Monday, June 25, 2012

[biofuelwatch] Virgin Group initiative the Carbon War Room greenwashing at Rio +20 side event

Presentation of Government of Aruba at Rio +20 in side event co-sponsored by the Carbon War Room (an initiative of Virgin founder Richard Branson) based on misrepresentation of facts concerning sustainable development in Aruba.

<Oranjestad,Aruba, Dutch Caribbean, June 21, 2012: KEY WORDS: RIO +20 Side Events, Greenwashing, Small Island Developing States, Aruba>


The Carbon War Room

VISION20/30-Visionfor Independence of Small Islands from Fossil Energy

CarbonWar Room video on Aruba

During the Side Event titled VISION20/30-Visionfor Independence of Small Islands from Fossil Energy organized by the Climate Institute, based in Washington, DC, the Carbon War Room, the OAS, the Alliance of Small Island States, UNIDO, others and the Governments of Grenada, Samoa, Tonga, St. Lucia, Dominica, St.Kitts & Nevis, Aruba and the Seychelles, a new global alliance to foster and assist island nations in becoming independent from fossil fuels was highlighted.

Various case studies were presented and Aruba showcased its experience on the formulation of a national strategy on the path to a Green Economy.

Unfortunately the case study of Aruba is marred by gross misrepresentation of facts and truths about the path followed in Aruba in becoming independent from fossil fuels.

While it is true that Aruba through the current utilization of a wind farm of ten wind turbines at the Vader Piet facility already draws more than 10% of its current national energy needs from renewable energy sources, a second wind farm slated to be built at the Urirama location is drawing a rapidly swelling storm of protest due to the choice of location.

The location for this second wind farm, an historical heritage site of religious importance for Roman Catholic pilgrims to the Alto Vista Chapel, and the nuisance and health problems to be expected because of the close proximity of at least 500 residential dwellings has local members of Parliament demanding clarity on issues of alternative site choices, technical and economic feasibility,nuisance and health impacts and the impact on prices and fuel surcharges incorporated in fluctuating tariffs for water and electric power in Aruba.

The developer of the wind farm, owned by NuCapital NV and various other onshore and offshore corporations established in Aruba and the British Virgin Islands has not really been forthcoming with the reports for site analyses for wind farm location selection, and during a public hearing more questions were raised than answered.

The local water distillation and electric power generation plant WEB Aruba N.V. which has ordered the construction of the second wind farm, has recently entered the global voluntary market of emissions trading.

According to its own press releases it stands to make several million Aruban florins a year which savings however are not passed down to the Aruban consumers but pocketed by WEB Aruba N.V, and its holding company Utilities Aruba N.V. in turn authorizes the seizure of dividends from WEB Aruba N.V. as capital to help lower the deficit of the Government of Aruba, owner of WEB Aruba N.V.

Correspondence sent by Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change Secretariat and the Dutch Emissions Authority and the replies received have made it resoundingly clear that Aruba, not being a Party to the UNFCCC and thus also not to Kyoto, is not authorized to negotiate trading in emission rights.

We quote verbatim from the reply received from the UNFCC:

"The Netherlands is a Party to the Kyoto Protocol which is considered a Party included in Annex I. Such Parties cannot host CDM project activities but can participate in them with a view to benefiting by using the acquired CERs towards achieving  compliance with their commitments under Article 3 of the Protocol(see paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol). It can therefore authorize private entities to participate on its behalf as long as it itself remains eligible.

With regard to participation by Aruba in the CDM, the ratification documents for the Kyoto Protocol submitted by the Netherlands to the Depositary in 2002 explicitly limit itsapplication to the Kingdom in Europe (see footnote 4 under

Aruba not being a Party to the Protocol, the Protocol does not apply to Aruba and, consequently, Aruba does not have any commitments under it."

According to an article based on a press release sent by the Government of Aruba to the local press and published in the local Papiamento newspaper Bon Dia Aruba on Monday October 17, 2011 titled "Aruba a yuda scapa Hulanda pa keda den margen di Tratado Kyoto" mention is made of the fact that the Dutch Government is somehow utilizing the wind farm generated emission rights in Aruba to fulfill its obligations under Kyoto!!

Ina recent study released by the Department of Energy in the United States, Aruba was listed as one of the top ten carbon dioxide emitter countries in the world with the main emitters in Aruba being the Aruba refinery operated by the Valero Corporation from Texas, USA and the WEB Aruba NV plant.

Currently the Aruban Government under the cloak of absolute secrecy is in advanced negotiations with CNPC and Chinese State controlled and owned PetroChina to acquire and operate the Valero refinery in order to according to sources from within the Aruban Government "purify"orimulsion or the precursor of extra heavy sour crude in Aruba.

This orimulsion will be delivered to PetroChina at USD 5.00 per barrel fort he total amount of USD 16 billion as payment of debt from the Government of Venezuela to the Government of China, which agreement has yet to be finalized and signed in ink.

Thus the Green Aruba concept is seriously flawed and with Aruba not being a party to the UNFCCC and Kyoto, no national commitments for lowering local emissions are in force or planned.

The Green Aruba Experience is therefore entirely based on hot air.

With regard to the national policies on renewables and the participation of the Nine Major Groups as mandated by Agenda 21, the UN accorded blueprint for sustainable development, in decision-making for sustainable development, at no stage were Business and Industry, the Scientific and Technological Community or Non-Governmental Organizations in Aruba, all three Major Groups, ever engaged.

In addition the same three mentioned major groups were EXCLUDED by the Caribbean Branch Office of the Large Technological Institute TNO of the Netherlands at the specific request of the Government of Aruba in the Living Lab Aruba for Renewable Energies stakeholder brainstorming sessions!

Consequently the national renewable energy policy of Aruba may be seen as the sole concoction of corporate interests from the Netherlands, the Government of Aruba and almost inevitably the Government of the Netherlands as well, considering the Aruba emission rights being traded and the TNO participation in the local decision-making support processes.

Aruba is thus a prime example of the emerging trend of Environmental Colonialism to serve the corporate interests of global transnational players in the New Green Economy, including but not limited to PetroChina and the Government of The Netherlands in the case of Aruba.

Milton Ponson, president

Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation

Phone:+297 568 5908

Member of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (

Member of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Coalition(


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