News Release

Paris Talks, Paris Myths


The program “Democracy Now,” broadcasting live from Paris for the course of the two-week climate conference, reports: “Protests continue to be banned across France. French President François Hollande condemned protesters … even though ‘Democracy Now’ video footage shows the police, not the protests, trampling on the candles and flowers commemorating those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks.” [see 3:00 into video.]

MARY LOU MALIG, marylouisemalig at, @gfc123
Malig is a researcher, trade analyst, and campaigns coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition, an organization that coordinates campaigns for socially just and effective forest policy and the rights of indigenous and other forest peoples. The group recently released a report titled “Land, Forests and Hot Air,” which “highlights that current carbon accounting rules are too flexible, confusing and allowing several forms of cheating.” Said Malig: “There are no effective methodologies to comprehensively account for indirect land use change … As a result, such accounting mechanisms … provide incentives for the expansion of harmful monoculture tree plantations.”

Last month, she wrote the piece “The Coming Tragedy of Paris: A disastrous climate deal that will see the planet burn.” She co-authored the book The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. See some of her papers — including “Tailored for Sharks” about how “rules are tailored and public interest surrendered to suit corporate interests” — here.

PREETI SHEKAR, preetishekar at, @ggjalliance
Shakar is the media coordinator for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, a national alliance of U.S.-based grassroots organizing groups organizing to build “an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color,” and media consultant for the It Takes Roots Delegation. The group’s statement reads: “The It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm delegation of over 100 frontline leaders from climate-impacted communities across the U.S. and Canada, including the Arctic, united under the slogan: ‘No War, No Warming — Build an Economy for People and Planet.’ … Climate justice seeks to address much more than greenhouse gas emissions, but the root systemic causes of climate change itself. Climate justice is about social and economic justice, and how democratic, peaceful and equitable solutions, not military violence, best serve the interests of humanity. The fossil fuel economy is a driver of these multi-faceted crises facing the world: causing resource wars; polluting our air, water and land; creating illness and death to people and of ecosystems; privatization of nature …”

Smithies is a translator and organizer working closely with Indigenous Peoples from the Americas and Africa on rights, forest protection, and impacts of climate change on front line communities.

SHANNON GIBSON, smgibson at
Gibson is an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Southern California whose work focuses on the role of civil and “uncivil” society participation in transnational politics. She leaves for the Paris climate talks this weekend.