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Notes for a meeting on how to respond to the collapse of the climate change talks in Copenhagen.

Notes for a meeting on how to respond to the collapse of the climate change talks in Copenhagen.

Published in Technology , News & Politics
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  • 1. “ We will not die quietly” Resisting climate change after Copenhagen
  • 2. Copenhagen
    • Outcomes reflect balance of class forces globally and within the industrialised economies.
    • Relatively weak environmental movements unable to exert significant pressure on governments.
    • Not a priority issue for most working class organisations
  • 3. Right counter attacks
    • Questioning of science.
    • Legitimisation of marginal climate change deniers in mainstream.
    • Some negative polling evidence
    • Tories and Republicans
  • 4. The plan
    • Aim was a binding agreement on limiting CO2 emissions to prevent global temperatures from rising above 2c.
    • Before conference a leaked document suggested the developed nations wanted an agreement consolidating their power at expense of UN in future negotiations.
  • 5. Failure
    • “ Obama illusion” was definitively destroyed.
    • Along with Ed Miliband blamed China for the failure
    • Developed countries got business as usual.
    • Developing countries want money and get it through offsets [sold through the carbon markets].”
  • 6. Impact
    • Poorest countries demanded cuts aimed at maintaining a rise below 1.5c.
    • Above this would makes billions homeless and suffering from food and water shortages
    • UN is admitting in private that the pledges made by world leaders would lead to a 3c rise in temperature
  • 7. Contradictions
    • Capitalism’s irresistible drive to grow comes with drive to create waste and pollution.
    • If nothing stops it, capitalism will expand both those processes infinitely.
    • The Earth is not infinite.
    • Capitalism is now pressing against its limits
  • 8. Market solutions
    • Carbon-trading schemes claim to reduce environmental degradation by putting price on pollution.
    • In practice, such schemes have led to financial scandals, windfall profits for polluters and almost no environmental gains.
  • 9. Market rationality
    • Ice melts
    • Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil to exploit the newly accessible fossil fuel reserves.
    • US Geological Survey estimates could hold 30% of the world's untapped natural gas and 13% of the world’s oil.
  • 10. Ecology and money
    • Capitalism has treated the air, rivers and oceans as a global sewer.
    • Long-term damage to natural ecosystems are never reflected in any corporate bottom-line.
    • As capitalism globalised so did the environmental havoc it creates.
  • 11. Leadership
    • Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua, acted as a bloc.
    • Hugo Chavez and President Evo Morales repeatedly insisted that capitalism was incompatible with serious action to tackle climate change.
  • 12. Cochabamba
    • “ I could see and feel the historic power of another world that for the youth is not only possible but absolutely necessary.
    • Prompt and imaginative alternative to Copenhagen.
  • 13. Movements
    • Mass movement began in December with London and Copenhagen demonstrations.
    • Demands have to connect with response to recession.
    • One million climate jobs campaign.
  • 14. Fourth International
    • World Congress voted to describe it as “ecosocialist”.
    • Strongly supported by sections in Global South.
    • Domestically ecosocialism remains strategic orientation.