News 2015-01-26

International Energy Advisory Council launched

Mycle Schneider (RLA 1997) and Amory Lovins (RLA 1983) along with other energy thinkers just launched the International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC).

Since 2013, the group has been advising the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Seoul's Sustainable Energy Action Plan (called "One Less Nuclear Power Plant"), which had the ambitious goal to reduce or substitute the equivalent of 2 MTOE (approximate output of one reactor) in 32 months, a target it managed to accomplish 6 months earlier than planned.

Given the achievements of the action plan, Schneider and Lovins decided not to limit such services to the city of Seoul only and they established the IEAC.

More information on the IEAC in the media release.

News 2015-01-21

Founder of Lokayan (RLA 1985) dies at age 86

Rajni Kothari, founder of 1985 Laureate Lokayan, passed away in New Delhi on January 19th at age 86, according to Times of India.

Kothari, a prominent political scientist, received the Award for founding Lokayan, a forum for the consolidation of democracy and interaction between activists and concerned intellectuals through meetings, workshops, and lectures.

At the Award ceremony in 1985, Kothari acknowledged that "dialogue is the essence of the democratic process, provided it is 'dialogue of the people' and not just among the privileged, and provided it is dialogue not for its own sake but for participating in collective transformation involving both micro and macro thresholds.

News 2015-01-03

Panzi Hospital's accounts seized

Congolese tax authorities seized accounts of Denis Mukwege's Panzi hospital.

Mukwege regards the freezing of the hospital's accounts as unjustified and said Panzi hospital had been singled out by the government. According to media reports, the hospital's lawyer, Patient Bashombe, called the seizing of the hospital's accounts illegal and that "no public hospital in DRC has ever paid tax." 

Before, Denis Mukwege has critized the Congolese government.

Read Denis Mukwege's statement

News 2014-12-17

RLA Laureates on the UN climate talks in Lima

Last week, a number of Right Livelihood Award Recipients went to Lima, Peru, for the UN climate talks: Among them climate, land rights, environmental and human rights activists including, MST, Bianca Jagger, Nnimmo BasseyRené Ngongo, as well as journalist Amy Goodman.

Their assessment of what negotiators brought to the table at the COP20 is sober:

Nnimmo Bassey, describes in an article published on December 13 that they merely heard platitudes and "paltry voluntary pledges of money and carbon emissions offsets". "This era of voluntarism does nothing to indicate that there is a carbon budget that has to be dealt with."

Bianca Jagger's take is similarly critical on the negotiations failing to tackle questions of climate justice as she writes in the Huffington Post: "I fear this UN climate conference will go down in history as the COP which failed to make provision for the poorest and most vulnerable, that failed to protect the rights of indigenous people and local communities; that postponed REDD+ negotiations, and failed to promote gender equality."

On the positive side, the Laureates noted a strong mobilisation of citizens. "Waves upon waves of citizens took to the streets denouncing the inaction at the COP, destruction of territories, human rights abuses and demanding the desired seriousness," Nnimmo Bassey reports.

Jamie Henn of notes: "We were pleased to see around 100 countries support the goal of phasing out carbon emissions by mid-century. The goal's inclusion in the draft text is a win for the fossil fuel divestment movement and will add momentum to that growing campaign. But action must begin now, not after decades of delay." Still, he continues, "We must continue to take on the biggest barrier to progress: the fossil fuel industry. (...) We know that companies like Chevron and Shell are working behind the scenes to block action. They don't deserve a seat at the table when they're trying to burn it down."

Amy Goodman (host of Democracy Now!) comments on the role of media in reporting about climate change and climate change movements: "The major media, especially in the United States, fail to report accurately on the growing climate movement, focusing instead the pronouncements of governments leaders. They report on 'extreme weather', but rarely link those events to global warming. Governments will play a major role in tackling the climate crisis, surely. But so, too, will movements - grassroots movements of people around the world, working locally, joining together, creating a sustainable future. We need a media that holds those in power accountable. We need a media that covers the movements - like the movement for climate justice - that make history." (See also her column reporting from Lima).

News 2014-12-09

Laureates urge Indonesian President Joko Widodo to order independent investigation into Munir's murder

Eighteen Right Livelihood Award Laureates from 16 countries have signed an open letter requesting Indonesia's newly elected President, Joko Widodo, to fulfill the human rights pledges and promises he made during his election campaign.

The letter calls upon President Widodo to order the police to initiate a new independent investigation into the 2004 murder of Munir Said Thalib (RLA 2000) to ensure that all perpetrators, at all levels, are brought to justice in accordance with international human rights standards, particularly the "mastermind" behind the murder.

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