Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

What is a Revolution?

A revolution is described as a distinct form of change, whether it be social or political and takes place within a brief time span. Many elements are involved in defining a revolution and are debated by many theorists. For the purpose of this paper, a revolution is defined as a fundamental change in the social and political structure of a current government and/or society that takes immediate effect within political, societal and economic structures. A mere exchanging of politicians or political parties is not sufficient to be considered a revolution, but rather a complete overhaul of politicians, laws, regulations, economic rationalization and societal stipulations must take place. A revolution must affect all parts of society inclusively, including the youth, children, adults, elderly, men and women. It must not exclude race, sexuality, religion or any other minority part of society.

There are many methodologies that explore how revolutions begin, are executed and structured.  There are micro and macro revolutions, as well as political, societal and socioeconomic revolutions, as well. Also taken into consideration is whether a revolution is sparked by internal or external sources.

Social Movements
“A social movement can be defined as a persistent and organized effort on the part of a relatively large number of people either to bring about or resist to social change.”  Although few social movements fit into the categories of being either a “change-resistant conservative revolution” or a “change-oriented liberal revolution,” benefits arise in understanding the goals and motives of such movements. Furthermore, reducing a category to being either revolutionary based or reform based. A reform movement is oriented around changing existing policies, whereas revolutionaries seek the complete upheaval and replacement of the system at hand. Within the scope of revolutionaries, there are further categories of Rightest revolutionaries and Leftist revolutionaries. Rightist revolutionaries seek a return to “traditional” values and institutions, preferring to put aside social equality in favour for social order “through institutional change,” whereas, the Leftist revolutionaries’ goal is to:

…change major social and political institutions in order to alter the dominant economic, social, or political relationships within a society. Usually involved is a redistribution of valuable resources between the rich and the poor, with more equal access to educational opportunities, medical services, higher wage levels, or in the case of a predominantly agricultural society, land, a stated goal.

Although sociologists attempt to categorize social movements, social movements have the ability to be rooted in a combination of conservative and liberal change, just as revolutions can be not completely liberal or completely conservative, but have a mixture of characteristics.

What Causes Revolutions?

Revolutionary movements develop for a number of reasons, differing from country-to-country and society-to-society. Below is a list of elements in no specific order of essential factors in the development of revolutions:

  1. Mass frustration resulting in popular uprisings among urban or rural populations: A large proportion of a society’s population becomes extremely discontented, which leads to mass-participation protests and rebellions against state authority. In technologically limited agricultural societies, the occurrence of rural (peasant) rebellion or at least rural support for revolution has often been essential (Foran 2005, 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  2. Dissident elite political movements: Divisions among elites (groups that have access to wealth or power of various types or are highly educated and possess important technical or managerial skills) pit some elite members against the existing government (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  3. Unifying motivations: The existence of powerful motivations for revolution that cut across major classes and unify the majority of a society’s population behind the goal of a revolution (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldstone 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  4. A severe political crisis paralyzing the administrative and coercive capabilities of the state: A state crisis occurs in the nation experiencing or about to experience development of a revolutionary movement. The crisis, which may be caused by a catastrophic defeat in war, a natural disaster, an economic depression or the withdrawal of critical economic or military support from other nations, or by any combination of these factors, may deplete the state of loyal personnel, legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and other resources. The state then becomes incapable of carrying out its normal functions and cannot cope effectively with an opposition revolutionary movement (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  5. A permissive or tolerant world context: The governments of other nations do not intervene effectively to prevent a revolutionary movement from developing and succeeding in a given nation (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 2001a).

                  Milestones of a Revolution

Once these factors are in place, a revolution has the ability to blossom and take place. Although in the event, a revolution lacks any of these factors, a revolution is more prone to failure.  A revolution’s success is not only measured in the overthrowing of a power, but also in the construction of a new social/political/economic order.

Once a revolution begins to take place evident progress occurs in a series:

  1. A society’s intellectuals, most of whom in the past normally supported the existing regime, turn against it;
  2. The old regime tries to save itself from revolution by attempting reforms that ultimately fail to protect the old order;
  3. The revolutionary alliance that eventually takes power from the old government is soon characterized by internal conflicts;
  4. At first, the post-revolutionary government is moderate;
  5. Disappointment with the failure of moderate revolutionaries to fulfil expectations leads to more radical revolutionaries gaining control;
  6. The radicals take more extreme actions to fulfil revolutionary aims, including the use of coercive methods against those whom they perceive resist or threaten the fulfilment of revolutionary goals;
  7. Eventually, more pragmatic moderate revolutionaries replace the radicals.

Revolutions have the ability to divide a group of people in two- the first being those who oppose the old order and those who prefer to side with the old order; something being experienced in Libya today and to a much less degree in Egypt. “Needless to say, if the structural change is a slow one, an evolution, then there will be sufficient time to adjust and absorb so that the changes will become less threatening.”

Revolutions can be sub-categorized into internal revolutions and external revolutions:

The external revolution may be successful or not, accompanied by a regular war or not, but the goal is usually clear: autonomy in decision-making. Precisely because that goal is so clear, such a national revolution is often not accompanied by any social revolution. Instead, it becomes an achievement in its own right.

The internal revolution is a social revolution and a much more complex phenomenon involving a change not only in the structure relating the country to the outside but also in the internal structure. It is difficult to see how this can be brought about without some positively formulated goal, some relatively clear-cut idea of the alternative to domination is freedom from domination; for the internal revolution the matter is more open-ended and more complex. Since it is more complex it is often simplified, and one mechanism of simplification is to see an automatic link between the two types: if only the external revolution can be achieved the internal revolution will come almost by itself.

Armed Conflict

“Between 1900 and 1999, the world produced about 250 new wars, internal or civil, in which battle deaths averaged at least two-thousand per year… Those wars caused about a million deaths per year.”  Here, Tilly indicates the great influence of armed conflict on battle deaths, but what is an armed conflict or an internal war?

“Conflict” can be defined as the state of relations experienced when two or more parties have mutually exclusive goals… Internal wars involve violent conflict, but they may fall short of the levels of violence that we typically associate with wars. Included in this category are the following: coups d’etat, whereby one elite seeks to replace another elite element in the government; revolutions, which are mass movements aimed at removing the government;  and insurrections.”

Although there is no clear and universal definition of the criteria of what constitutes a war, Keith Krause, an expert in Human Security in World Politics describes the main characteristic differentiating a war from an armed conflict is that wars occur between nations and armed conflicts occur within nations.

In similar fashion, the definition of nonviolence is also debated, but in contrast, Kurt Schock describes eighteen misconceptions of nonviolence in attempt to define what violence is.

  1. Nonviolent action is not inaction (although it may involve the refusal to carry out an action that is expected, that is, an act of omission), it is not submissiveness, it is not the avoidance of conflict, and it is not passive resistance… The term passive resistance is a misnomer when used to describe a non-violent action. There is nothing passive or evasive about nonviolent resistance, as it is an active and overt means for prosecuting conflicts with opponents…
  2. Not everything that is not violent is considered nonviolent action. Nonviolent action refers to specific actions that involve risk and invoke non-violent pressure or nonviolent coercion in contentious interactions between opposing groups.
  3. Nonviolent action is not limited to state-sanctioned political activities. Nonviolent action may be legal or illegal. Civil disobedience, that is, the open and deliberate violation of the law for a collective social or political purpose, is a fundamental type of nonviolent action.
  4. Nonviolent action is not composed of regular or institutionalized techniques of political action such as litigation, letter writing, lobbying, voting, or the passage of laws… nonviolent action is context specific. Displaying anti-regime posters in democracies would be considered a low-risk and regular form of political action, whereas the same activity in nondemocracies would be considered irregular, would involve a substantial amount of risk, and would, therefore, be considered a method of nonviolent action…
  5. Nonviolent action is not a form of negotiation or compromise… and should be distinguished from means of conflict resolution.
  6. Nonviolent action does not depend on moral authority, the “mobilization of shame,” or the coercion of the views of the opponent in order to promote political change…
  7. Those who implement nonviolent action do not assume that the state will not react with violence…
  8. The view that suffering is central to nonviolent resistance is based on the misguided assumption that nonviolent action is passive resistance and that nonviolent action is intended to produce change through the conversion of the oppressor’s views (Martin 1997)…
  9. Nonviolent action is not a method of contention that is used only as a last resort when the means of violence are unavailable…
  10. Nonviolent action is not a method of the “middle class” or a “bourgeois” approach to political contention. Nonviolent action can be and has been implemented by groups from any and all classes and castes, from slaves to members of the upper class (McCarthy and Kruefler 1993)…
  11. The use of nonviolent action is not limited to the pursuit of “moderate” or “reformist” goals. It may also be implemented in the pursuit of “radical” goals.
  12. While nonviolent action by its very nature requires patience, it is not inherently slow in producing political change compared to violent action (Shepard 2002)…
  13. The occurrence of nonviolent action is not structurally determined. While there are empirical relationships in geographically and temporally bound places and time periods between the political context and the use of a given strategy for responding to grievances.
  14. The effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the ideology of the oppressors…
  15. Similarly, the effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the repressiveness of the oppressors…
  16. The mass mobilization of people into campaigns of nonviolent action in nondemocracies does not depend on coercion.
  17. Participation in campaigns of nonviolent action does not require that activists hold any sort of ideological, religious, or metaphorical beliefs…
  18. Similarly, those who implement nonviolent action do not have to be aware that they are implementing a particular class of methods…

                    Demographics

The Middle East and North Africa region has been the site of early civilizations and empire expansionism for centuries. This, involved migrations of people and as empires fell or new civilizations started, minority populations—those left behind by previous empires remained and became engulfed in their new surrounding societies. We would now categorize these areas as Arab nations. There are many ethnic minority groups in the MENA, some of which had been living in the region before the emergence of Islam.  According to the Islamic Human Rights Council, as of 1990, there were approximately thirty million minorities living in Arab nations out of the 220 million overall populations. As of recent statistics, there are more than 340 million Arabs in the MENA region, this number, however, includes the many ethnic minorities that do exist in the area, including the Kurds, Armenians, Aramaeans, Chaldeans, Turkmens, Cherkess, Turks, Zangians, Nubians, Berbers, Banyans, Haratins, Gnawas, Tauregs, Chechens, Romanis, Ajamis, Moors and Assyrians.

Bahrain being one of the more prominent nations in the news concerning the Arab Spring is home to the Ajamis and Banyans. The Kurdish population is very much concentrated in the regions of Iraq and Syria, whereas the Armenian population extends out into Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. It is estimated that      15-20% of the Iraqi population is Kurdish and 5% are Turkmen, with sizeable populations of Cherkess, Armenians and Chechens. Lebanon and Jordan’s non-Arab population is estimated to be around 5%, respectively. Kuwait’s expatriate community makes up slightly less than half of the total Kuwaiti population, which played a major role in the protests that erupted in Kuwait. Aramaeans and Chaldeans are estimated to account for more than 100,000 citizens of the Arab population. Many Moroccans, Algerians and Libyans are of Berber descent and genetic testing in Morocco further supports the theory made by Berberists that despite the conquest of North Africa by Arab nations and the predominance of the Arabic language, the population remains ethnically Berber.

Sources:

Johan Galtung,  A Structural Theory of Revolutions. (Rotterdam UP, 1974), Introduction.

Galtung, Op. Cit. 19.

James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2007), 9.

Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003), 55.

Rye Schwartz-Barcott and Carolyn W. Pumphrey, Armed Conflict in Africa. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003), 4.

Keithe Krause, “Human Security in World Politics. ”Human Security in World Politics Lecture Notes”, (The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland 2011) accessed 20 June 2011.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, “IHRC – Minorities in the Arab World”, Islamic Human Rights Commission [web document] (27 January 2004) <http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=989>, accessed 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, “Bahrain”, CIA World Factbook [web page] (2007) <Cia.gov>, Accessed 17 July 2011.

Human Rights Watch, “Syria”, Human Rights Watch [web page] (1996) <http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/Syria.htm&gt;,  Accessed 17 July 2011.

Armenian Diaspora, “Armenian Population in the World”, [web page] News from Armenia, Events in Armenia, Travel and Entertainment. <http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/population.html>, 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, Op. Cit. Iraq.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Jordan.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Lebanon.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Kuwait.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, Loc. Cit.

BBC News, “Africa | Q&A: The Berbers.” BBC News, 12 Mar. 2004, 23, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3509799.stm&gt;, accessed 17 July 2011.

N. Harich, et al., Classical Polymorphisms in Berbers from Moyen Atlas (Morocco): Genetics, Geography, and Historical Evidence in the Mediterranean Peoples. (Annals of Human Biology 29.5, 2002) 473-87.

It’s in my DNA

Hello Folks!

As a Palestinian, I always imagined that my ancestral history was coloured with the many territorial conquests of what is often defined as the Middle East. I’ve always wanted to do one of those DNA tests that tell you where you’re “really from.” But those things can be quite pricey and anyone who knows me knows that I’m living on a pinch these days. Now, somehow, don’t ask me how because I don’t remember, I found out about this free study called Genes for Good that is being done through the University of Michigan. I filled out a couple of surveys and questionnaires about myself and they sent me a spit kit. It was kind of icky, but I got through the spit kit experience and mailed my sample in. Being a free test and all, they did warn me that it would take months to get my results back. There are tons of participants, so it only makes sense. You can’t argue with free, am I right? This week, I finally got my results. The results are a tad general and I’d be interested to get some more specific results, but I’m satisfied and intrigued to learn more about my history.

Here I am. This is me:

12345

I did have the option to request the raw data, which I did. I received it, and while they did give me some instructions on how to read it, I can’t seem to make sense of it. Maybe I can learn more about myself through this raw data, but I could use some help trying to break it down. Any suggestion? Drop me a line at heba@dartmouth.edu if you have any grand ideas or some user-friendly data software suggestions.

Or just get in touch because now that you know a little about me, it’d be cool to learn a little about you too.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

 

What does the internet think of me? I found out…

I came across this website that analyses your social media profiles. Apparently, social media sites actually use the information they learn about you from this site, to help send targeted ads your way. So I thought I’d give this analyzation a try and see who and what the internet thinks I am. Some insights were correct, some were wrong and some were… Some. *Shrugs*

You can analyse your social profile here. 

In the meantime, here are my results. Can you guess which ones are true or false?

12345678910111213141516

Messing About with the Many #Canva #Resume #Template

hebatullahissa-copy-2hebatullahissa-copy-3hebatullahissa-copy-3hebatullahissa-copy-4hebatullahissa-copy-4hebatullahissa-copy-5hebatullahissa-copyhebatullahissa-copyhebatullahissahebatullahissa

heba-issa-3

heba-issa-copy-5

issa

heba-issa-copy

heba-issa

hebatullahissa-1-copy-2

hebatullahissa-1-copy-3

hebatullahissa-1-copy-4

hebatullahissa-1-copy-5

hebatullahissa-1-copy

 

What do you know?

List 10 weird facts about yourself and ask your readers to do the same thing.

  1. I like really bad movies. I like to watch super cliche movies- I think they are hilarious.
  2. I’ve had more jobs that I can count. I’m just looking for my place in this world.
  3. I would rather be an animal than a human. Like a cat, an elephant, dolphin, ape, camel, donkey.
  4. I watch more TV and movies than anyone ever should.
  5. I’m a writer, but I fear rejection so much that I’m often afraid to put what I have in my head on paper.
  6. I’m pretty observant. I notice things that I’m told most don’t notice.
  7. I like to wear dresses because I have a hard time finding jeans, pants/trousers that fit my hips, butt and thighs perfectly.
  8. I can never decide whether I want my hair long or short, straight or curly.
  9. I despise injustice, lies,  ignorance, bigots, racists, propaganda and people who believe ignorant and bigoted media.
  10. I have a fear of geese and swans. Ducks- I’m usually okay with, but they make me uneasy.

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2015

 

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

 

Agricultural producers and their communities across the country are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Increasingly severe floods, drought, wildfire and other factors pose an immediate threat to the lives and livelihoods of our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and land managers. President Obama is committed to working across all sectors to take strong action on climate and ensure food security both domestically and abroad. As we look to Paris, today’s actions demonstrate America’s continued leadership in land management strategies that mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change.

 

Today, the Administration is announcing new efforts to promote climate-smart agricultural practices across the country and is recognizing leaders who are taking action to make our agricultural supply chain more sustainable. The White House will honor 12 Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture that are implementing practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve environmental conditions and grow local economies. Such actions include promoting soil health, improving nutrient and manure management, protecting sensitive lands, and encouraging renewable energy. In recognition of the importance of sustainable practice, the White House is announcing that it will plant cover crops in the White House Kitchen Garden this week to improve soil quality, reduce erosion and increase soil carbon.

 

These announcements made today underscore the crucial role that farmers and ranchers play in mitigating the impacts of climate change. The Obama Administration recognizes the track record of leadership and stewardship the agricultural sector has already demonstrated through innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage, and generate clean renewable energy. The Administration remains committed to encouraging new voluntary actions to foster resilient economies and food systems alike. 

 

Federal Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

 

·         USDA Provides Funding for More Than 1,100 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding for more than 1,100 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations nationwide. USDA is providing more than $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Among the projects, nearly $6 million is being awarded for 17 anaerobic digesters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. In total, the projects are expected to generate enough energy to power more than 83,000 homes for a year and reduce emissions equivalent of eliminating a year’s worth of pollution for more than 131,500 cars.

 

·         Regional Climate Vulnerability Assessments. USDA formally announced the availability of eight regional climate vulnerability assessments, providing regionally specific information on the effects of climate change for America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The assessments provide land managers and agency partners with an introduction to the regional sensitivities and climate adaptation strategies, include a greenhouse gas emissions profile with mitigation opportunities, and offer an overview of how partner USDA agencies are being affected by a changing climate.

 

Leading By Example

 

·         White House Champions of Change. The White House will recognize 12 individuals from across the country today as White House Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. These individuals were recognized by the White House for their exemplary leadership in supporting change in their communities through innovation in agricultural production and education. The Champions being honored include: Anita Adalja – Washington, D.C.; William “Buddy” Allen – Tunica, Mississippi; Keith Berns – Bladen, Nebraska; Larry Cundall – Glendo, Wyoming; Herman “Trey” Hill – Rock Hall, Maryland; Loretta Jaus – Gibbon, Minnesota; Martin Kleinschmit – Hartington, Nebraska; Jennifer “Jiff” Martin – Storrs, Connecticut; Jesus Sanchez – Fresno, California; Erin Fitzgerald Sexson – Rosemont, Illinois; Timothy Smith – Eagle Grove, Iowa; and Donald Tyler – Beech Bluff, Tennessee.

 

·         Planting Cover Crops in the White House Kitchen Garden. First Lady Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn in 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! initiative. Each year, a variety of fruits and vegetables are planted in the garden, and the White House kitchen uses the produce in meals for the First Family and guests at the White House. In addition, winter cover crops have been planted every year, and they will soon be planted for this year. Cultivating cover crops leads to healthy soil and healthy crops through protecting the soil, improving soil quality, reducing erosion and runoff, and building up soil carbon. Field studies indicate that increased biomass inputs to the soil can increase soil carbon up to 11% over 20 years.

 

·         National Farmers Union. In a statement signed by the National Farmers Union Board of Directors, NFU made an independent commitment to promote efforts to address the threat of climate change and encouraged the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future, saying: “climate change jeopardizes food security domestically and abroad, as well as the economic viability of family producers and rural communities…International cooperation is essential to navigating climate change-related threats to food security and rural communities.” In the statement, NFU also lays out its support for practices that avoid greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon by managing land for enhanced soil health, applying fertilizer for maximum utilization and minimal sublimation or runoff, reducing and utilizing methane emissions from livestock operations, exercising additional precaution with sensitive lands, employing climate-smart grazing and pasture practices, retaining woodlands, and utilizing renewable energy on farms and ranches.

 

 

###

 

—–

FACT SHEET: White House Announces Commitments to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY

October 19, 2015

 

FACT SHEET: White House Announces Commitments to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

 

Today, the White House will announce new commitments from companies from across the American economy who are joining the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. With this announcement, 81 companies will have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their support for action on climate change and the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.  These 81 companies have operations in all 50 states, employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion.

 

By signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge, these companies are:

 

·         Voicing support for a strong Paris outcome. The pledge recognizes those countries that have already put forward climate targets, and voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.

 

·         Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action. As part of this initiative, each company is announcing significant pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses and tackle climate change.

 

These pledges include ambitious, company-specific goals such as:

 

o   Reducing emissions by as much as 50 percent,

o   Reducing water usage by as much as 80 percent,

o   Achieving zero waste-to-landfill,

o   Purchasing 100 percent renewable energy, and

o   Pursuing zero net deforestation in supply chains.

 

·         Setting an example for their peers. Today’s announcements builds on the launch of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in July. This fall, the Obama Administration will release a third round of pledges, with a goal of mobilizing many more companies to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

 

The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide. Nineteen of the 20 hottest years on record occurred in the past two decades. Countries and communities around the world are already being affected by deeper, more persistent droughts, pounded by more severe weather, inundated by bigger storm surges, and imperiled by more frequent and dangerous wildfires. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries, all of which imperil public health, particularly for vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. No corner of the planet and no sector of the global economy will remain unaffected by climate change in the years ahead.

 

Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global response, and President Obama is committed to leading the fight. The President’s Climate Action Plan, when fully implemented, will cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030, an amount equivalent to taking all the cars in the United States off the road for more than 4 years. The Clean Power Plan, the most significant domestic step any President has ever taken to combat climate change, will reduce emissions from the energy sector by 32% by 2030. And while the United States is leading on the international stage and the federal government is doing its part to combat climate change, hundreds of private companies, local governments, and foundations have stepped up to increase energy efficiency, boost low-carbon investing, and make solar energy more accessible to low-income Americans.

 

The measures taken by the public and private sectors enabled President Obama to set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 26-28% by 2025 last November. And in the eleven months since, we’ve seen unprecedented global momentum in the fight against climate change.

 

To date, 150 countries representing more than 85% of global carbon emissions have reported post-2020 climate policies to the United Nations. This includes the major economies like the U.S., China, the European Union and India and it includes a large number of smaller economies, developing nations, island states and tropical countries – some of whom are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

 

But these submissions are only the beginning of achieving a successful outcome in Paris this December that puts in place a transparent global framework for increasing ambition over time and continuing to drive down emissions over the course of this century. As the world looks toward Paris, President Obama is committed to building on this momentum, with American leadership at all levels – the federal government, state and local governments and the private sector.

 

Clean Energy Investment

 

Additionally, leading up to the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit on June 16, 2015, an independent consortium of long-term investors (“LTIs”), including sovereign development funds, pension funds, endowments, family offices, and foundations, committed to building a new investment intermediary that will identify, screen, and assess high-potential companies and projects for commercial investment that could also produce impactful and profitable solutions to climate change.

 

Today, this consortium will announce its founding CEO, interim board of directors, sponsors, and confirms the intention of the LTIs to deploy at least $1.2 billion of investment capital through an ‘aligned intermediary’, which they anticipate will be formally launched and branded in mid-2016.

 

The initial group of LTIs announcing financial commitments to work with the ‘aligned intermediary’ includes:

 

       $500 million from University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer;

       $350 million from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund;

       $200 million from the Alaska Permanent Fund;

       $100 million from TIAA-CREF; and

       $10 million from Tamarisc.

 

The effort launches with research support from the Hewlett Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, and Planet Heritage Foundation, and a commitment of further operational support, pending final approval, from the MacArthur Foundation.

 

As President Obama said at the U.N. Climate Summit last September, “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” The American Business Act on Climate Pledge shows that the U.S. private sector, with its history of innovation and ingenuity, is committed to stepping up and doing its part in taking on this global challenge.  

 

*           *           *

 

THE AMERICAN BUSINESS ACT ON CLIMATE PLEDGE

 

We applaud the growing number of countries that have already set ambitious targets for climate action. In this context, we support the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.

 

We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment. 

 

The following companies have joined the pledge and their detailed commitments can be viewed at:  www.whitehouse.gov/ClimatePledge

 

ABENGOA BIOENERGY US

AEMETIS

ALCOA

AMERICAN EXPRESS

APPLE

AT&T

AUTODESK

BANK OF AMERICA

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY

BEST BUY

BIOGEN

BLOOMBERG

CARGILL

CA TECHNOLOGIES

CALPINE

CAMPOS BROTHERS FARMS

COCA-COLA

COX ENTERPRISES

DELL

DSM NORTH AMERICA

EMC

ENERGY OPTIMIZERS

ENER-G RUDOX

FACEBOOK

FULCRUM BIOENERGY

GE

GENERAL MILLS

GENERAL MOTORS

GOLDMAN SACHS

GOOGLE

HERSHEY’S

HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)

IBERDROLA USA

IBM

IKEA USA

INGERSOLL RAND

INTERNATIONAL PAPER

INTEL

INTREN

INTEX SOLUTIONS, INC.

INVENERGY

JOHNSON AND JOHNSON

JOHNSON CONTROLS

KELLOGG’S

KEYSTONE ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURING

KINGSPAN INSULATED PANELS, INC.

LAKESHORE LEARNING MATERIALS

LAM RESEARCH

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.

L’OREAL USA

MARS

McDONALD’S CORPORATION

MICROSOFT

MONSANTO

NATONAL LABEL COMPANY

NIKE

NESTLÈ

NOVOZYMES

ONE3LED

PACIFIC ETHANOL

PEPSI-CO

PG&E

POET

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FACT SHEET: President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 25, 2015

 

FACT SHEET:  President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States

 

On September 24-25, 2015, President Barack Obama hosted President Xi Jinping of China for a State visit.  The two heads of state exchanged views on a range of global, regional, and bilateral subjects.  President Obama and President Xi agreed to work together to constructively manage our differences and decided to expand and deepen cooperation in the following areas: 

 

Addressing Global and Regional Challenges

·         Afghanistan-  The United States and China decided to maintain communication and cooperation with one another on Afghanistan to support peaceful reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan, support an “Afghan led, Afghan owned” reconciliation process, and promote trilateral dialogue among the United States, China, and Afghanistan.  Together with Afghanistan, the United States and China will co-chair a high-level event on Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 26.  This event will convene Afghanistan’s neighbors and the international community to discuss the importance of continuing robust regional and international support for the Afghan government and regional economic cooperation.  The United States and China jointly renew their call on the Taliban to enter into direct talks with the Government of Afghanistan.  The United States and China also noted their mutual interests in supporting peace, stability, and prosperity in neighboring countries of Afghanistan, and to working in partnership with these countries to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

 

·         Peacekeeping–  In recognition of the critical role UN and regional peacekeepers serve in maintaining international peace and security, the United States and China affirm to further increase their robust commitments to international peacekeeping efforts.  The Chinese side appreciates the U.S. side’s holding of the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, and welcomes the new contributions to be announced by the United States to support peace operations. The United States welcomes the new contributions to be announced by China to support UN peacekeeping efforts.  The United States and China recognize the need to deepen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations on peace operations.  Both sides look forward to an enhanced discussion with the African Union and other partners to further explore proposals to this end.  Both sides decided to continue discussions to deepen cooperation on capacity building for troop- and police-contributing countries.

 

·         Nuclear Security-  The United States and China commit to deepen their cooperation on nuclear security and to work together to make the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Obama next year a success.  The two sides plan to hold an annual bilateral dialogue on nuclear security, with the first meeting of the dialogue to be held prior to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. 

 

·         Wildlife Trafficking-  The United States and China, recognizing the importance and urgency of combating wildlife trafficking, commit to take positive measures to address this global challenge.  The United States and China commit to enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant and timely restrictions on the import of ivory as hunting trophies, and to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory.  The two sides decided to further cooperate in joint training, technical exchanges, information sharing, and public education on combating wildlife trafficking, and enhance international law enforcement cooperation in this field.  The United States and China decided to cooperate with other nations in a comprehensive effort to combat wildlife trafficking. 

 

·         Ocean Conservation-  The United States and China intend to pursue actively cooperation on polar and ocean matters, including projects related to ocean conservation and expanding joint polar research efforts, and will work together on the proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.  The two sides also plan to support additional bilateral efforts in these fields, including ocean acidification monitoring and a partnership between the coastal cities of Xiamen and Weihai in China and San Francisco and New York in the United States to share best practices to reduce the flow of trash into the ocean.

 

Strengthening Development Cooperation

The United States and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for development cooperation to guide our future collaborative efforts.  The MOU recognizes our shared objectives in ending extreme poverty and advancing global development through enhanced collaboration and communication under the principle of development raised, agreed, and led by recipient countries.  

 

·         2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentThe United States and China are committed to advance sustainable and inclusive international development as laid out in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through expanded cooperation to end poverty and hunger and the promotion of inclusive economic growth, and protection of the environment.  The two sides intend to communicate and cooperate in implementing the Agenda and to help other countries achieve common development goals.

 

·         Food Security-  The United States and China decided to enhance cooperation on global food security.  The two sides intend to enhance communication and coordination with the government of Timor Leste and share lessons learned in agricultural development and food security while exploring prospects for further cooperation.  Separately, the two sides intend to explore opportunities to cooperate on climate smart agriculture to produce more and better food for growing populations, while building the resilience of smallholder farmers.  Such efforts may include technical cooperation, such as on climate friendly irrigation and mechanization for smallholder farmers in Africa to advance our shared interest in addressing the impact of climate change and enhancing food security.

 

·         Public Health and Global Health Security-  The United States and China decided to enhance concrete cooperation in public health and global health security, accelerating full implementation of the World Health Organization International Health Regulations and assisting at-risk countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.  The two sides plan to jointly work with the African Union and African Union Member States in the establishment of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention and collaborate with partner governments in countries in West Africa to strengthen national public health capacities in the wake of Ebola, including strengthening the capacity of the cadres of public health and front line health workers.  The two sides intend to enhance communication and exchanges regarding aid for health in West Africa.  The two sides plan to continue to support and contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

 

·         Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response-  The United States and China decided to expand cooperation on humanitarian response to disasters.  The United States and China plan to participate constructively in the May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.  The two sides plan to expand existing cooperation on disaster response through increased support to multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group.  The two sides intend to conduct capacity building cooperation for the post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal through mechanisms that promote collaboration between the international community and the Government of Nepal.

 

·         Multilateral Institutions.  The United States and China intend to expand their collaboration with international institutions to tackle key global development challenges.

 

Strengthening Bilateral Relations

·         Military Relations-  Building on the two Memoranda of Understanding on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) signed by the United States and China in November 2014, the two sides completed new annexes on air-to-air safety and crisis communications. The two sides committed to continue discussions on additional annexes to the Notification of Major Military Activities CBM, with the United States prioritizing completion of a mechanism for informing the other party of ballistic missile launches.  The U.S. Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard have committed to pursue an arrangement whose intended purpose is equivalent to the Rules of Behavior Confidence Building Measure annex on surface-to-surface encounters in the November 2014 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Department of Defense and the People’s Republic of China Ministry of National Defense.

 

·         Cybersecurity- 

o   The United States and China agree that timely responses should be provided to requests for information and assistance concerning malicious cyber activities.  Further, both sides agree to cooperate, in a manner consistent with their respective national laws and relevant international obligations, with requests to investigate cybercrimes, collect electronic evidence, and mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from their territory.  Both sides also agree to provide updates on the status and results of those investigation to the other side, as appropriate. 

 

o   The United States and China agree that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors. 

 

o   Both sides are committed to making common effort to further identify and promote appropriate norms of state behavior in cyberspace within the international community.  The United States and China welcome the July 2015 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International security, which addresses norms of behavior and other crucial issues for international security in cyberspace.  The two sides also agree to create a senior experts group for further discussions on this topic. 

 

o   The United States and China agree to establish a high-level joint dialogue mechanism on fighting cybercrime and related issues.  China will designate an official at the ministerial level to be the lead and the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Justice, and the State Internet and Information Office will participate in the dialogue.  The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney General will co-chair the dialogue, with participation from representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Intelligence Community and other agencies, for the United States.  This mechanism will be used to review the timeliness and quality of responses to requests for information and assistance with respect to malicious cyber activity of concern identified by either side.  As part of this mechanism, both sides agree to establish a hotline for the escalation of issues that may arise in the course of responding to such requests.  Finally, both sides agree that the first meeting of this dialogue will be held by the end of 2015, and will occur twice per year thereafter.

 

·         Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism- President Obama and President Xi decided to continue expanding law enforcement and anti-corruption cooperation, including by enhancing coordination and cooperation on criminal investigations, repatriation of fugitives, and asset recovery issues.  The United States and China welcomed recent progress on repatriating Chinese fugitives and illegal immigrants through charter flights and look forward to continuing this cooperation.  The United States welcomes China’s commitment to consider joining the OECD Working Group on Bribery as a participant in the near future.  As a new aspect of the Joint Liaison Group’s role as the primary mechanism for law enforcement cooperation, both sides committed to discuss the mutual recognition and enforcement of forfeiture judgments.  The two sides condemn all forms of terrorism and committed to expand exchange of information to counter the transnational flow of foreign terrorist fighters.  The United States and China held a Counter-Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) Workshop on September 14 in Washington, DC, decided on principles for furthering efforts to counter the threat posed by IEDs, and committed to hold a follow-on workshop in China.  

 

·         People-to-People Exchange.   The United States and China announced two new initiatives to expand the dynamic and positive people-to-people interaction that is the foundation of our bilateral relationship: (1) A 2016 U.S.-China Tourism Year—a cooperative tourism initiative led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration to expand and shape travel between our countries.  This year of collaboration will include events to promote travel between the two countries, support progress on market access, and advance initiatives for both the United States and China to ensure a quality visitor experience for increasing numbers of travelers to and from both nations.  (2)  A “One Million Strong” initiative led by the 100,000 Strong Foundation that aims to have one million American students studying Mandarin by 2020. “One Million Strong” goals include doubling the number of Mandarin language teachers in the United States through a major investment in teachers colleges; employing technological tools to engage students in underserved and underrepresented communities; and creating “100K Strong States,” a subnational consortium of U.S. governors committed to expanding Mandarin language-learning in their states.  

 

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