Copenhegan- Climate Change
Green Features Reports from Copenhagen (Climate Change)
As the Copenhagen conference is expecting the arrival of the Big players -- t5he heads of states and their high power ministers - in the next few days, pressures from various quarters are also building up.
As the various business lobbies are pushing for more & more "incentives" (like the controversial & as yet untested CCS - carbon Capture & Storage commercial interests lobbying hard for its inclusion as a CDM entry),
various peoples groups , resistance struggles, indigenous people etc are also strengthenening their voices of protest. The many forest peoples alliances have made their opposition to REDD, REDD+ etc very clear, and there were very lively demonstrations.
Today's most intense, heart-rending, protest and appeal to the international community was by the indigenous people from Canada, who clearly brought out the devastation of their communities health and forcible occupation of their reserves - by the Tar sand oil industry. "WE DONT WANT YOUR DIRTY OIL" ,
'I HAVE SURVIVED, BUT MANY OF MY RELATIVES ARE LYING BURIED UNDERGROUND - DYING OF INCRAESED CANCER & OTHER DISEASES' ,
many such real stories came from the Indigenous peoples reserves - which also houses some of the largest reserves of dirty tar sand oil. The story victimisation of the already marginalised, by the insatiable greed of the rich & over consumers - continues, BUT ARE BEING CHALLENGED WITH INCRAESING STRENGTH.
Green Features -2
Bolivia responds to US on climate debt: "If you break it, you buy it."
In response to the US chief negotiator Todd Stern's rejection of paying
"Admitting responsibility for the climate crisis without taking necessary actions to address it is like someone burning your house and then refusing to pay for it. Even if the fire was not started on purpose, the industrialised countries, through their inaction, have continued to add fuel to the fire. As a result they have used up two thirds of the atmospheric space, depriving us of the necessary space for
"It is entirely unjustifiable that countries like Bolivia are now forced to pay for the crisis. This creates a huge draw on our limited resources to protect our people from a crisis created by the rich and their over-consumption.
In Bolivia we are facing a crisis we had no role in causing. Our glaciers dwindle, droughts become ever more common, and water supplies are drying up. Who should address this? To us it seems only right that the polluter should pay, and not the poor."
"We are not assigning guilt, merely responsibility. As they say in the US, if you break it, you buy it."
Background: Todd Stern in a press conference on 10 December said: "We absolutely recognize our historic role in putting emissions in the atmosphere up there that are there now. But the sense of guilt or culpability or reparations - I just categorically reject that."
WHEN DISASTER IS A BIG BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
At the Copenhagen Climate summit, the 'maha-kumbh' of environmental negotiations - with over 30,000 people from nearly 200 countries of the world -- one would have thought that every one is very concerned about the oncoming crisis that is already devastating the most vulnerable communities , all over the world - but mostly in the poorer countries .
But that is turning out to be naiive, in a sense. There are a very large presence of people and organisations out to get new ooportunities of business , newer sunshine areas of high profit investement, and new geographic territories to be (commercially) conquered. Now, if that sounds somewhat odd in an international conference 'designed and convened" to collectively tackle the greatest environmental threat that humanity has ever faced -- you are not alone, but you not in the majority either.
Moving around in the corridors of power-broking, of wheeling-dealing here in COP15, are the large army of tech-savvy 'executives' and 'technology entrepreneurs' looking for the 'killer apps' (the so called killer applications which are so good, so good ...., well )that either they can latch onto for Technology Transfer, or that they have supposedly brought in for "saving the World". The loud proclaimation by the business lobbies here – "We already have the answers"
are staring at you from many corners !!
one wonders, if all the solutions are already there, ready & packaged by the worlds big business, why has the crisis gone from bad to worse over the last two decades or more ?? The rich countries have all the finance (they pumped in over $10 trillion to bail out banks & mega corporates, lets not forget), and their big MNCs claim to have the solutions ready, so what is actually the problem of the climate change ? Why the supposed solution is repeatedly thrown to countries of the south, much poorer and much less "capable" by the conventional definitions ?
The big wind industry associations, the high speed rail transport, the CCS 9carbon Capture & Storage) technology folks, and even small business people trying to cash in on the CDM windfall -- all sound sooo confident, that you would think there is no need for this conference in the 1st place !! There are also some tinkerers and even nuts - peddling variations of perpetual motion machines to extract 'deep-water energy" (whatever that might mean) from tall water tanks and buoancy bubbles !
But some of the faces of business seemed a little unusual here in COP15. A small-business woman Senegal, looking for bottling machines for mango juice -- do not really fit into the COP15 image, but may have much better resonance with a large percentage of the NGO participants here. Green-horn CDM analysts sitting with their laptops logged on the stock exchanges also do not lead you to believe that the Earth has put us on serious warning (and warming), and time is running out for various Tipping Points to start being unstoppable !
The really sincere & serious 'business' is being carried out by the large no. of climate justice groups, including the very agitated and very vocal youth activists from all continents. With the official negotiations in limbo, that is the only encouraging message coming out of COP15 -- "WE WILL NOT LET OUR FUTURE BE DESTROYED BY THE UNSTOPPABLE GREED OF OUR FATHERS & GRAND-FATHERS" -- as mentioned by a school-girlish young climate activist in her orange shirt of protest.
First Week Of Climate Talks A Predictable Failure
At the end of the first week of the climate talks at Copenhagen, thousands of activists from the Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now! networks are joining the climate march under the banner of ‘System Change Not Climate Change’ to denounce the climate negotiations as a predictable failure. The protesters are demanding radical changes in economic and political systems in order to address the climate crisis.
The coming together of the Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now! is an unprecedented coalition of social movements, NGOs and grassroots climate activists from around the world to demand alternatives to the failed market solutions being pushed by governments and big business.
The ‘System Change’ contingent has been tipped as the largest and loudest section in the march and includes people from 50 different countries. It will include a flat bed truck broadcasting music and speeches from prominent activists from the global south.
Josie Riffaud from La Via Campesina a global coalition of peasant movements, said
‘We’ve seen this week in Copenhagen that governments are turning the climate haos into comodities. Farmers – men and women - are taking to the streets today because we are so outraged by the ineffective targets and false solutions such as agrofuels being peddled by business lobbyists and governments that listen to them.
Lidy Nacpil from the Jubilee South Coalition said
‘All week we have heard a string of excuses from northern countries to make adequate reparations for the ecological crisis that they have caused. We are taking to the streets to demand that the ecological debt is repaid to the people of the South’.
Lars Fredikssen, an activist from Climate Justice Action said
‘At the root of the climate crisis is an economic and political system that puts profit above people and the long term sustainability of this planet. Unless we address hese root causes, climate change will devastate people around the world. These talks are a predictable failure and that’s why we will be taking action next week to create a People’s Assembly. We want the voices of ordinary people who are already being affected by climate change to be heard and listened to.”
A Big Protest Rally
About 25 blocs of some 50,000 people are expected to march in the streets of Copenhagen tomorrow. One of the biggest blocs will be the system-change-not climate change bloc – which will be a grouping of several coalitions such as the climate justice action.
Others in the bloc include ATTAC, Friends of the Earth, La Via Campesina. Other blocs will include, Global Campaign on Climate Change, church groups etc.
It’s also going to get hot on the streets with separate militant mobilisations called by the black bloc. Added to the Danish black bloc several of their European comrades are likely to join as well.
South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy