Some 110 organisations and social movements, including renowned environmental activists, Friends of the Earth International, La Via Campesina, Indigenous Environmental Network, Third World Network, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), ETC Group, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation on Thursday, October 4, 2018 issued a manifesto, speaking out against “the large-scale manipulation of climate and earth systems with unproven technologies – so-called geoengineering”.
At the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010, a broad coalition of popular movements, civil society groups and Indigenous Peoples’ organisations from around the world launched the first global campaign against geoengineering. Hands Off Mother Earth (HOME) became a global campaign to defend communities and the common home and Planet Earth, against the threats of climate manipulation.
The HOME Campaign provided a common platform for organisations around the world to express their opposition to geoengineering. The HOME manifesto 2010 asserted that geoengineering “is a set of dangerous false solutions to climate change, and that the seas, skies and soils of our home planet should not be used as a laboratory for these unjust and risky technological endeavors, that no one can or should be in control of the global thermostat and that we movements and organisations stand united to defend our lands and our rights”.
The groups added in a statement: “We believe that a re-launch of the HOME campaign is more urgent today than before. In the last few years, we have witnessed increasing support for geoengineering proposals. A small but growing group of governments, corporations and scientists, the majority from the most powerful and most climate-polluting countries in the world, have been pushing for research into and political consideration of geoengineering.
“Several outdoor experiments on Solar Radiation Management (SRM) are planned in North America, where an alliance between climate skeptics, fossil fuel interests and techno-solutionists seem to be providing a fertile ground for this new hype. At least two of these experiments are planned on indigenous land. Other open-air, marine and terrestrial field experiments have been announced in Latin America, Asia, Canada and the Artic.
“Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies, which are currently being discussed and used in climate models and government plans to implement the Paris Agreement, would imply building gigantic industrial complexes and infrastructures with an excessive demand for land, water, energy and other resources. Impacts on humanrights, vulnerable populations, indigenous peoples, peasant communities, as well as risk of conflict over adverse impacts and unintended side-effects are high and real.
“Until the geoengineering agenda resurfaced in the climate context in the mid-2000s, decades-long research into attempts at manipulating and controlling the weather and regional climates (‘weather modification’) has largely been pursued in government and military quarters. Today, public debates about geoengineering in international fora such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), explore whether it is a means to combat climate change rather than combat other nations. But the original interest in geoengineering and its potential as a military tool has not decreased. Quite the opposite: geoengineering remains a potential dual-use technology.
“Withthe onset of the growing climate crisis, the spectrum of geoengineering proposals, the number of research projects and planned outdoor experiments as well as the political appetite to consider it as ‘part of the toolbox’ to address the climate crisis has increased significantly. And since geoengineering technologies have the potential to disrupt our natural ecosystems and global geophysical processes, with large impacts on natural resources, livelihoods and the survival of marginalised communities, they pose a threat with implications as serious as war.
“We call upon you – civil society allies, popular movements, Indigenous People’s movements, ecologists and concerned citizens – to join us in filling the relaunched Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign with renewed vigour.”