Green economy is a diversion from the principles of the Earth Summit of 1992


Statement by Friends of the Earth Africa at her Annual General Meeting

Date of publication: 
12 May 2012

Accra, Ghana – Members of FoE Africa from Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Swaziland Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda met and reviewed global issues with particular focus on those that confront the African continent.

The politics of scrambling for African natural resources, intense oil and gas extraction, land grabbing, forest and biodiversity degradation and dangerous climate change are among the issues that continue to confront the continent. Other issues are the continued imposition of genetically modified food and other organisms on the continent. Political crisis continues with Mali, Guinea Bissau, Swaziland, being just examples of the latest hotspots.

FoE Africa groups reject the outcomes of the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban and the false solutions still being projected as means of tackling climate change. The inability of the COP17 to achieve ambitious emission targets for developed countries, but instead trying to water- down the key principles underlining equity and historical responsibility have detrimental consequences for Africa and other developing countries. We affirm and endorse the Peoples Agreement reached at the people’s climate summit in April 2010 at Cochabamba, Bolivia, as a suitable political platform for reaching an equitable climate regime with full recognition of historical responsibilities.

We call on African governments and institutions to reject and take steps to halt the cancer of land grabbing and corporate control of Africa’s natural resources. The diversion of arable lands and food crops for agrofuels; licencing polluters to carry on polluting under the cover of REDD and similar mechanisms only serve to push Africa into more precarious positions and must be resisted as they erode political, social, economic and environmental justice on the continent.

The upcoming Rio +20 must ensure sustainable development framework that delivers social and economic justice as well as environmental protection. The Rio +20 must look at fundamental problems but not the greening of the existing economic system which is not sustainable. Green economy, is a diversion from the principles of the Earth Summit of 1992, setting out to increase poverty through promoting resource grabbing, promote false solutions to environmental crisis, blocking genuine solutions and promote market environmentalism or commodification of nature. Green economy is a cover to introduce harmful technology and does not provide agenda to move away from the fossil fuel or emission reduction.

Following from the above, FoE Africa calls on all to join us and:

1. Support popular demands for true and participatory democracy on the continent with full respect of human rights and social equity

2. We condemn in the strongest terms, the military and foreign intervention and destruction of democratic structures in countries in Africa

3. Work together for the attainment of land rights, energy and food sovereignty on the continent

4. Demand a shift from fossil fuels as energy sources to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

5. Call on African countries to leave the fossil fuels in the soil: say no to crude oil, gas (including fracking), tar sands and coal extraction.

6. We demand equity and justice principles in the Rio +20 Summit

FoE Africa calls on all Africans to join hands to mobilize, resist and work for the transformation of our societies and the world.


Ghana: Friends of the Earth-Ghana
Liberia: Sustainable Development Institute
Malawi: Citizens for Justice
Mauritius: Maudesco
Mozambique: Justica Ambiental
Nigeria: Environmental Rights Action
South Africa: groundWork
Sierra Leone: Friends of the Earth
Swaziland: Yonge Nawe
Tanzania: Lawyers Environmental Action Team
Tunisia: Association Tunisseinne Pour La Protection de la Nature et de L’environnment
Uganda: National Association of Professional Environmentalists

For more information contact:
1. George Awudi, Friends of the Earth-Ghana
Email: geobrigkwa [at] yahoo [dot] com
Telephone: +233 277423014/545231324

2. Siziwe Khanyile, groundWork
E-mail: Siziwe [at] groundwork [dot] org [dot] za
Telephone: +277 38308173