The Stage is Set for Climate Talks Failure


The stage for the failure of climate talks has been set long before the 17th Conference of Parties (COP) in Durban, South Africa. The United States, the only industrialized country that refused sign the Kyoto Protocol, succeeded in making the 15th COP in Copenhagen, Denmark fail to issue a global climate deal that could address global warming and climate change. In the Copenhagen Accord and Cancun Agreement, the total carbon emissions cut pledged by capitalist countries are much lower than the pledge made by developing countries.
More so, the total global pledges to cut carbon emissions are insufficient to keep global warming below 2°C and will likely to lead to a 2.5 to 5°C global temperature increase towards the end of 21st century. This will definitely be catastrophic and devastating to nations and peoples of the world. Scientific findings show that global carbon emissions are increasing at a fast rate and global warming is worsening. According to the UN World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) the warming effect of greenhouse gases on climate increased 29% from 1990 to 2010.
Yet top global polluters like the US, United Kingdom, European Union, and Japan have recently signified their position in the Durban climate talks that they will not commit to any binding international agreement to cut down global carbon emissions. Capitalist countries led by the US are now trending that there will likely be no international climate agreement that could take effect before 2020. This tact of capitalist countries is a means to escape responsibility and accountability in the current climate crisis that the world is facing.
The failure to come up with a binding international agreement on climate change serves the interests of capitalist countries and their giant transnational corporations. This allows them to continue their unabated control, exploitation, and consumption of world fossil resources at the expense of impoverished people and ravaged environments of the world.
At the same time, wars of intervention and aggression are being launched by US, UK and the European Union in Iraq, Afghanistan and recently in Libya which are clearly not for freedom and democracy but mainly for control of trillions of dollars of profit from oil resources in these countries particularly of the Arab nations. The victors and beneficiaries of these wars are giant transnational oil corporations like Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron Texaco and ENI which are also the top private carbon emitters of the world. Also the current top carbon polluter China and its transnational companies are aggressively exploring and controlling fossil fuel resources in different regions of the world such as in Southeast Asia.
These capitalist countries and corporations are the same entities that are lording over and sabotaging the climate talks. They shutdown the people’s voices and wantonly disregard the demands of developing countries for genuine solutions on climate change. Simultaneously, capitalist countries use and manipulate the Conference of Parties to push and adopt their interests and schemes to profit more on climate issues. Some of which are the following:
  • The clean development mechanisms (CDM) and carbon trading which allow capitalist countries and private corporations to continue their polluting ways and methods while at the same time gain huge profit from it;
  •  The Green Climate Fund, a multi-billion dollar fund for climate mitigation, will be handled by World Bank and can be accessed for business initiatives of private corporations in their effort to ‘mitigate’ climate change
  •  REDD+ or Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation schemes can be utilized by private companies like oil, mining and logging companies for further resource extraction and not for forest protection
In this context, we in OilWatch Southeast Asia reiterate our position and demands in the COP 17 in Durban, South Africa:
  • To have an international agreement with binding commitments to reduce global carbon emissions and regulate global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • For Industrialized countries to provide mandatory and unconditional financial resources for developing countries to support their climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives. The Green Climate Fund should be under the management of United Nation and not of the World Bank. The fund should not in any way be used to fund private businesses and initiatives;
  • To reject false climate solutions such as carbon capture technology, clean coal, and nuclear power
  • Stop market-based mechanisms and profit oriented schemes such carbon trading and clean development mechanism which are being used by TNCs to further control and exploit the people’s resources.
OilWatch Southeast Asia reaffirms our commitments:
  • To continue our active resistance in our home countries and region against the plunder and exploitation of fossil fuels by transnational companies and oppressive national government;
  • To work for a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction in Southeast Asia;
  • To pursue and expand research, promotion and propagation of non-fossil fuel based energy sources;
  • To strengthen the international front of active resistance for the protection of the people’s resources and the environment.

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