International lawyer Polly Higgins has devoted her life to a single client – the Earth. Here she talks to Phil England about her campaign to make Ecocide the fifth international Crime Against Peace; why the UN climate talks are failing; and how an Ecocide law could be one of the tools that helps us make the Great Transition from fossil fuel dependency to a clean energy future. 90-minute special for ResonanceFM.
After the mass sit-in protest in front of the Whitehouse back in September when over 1,200 people took an action which they knew would result in their arrest, the campaign to give President Obama the political space to say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline continues this Sunday 6 November when more than 4,000 citizens have pledged to surround the Whitehouse. On the same day there will be a solidarity action in London in which campaigners will surround a mini model of the White House in front of the US Embassy.
The Keystone XL pipeline will escalate the exploitation of the Canadian tar sands and make climate stabilisation implausible. According to James Hansen:
… exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts. The tar sands are estimated (e.g., see IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) to contain at least 400 GtC (equivalent to about 200 ppm CO2). Easily available reserves of conventional oil and gas are enough to take atmospheric CO2 well above 400 ppm, which is unsafe for life on earth. However, if emissions from coal are phased out over the next few decades and if unconventional fossil fuels including tar sands are left in the ground, it is conceivable to stabilize earth’s climate.
As Bill McKibben says in the video above, the Keystone XL pipeline has become the defining issue of the environmental movement. If you can be in Washington or London on November, be sure you are there.
Thanks to Emily of UK Tar Sands Network.
1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.
2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.
3 We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.
4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.
5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.
6 We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9th November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.
7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.
8 The present economic system pollutes land, sea and air, is causing massive loss of natural species and environments, and is accelerating humanity towards irreversible climate change. We call for a positive, sustainable economic system that benefits present and future generations. 
9. We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.
10. This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!
 Article 8 was added to the statement following a proposal being passed by the Occupy London General Assembly on 19 November 2011.