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Environmental Challenges and Actions in Venezuela

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC, United States

As part of an exercise in participatory democracy in Venezuela, communities are assuming leadership in conducting environmental conservation projects across the country to deal with the various environmental challenges facing them. Come to IPS for a rare opportunity to hear directly from and discuss with Miguel Rodriguez, Venezuela's Viceminister of Environmental Conservation, these and other projects and what role the Chavez government is playing in them.

This is a brownbag event so please feel free to bring your lunch.

Please rsvp by sending an email to or calling 202-234-9382.

IPS is between L and M Streets on 16th Street and two blocks from the Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Orange/Blue lines) Metro stations.







IPS Mandate for Change Election Series: The Election and Climate Action

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC, United States

U.S. action on energy and climate change has been a hot topic in this election season. Join us for an in-depth analysis of how the results of the 2008 presidential election will impact national climate and energy policy, and the implications for international climate action.


Janet Redman, Researcher, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, IPS
Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth US
James Barrett, Executive Director, Redefining Progress
Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Moderator: Daphne Wysham, Fellow, IPS

This event is part of the Institute for Policy Studies series of provocative brown-bag luncheon discussions of the various issues in the platforms of the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Independent presidential candidates. IPS and Chester Hartman have a new book coming out at the culmination of this brown-bag series, Mandate for Change, which will put forth what we feel are the best and most creative policy solutions for these and other pressing local, national and international issues.

About the Panelists:
Janet Redman is a researcher for the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies, where she provides analysis of the international financial institutions’ energy investment and carbon finance activities. Redman has been active in establishing Climate Justice Now!, a global network of organizations and movements committed to the fight for social, ecological, and gender justice.

Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth U.S., is one of the nation’s leading environmental advocates. An architect of significant legislation to protect natural resources and clean up pollution, Blackwelder has presented more than 100 testimonies before Congress on environmental matters and is currently the most senior environmental lobbyist in Washington.

James Barrett is the Executive Director of Redefining Progress, a public policy think tank dedicated to smart economics. Barrett has worked on a variety of issues concerning energy and environmental economics, including the impacts of carbon reduction programs on the U.S. economy, the economic implications of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, and the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen production.

Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle related issues, including weapons production, testing, and nuclear waste, over the past 20 years. Most recently, Dr. Makhijani has authored "Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy," the first thorough attempt to show how the U.S. could transition to an energy economy based completely on renewable energy by 2050, without any use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, or carbon offsets.

Moderator Daphne Wysham is a fellow and board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, founder and director of the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, and co-host of Earthbeat Radio. Her research and writings have appeared in local, national and international media.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Janet Redman at or (202) 234-9382.

Book Event: Mandate for Change

Demos (5th Floor) 220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, United States

Three decades ago, The Heritage Foundation produced a primer on the Reagan Revolution entitled Mandate for Leadership, which offered an overarching philosophy against government and in favor of unregulated markets. Now, with President Barack Obama in office, we face a promising moment in history to present a different ideological perspective for our nation’s future.

Join Demos, The Nation, and the Institute for Policy Studies for a forum featuring prominent experts and scholars in the progressive community. The speakers will draw on essays from a new book, Mandate for Change: Policies and Leadership for 2009 and Beyond, a collaboration of over 70 authors and activists that offers a set of specific policy proposals for the new national administration on critical domestic and international issues. The ideas, policies, and resources presented in this volume set forth a fundamental, badly needed “mandate for change” to reinvigorate government and rethink the role of markets and civil society.


Chester Hartman is Director of Research at the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, DC and the founder and former Chair of the Planners Network, a national organization of progressive urban and rural planners and community organizers. Throughout his career as an urban planner and scholar, he has served on many boards, including the editorial boards of the Journal of Urban Affairs, Housing Policy Debate, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Housing Studies, and The Journal of Negro Education. He is also a former Board Member of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and was the founder and former President of PRRAC, as well as a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam.

Katrina vanden Heuvel has been editor of The Nation since 1995 and publisher since 2005. She is the co-editor of Taking Back America--And Taking Down The Radical Right and most recently, editor of The Dictionary of Republicanisms. She has received awards for public service from numerous groups, including The Liberty Hill Foundation, The Correctional Association, The Association for American-Russian Women, and the New York Civil Liberties Union's Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy. She is also the recipient of The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's 2003 "Voices of Peace" Award. Vanden Heuvel is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the Institute for Policy Studies, the World Policy Institute, the Correctional Association of New York, and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

Miles Rapoport is the President of Demos, where he sets the agenda and oversees the management of the organization and its fundraising efforts. Prior to assuming the helm at Demos, he served for ten years in the Connecticut legislature, where he was a leading expert on electoral reform and served as Chair of the Committee on Elections. In 1994, he was elected as Secretary of the State of Connecticut, during which time he released two unique reports on the state of democracy in Connecticut. His articles have appeared in national magazines and newspapers, and he is the founder of Northeast Action, a leading political reform organization in New England. Rapoport came to Demos from a position as Executive Director of DemocracyWorks, a Hartford-based group that works on democracy reform.

To register for this event, contact Jinny Khanduja at 212-389-1399 or or click here.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009: Areas for Improvement

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043 45 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC, United States

Join us for a briefing on HR 2454 to discuss what the legislation entails, what it lacks, and how it can be improved.

Confirmed experts:

Michael Wara, Stanford University Law School
David Bookbinder, Chief Climate Counsel, Sierra Club
Cecil Corbin-Mark, WeACT for Environmental Justice
Margaret E. Sheehan, lead partner, EcoLaw
Richard Sweeney, Resources for the Future

The discussion will be moderated by Daphne Wysham, co-director of IPS' Sustainable Energy & Economy Network.

This event is sponsored by Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends of the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, the Institute for Policy Studies, and

Briefing: Investment Rules in Trade Agreements Who Benefits? The Case of Mining in El Salvador

Cannon House Office Building 27 Independence Ave SE, room 401, Washington, DC, United States

Community leaders from El Salvador will be in Washington to receive the 2009 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award on behalf of the National Roundtable on Mining. This broad coalition of environmental, faith-based, and community activists has successfully worked to block permits for potentially environmentally devastating mining in El Salvador.

The coalition will speak about the investor-state suits recently filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) by U.S. and Canadian mining companies against El Salvador. They will also discuss their work to oppose mining, and the attacks and threats that they and other members of the National Roundtable have suffered in El Salvador.


Representatives of El Salvador’s National Roundtable on Mining: William Castillo, Center for Research on Investment and Trade (CEICOM); Francisco Pineda, Environment Coordinating Committee of Cabañas
Sarah Anderson, Global Economy Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies. Anderson will report on her recent experience serving on an official advisory committee to the Obama administration on bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The administration is currently reviewing the U.S. Model BIT, which includes rules that are similar to those in the investment chapter of CAFTA and other trade agreements.
Rep. Michael Michaud, Democratic Congressman from Maine and the lead sponsor of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act. One provision of the TRADE Act would ensure that trade agreements no longer permit foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals over domestic regulatory policies that protect public health and the environment.
Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam America (moderator)

For more information on this event, please contact Manuel Perez-Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies, at or (240) 838-6623 (mobile). For more information on the struggle over mining and the investor-state cases, read El Salvador's Gold Fight, a Foreign Policy In Focus commentary.

This event was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America,and the Washington Office on Latin America, and sponsored by Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME).

Confronting Climate Debt: What the Rich Owe the World

Busboys and Poets 1025 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States

Naomi Klein, Ambassador Pablo Salon, and Michele Roberts will discuss climate debt and its implications for building a movement for climate justice. Panelists will also share their insights on outcomes from the Copenhagen climate conference and what that means for climate activism in the U.S. and abroad.