Screening Of We Are Many

Join us to mark a special North American ‘100 Cities’ virtual cinema screening
We Are Many
September 21st/22nd
Marking the UN International Day of Peace, we are delighted that our film We Are Many will be premiered across the USA and Canada with a wonderful celebratory event that will also include music and a panel discussion.We will be joining the event here in the UK with our own Tipping Point Film Fund ‘virtual cinema’ screening and we hope that those of you who didn’t get to see the film on its release may take this moment to see the film as part of this unique live event taking place across North America.
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Upcoming (Groundbreaking) Webinar Series We’re Keen To Share In A World (Awash) With Drugs

Upcoming (Groundbreaking) Webinar Series We’re Keen To Share In A World (Awash) With Drugs

‘A World with Drugs: Legal Regulation through a Development Lens.’

Invitation to webinar series running September~December

We are delighted to be sharing news of an 8-part international webinar series, co-organised by our friends and colleagues at Health Poverty Action. It will explore why drug policy reform is vital for sustainable development.
Drug policy has been undermining progress towards development for decades – it has fuelled violence and conflict, undermined democracy, driven poverty, inequality and poor health, and prevented access to vital medicines worldwide. Furthermore, drug policy reform – especially legal regulation – could significantly contribute to achieving sustainable development if done in the right way

The decades-long ‘War on Drugs’ and its impact on international development has been an issue TPNS has worked on previously, convinced that the evidence points in one direction only: for all the political capital and money thrown at it, it has been an abject failure on just about every count.

This new international webinar series explores the intersection of drug policy reform and development related issues such as trade justice, tax justice, climate justice, sustainable livelihoods and community participation.  Between September and December, the webinar series will look at how drug policy reform is vital if we wish to achieve sustainable development worldwide.
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Summer e-news + 2 film screening events (Thur 13 & Wed 19 August)

Summer e-news + 2 film screening events (Thur 13 & Wed 19 August)

Summer news – films and campaigns

Hello friends, colleagues and supporters,

We hope you’re coping ok with the heat and staying safe as you can, as we all try our best to navigate these difficult, complicated, prolonged Coronavirus times.

Below is our summer news round-up plus a couple of film recommendations – both speaking to incredibly important issues – and, being robbed of the chance to show in cinemas, the directors are doing the next best thing: virtual events.

We hope you can join them.

Meantime, wishing you a safe and happy rest of the summer.
Deb, Ho-Chih, Kev & all at TP.
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MLK Global’s statement on the killing of George Floyd

MLK Global’s statement on the killing of George Floyd

GEORGE FLOYD

REST IN PEACE

The last words of George Floyd

“I can’t breathe”

It’s my face man.

I didn’t do nothing serious man.

Please. Please. Please. I can’t breathe.

Please man. Please somebody. Please man.

I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe please.

Man I can’t breathe. My face.

Just get up.

I can’t breathe. Please.

I can’t breathe shit.

I will.

I can’t move.

Mama. Mama.

I can’t. My knee. My nuts.

I’m through. I’m through.

I’m claustrophobic. My stomach hurts.

My neck hurts. Everything hurts.

Some water or something. Please. Please.

I can’t breathe officer. Don’t kill me.

They gonna kill me man, come on man.

I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.

They gonna kill me. They gonna kill me.

I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

Please Sir. Please Sir.

Please I can’t breathe!”

George Floyd’s dying words at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin

Cry for his pain when you read them.
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Sharing some more links – film event; Palestine COVID appeal; our future work

Sharing some more links – film event; Palestine COVID appeal; our future work

Dear friends and supporters,

A brief mini-update below on some of the issues we continue to work on with a few links we hope may be of interest.

WE ARE MANY FILM April 8th 

 

We’re excited to share news about Stop the War’s Mass Viewing of We Are Many and Q&A with director Amir Amirani on Wednesday 8 April.Stop the War are giving 5 days to try and watch this acclaimed film about the global anti-Iraq war movement, after which they will host a Q&A with Amir and two special guests, via Zoom.

You can watch the film here:
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/we-are-many/id1118498978
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Are-Many-Damon-Albarn/dp/B01IFW0WX4

Other outlets are also available and if you’ve seen it before or would just like to tune in anyway you can join in on Zoom from 7pm on April 8th. Register here
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zv-2463wSxCd77PZ1juvzw
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In times of Coronavirus: UBI is an idea whose time has finally come

In times of Coronavirus: UBI is an idea whose time has finally come

The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. … We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.

Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1968)

We hope this email finds you, and all those you care for, safe and well.

Many of us also have family, friends and colleagues in many different parts of the world and, coupled with the ever rising number of cases here in the UK/Europe/USA, the news about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the global south, for many of us, will be even more worrying.

It is becoming more apparent with every passing day that the Coronavirus pandemic is holding a mirror up to every single aspect of human life and activity and that this scrutiny leaves much of humanity’s 21st century day to day behaviour sorely wanting. The ultimate damning evidence of this is the millions upon millions of our fellow sisters and brothers in the global south who don’t even have access to the basic protective shield of soap and water as this pandemic rages across the globe.

It’s not as if we didn’t know the system was long broken. We did. The evidence has been piling up for years and years. However, global inequality and the unstoppable ascendency of the tax evading greedy 1%; the harm of agribusiness and factory farming at one end and illegal poaching at the other; big pharma’s monopolies and the erosion of the primacy of publicly funded healthcare and research; and finally, ultimately, climate catastrophe; none of this was enough to force the hands of the political class, financial and corporate sectors to change course and ‘do the right thing’.
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Autumn – Winter Newsletter : Politics, Campaigns, Films…

Autumn – Winter Newsletter : Politics, Campaigns, Films…

Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,

It seems too much to hope that a General Election might actually bring a positive and progressive resolution to past three wasted years on Brexit – but hope we must.

Over the past couple of years we have periodically mounted events with a focus on the contemporary relevance of Clement Attlee and for one reason: Attlee is an object lesson in applying political will for the greater good, no matter how great your detractors – and he had many, both internally in the Labour Party and externally, notably the hostile right wing press.

Attlee was a shy (stammering in fact) man, slight in stature, considered by many too weak to lead devastated post-war Britain. So much for the criticisms – he proved a transformational leader, on his own terms.

He set the ‘terms of reference’ for progressive domestic policy for the next 70 years. How do we ensure that the next 70 years are just as ambitious and therefore effective at pushing back those economic interests intent on trashing this precious legacy? How do we prize and protect the notion of ‘generosity to the future’ so powerfully embodied in the Attlee administration? Attlee’s story and his political journey is as relevant now as it ever was.
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Breast Cancer Prevention Month: A 38 Degrees Petition To Ban Toxic Till Receipts

Breast Cancer Prevention Month: A 38 Degrees Petition To Ban Toxic Till Receipts

Marking October Breast Cancer Prevention Month, From Pink to Prevention has launched a 38 Degrees petition entitled No more poison in our hands – Time for a ban on all paper till receipts.

Did you know that every time you shop the chances are you end up with poison on your hands? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to coat till and other types of receipts. It can be readily absorbed through the skin, interfering with our hormones and is linked to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, and reproductive and neurological disorders.

Elevated levels of BPA have been found in the urine of cashiers who are the most intensively exposed of all. Indeed, we all have levels of this chemical in our bodies. And now similar health concerns are being raised for a BPA substitute Bisphenol S.

Not only are till receipts toxic, they are yet another source of wastepaper, ending up in the bottom of your bag or filling your purse or wallet. The vast majority of the UK’s 11.2 billion printed daily are increasingly unnecessary given the various electronic alternatives.

It’s time to ban the paper receipt in the UK, following the lead of several countries which have banned or severely restricted the use of BPA in receipts.

The petition will be sent to all major UK retailers, the Health and Safety Executive, Secretary of State for Health, the British Retail Consortium and leading breast cancer charities.

PLEASE SIGN HERE   https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-more-poison-in-our-hands-time-for-a-ban-on-all-paper-till-receipts

And please share
Facebook      Twitter

Thank-you.

Helen, Deb & Ho-Chih
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Grenfell Tower: Lessons from the Ashes. A Tipping Point Funding Appeal

Grenfell Tower: Lessons from the Ashes. A Tipping Point Funding Appeal

June 14th marks the 2nd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire. Below is our funding appeal for GRENFELL TOWER: Lessons From The Ashes.

We are part of a wider ongoing funding effort supporting an important project comprising short films, long-form documentary and associated social justice campaign.

We want to raise £10,000 towards the current production phase – the making of ‘stand alone’ short films that will also, later, be material for the long form cinema documentary that is made at the same time.
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WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

Even though I’m just a grassroots activist, I felt if the mainstream media or other production companies with a budget aren’t prepared to take this on, then someone has to, and that appears to have been me.   Jon Pullman

REVIEWS

“Everyone who opposes antisemitism should see this film. Everyone who opposes all racism should see it – and every Labour party member and trade unionist must see it.” Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)

“This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.” Mike Leigh (Peterloo, Mr Turner)

“(WitchHunt) packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.” Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise)

“(WitchHunt) raises questions about how antisemitism is defined, important for the Labour Party, the media and all of us.” Caryl Churchill (Escaped Alone, Serious Money)

“Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.” Avi Shlaim, historian

THE FILM

In 2015, while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets.

WitchHunt sets out to investigate the stories and the people behind the headlines, examining the nature of the accusations. Is this a witch hunt, as some claim? If so, who is behind it, and what is the political purpose of such a campaign? Has the media failed in its duty to fairness and accuracy in reporting on such serious allegations?  Through a series of interviews, analysis and witness testimony, WitchHunt explores the connections between the attacks on Labour, the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and the wider struggle against race-based oppression. It argues that if it is to mean anything at all, the fight against racism must  be a shared one that includes all peoples.

PREMIERE May 2019

The film had its first public screening to a packed audience at the Regent Street cinema in central London, followed by a truly stimulating debate afterwards comprising a panel and Q&A with the audience.

You can watch the film and read press reviews here https://witchhuntfilm.org/

PANEL DISCUSSION

After the screening,  the film’s lead contributor Jackie Walker, academic Moshe Machover, media analyst and researcher Justin Schlosberg, human right lawyer Salma Karmi-Ayyoub and in the chair, Leah Levane (Jewish Voice for Peace) shared their thoughts about the film and the wider issue.Jon Pullman introduces the discussion.

Highlights:

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Now, ASDA & Pink Till Receipts.

Breast Cancer Now, ASDA & Pink Till Receipts.

We continue to put pressure on Breast Cancer Now (BCN) to acknowledge environmental and occupational risk factors for breast cancer. As the UK’s leading breast cancer research charity, we argue that it is incomprehensible that they continue to refute the body of evidence that makes just these links.

Just recently, we sent an open letter to both BCN and ASDA with regard to their ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Be Your Breast Friend’ campaign concerning breast awareness with pink till receipts as the communication tool. This campaign triggered a number of serious concerns about the use of certain ingredients in the ASDA pink and other till receipts and, linked to this, the various public ‘assurances’ from Breast Cancer Now about the science in relation to ‘chemicals in the environment” ie that there is no link to breast cancer risk.

Those expressing concern (in fact, disbelief) about the ASDA/BCN campaign included leading experts in the area of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Our open letter was co-signed with colleagues from Chemtrust, Breast Cancer Prevention Scotland (formerly Challenge Breast Cancer Scotland) and The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group (Derry)

You can read the full letter below:
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