After Copenhagen

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

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After Copenhagen

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

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