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Durban talks: Rich polluters impose 'new regime of climate apartheid'; Pablo Solon: 'Kyoto Protocol now a zombie'

Protesters block the halls at the Durban International Conference Centre, December 9, 2011. Photo from Earth Negotiations Bulletin.)

Antidote is Cochabamba Peoples’ Agreement

By Climate Justice Now!, Durban

December 11, 2011 –- Decisions resulting from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban constitute a crime against humanity, according to Climate Justice Now! a broad coalition of social movements and civil society. Here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid.

“Delaying real action until 2020 is a crime of global proportions”, said Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International. “An increase in global temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius, permitted under this plan, is a death sentence for Africa, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid, whereby the richest 1% of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

Climate talks: No to a 'Durban mandate'!; Pablo Solon, Patrick Bond: 'US should face climate sanctions'

Photo by Orin Langelle/GJEP.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

By the Civil Society Committee for COP 17

December 8, 2011 -- Civil Society Committee for COP 17 (C17) -- As African civil society, global South movements and international allies, we reject the call of many developed countries for a so-called “Durban mandate” to launch new negotiations for a future climate framework.

A new mandate for a new treaty in place of the Kyoto Protocol should be understood for what it really is – rich countries backtracking and reneging on “inconvenient” obligations, at the expense of the poor and the planet. While developed countries may appear progressive by asking for a mandate to negotiate a new legally binding treaty, the truth is that this is nothing but a veiled attempt to kill the Kyoto Protocol and escape from their further mitigation obligations under the already existing mandate in the protocol itself, and the agreement in 2005 for negotiating further emission cuts. A political declaration to continue the Kyoto Protocol or anything less than a full amendment and ratification process is, in practice, another nail in its coffin.

La Via Campesina: 'No deal better than a bad deal that condemns humanity to climate catastrophe'

 

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

Assembly of the Oppressed, December 5, 2011, Durban, South Africa

As the Assembly of the Oppressed we are gathered here to demand the transformation of the entire neoliberal capitalist system. The fight against climate change is a fight against neoliberal capitalism, landlessness, dispossession, hunger, poverty and the re-colonisation of the territories of the people’s of Africa and the global South. We are here to declare that direct action is the only weapon of the oppressed people of the world to end all forms of oppression in the world.

We are here in Durban, South Africa, where the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties [COP17] is taking place and are discussing false solutions to the climate crisis. And we can see that the future of Mother Earth and of humanity is in peril as those responsible for nature’s destruction are attempting to escape their responsibility and erase history.

Climate talks: A dirty deal coming down in Durban

Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

By Patrick Bond

December 6, 2011 -- What, now, are the prospects for a climate deal by December 9?

The biggest problem is obvious: Conference of the Parties 17 (COP17) saboteurs from the US State Department, joined by Canada, Russia and Japan, want to bury the legally binding Kyoto Protocol treaty. Instead of relaxing intellectual property rules on climate technology and providing a fair flow of finance, Washington offers only a non-binding "pledge and review" system.

This is unenforceable and at current pledge rates – with Washington lagging everyone – is certain to raise world temperatures to 4 degrees centigrade, and in Africa much higher. Estimates of the resulting deaths of Africans this century are now in excess of 150 million. As former Bolivian ambassadar to the UN, Pablo Solon said at last week’s Wolpe Memorial Lecture, “The COP17 will be remembered as a place of premeditated genocide and ecocide.”

Durban climate talks: 'Rich-country negotiators are comitting ecocide' -- Pablo Solon; Voices from the streets of Durban

December 3, 2011 -- OneWorldTV -- Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the UN climate talks, speaks during the December 3 day of action in Durban, during the COP17 talks.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

 

December 5, 2011 -- Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting live from Durban, South Africa, where critical talks on fighting climate change have entered their second week. Key issues here at the United Nations Climate Change Conference remain unresolved, including the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty with enforceable provisions designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Delegates are also debating how to form a Green Climate Fund to support developing nations most affected by climate change.

South Africa: ANC hirelings attempt to hijack march, attack left

ANCYL members, employed as "host city volunteers" and dressed in green, clash with members of the Democratic Left Front, dressed in red, at the start of the rally. Photo by Sandile Ndlovu.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

By Rehad Desai

December 3, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mike Sutcliffe, the city manager of Durban Metro council, was forced to back down on his insistence that the December 3 global day of action march against climate change only comprise 100 people. Failing in that attempt he went on to insist that the march route stay out of Durban CBD. He then reneged as Civil Society Committee for COP17 (C17) lawyers pushed him into a corner, where he was forced to accept the march route that was originally proposed by civil society.

Photo essay: Thousands hit the streets of Durban to protest UN 'Conference of Polluters'; Small Island States join Occupy COP17

Overview of the march. Photo: Petermann/GJEP-GFC.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

Photo essay by Orin Langelle (Global Justice Ecology Project) and Anne Petermann (Global Justice Ecology Project-Global Forest Coalition).

December 3, 2011 – Climate Connections -- Around 12,000 people from South Africa and around the world hit the streets of Durban, South Africa, to protest the UN Climate Conference of Polluters on December 3.

Photo: Petermann/GJEP-GFC.

Durban climate talks: ‘Forests are not for carbon stocks’ -- climate justice activists condemn REDD

Photo: Anne Petermann/GJEP-GFC.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

December 4, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Bolivia came out swinging at its first press conference of the climate change conference" on December 1, reported the Durban Mercury's Yusuf Omar on December 2. Head of the Bolivian delegation Rene Orellana criticised the Green Climate Fund "– which is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change – and opposing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation scheme (REDD). "The role of the forest is not for carbon stocks”, he said.

REDD is designed to use financial incentives to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation. The forest produces carbon credits and therefore becomes an emissions offsetting scheme.

South Africa: Rural women demand action on climate change

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

Memorandum from the Rural Women's Assembly to the UNFCCC, the government of the Republic of South Africa and the governments of Africa

December 4, 2011 -- We the Rural Women's Assembly of Southern Africa, meeting in Durban on the event of the 17th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC in Durban [COP17] from November 30 to December 5, 2011, demand that governments take the following immediate steps to address the clear and present danger posed to rural communities by the climate crisis.

1. A climate deal that will take meaningful steps to halt the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions. Historical emitters who are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gases (GHGs) must face trade and investment sanctions if they refuse to cut emissions, particularly from African governments, as Africa has contributed least to climate change, but is the worst affected.

#OccupyCOP17, Durban climate talks: African and Indigenous voices for real climate justice, not false solutions

About 50 protesters held a pre-COP17 action on November 25, chanting "Phansi [down with] CDMs, phansi!" In the background is the World Cup white elephant, the Moses Mabhida Stadium, a few kilometres north of the extremely well-guarded International Convention Centre.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

#OccupyCop17: Climate justice general assembly

Below is the call for a general assembly from www.occupycop17.org.

Pablo Solon: What to expect from Durban climate talks: temperature to rise more than 4° C

Balance sheet and perspectives on the climate change negotiations

By Pablo Solon

November 17, 2011 -- Hoye es Todavia -- Almost a year has gone by since the results of the climate change negotiations in Cancun were imposed, with only the objection of Bolivia. It’s time to take stock and see where we are now.

In Cancun, the developed countries listed their greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges for the 2012-2020 period. The United States and Canada said they would reduce emissions by 3% based on 1990 levels, the European Union between 20% and 30%, Japan 25%, and Russia from 15% to 25%[1]. Adding up all the reduction pledges of the developed countries, the total reduction in emissions by 2020 would be 13-17%,[2] based on 1990 levels.

These greenhouse gas emission reduction “pledges”, according to the United Nations Environment Programme[3], the Stockholm Environment Institute[4] and even the executive secretary of the Climate Change Convention[5], would lead to an average increase in global temperature of around 4° C or more.[6] That is double the amount they established in Cancun: a maximum temperature increase of just 2° C.

Climate change talks: Occupy Durban! For a Climate Spring!

By Patrick Bond

November 22, 2011-- Durban Mercury, via Green Left Weekly -- There they fell during 2011, one after the other in past-their-prime domino descent: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Tunis, Hosni Mubarak from Cairo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Muammar Gaddafi from Tripoli, Georgios Papandreou from Athens, Silvio Berlusconi from Rome, US football guru and sex-crime cover-upper Joe Paterno from Penn State University – with media baron Rupert Murdoch, soccer supremo Sepp Blatter, Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh looking decidedly shaky, too.

However, let’s be frank: in many cases the courageous push by the 99% against these 1% personalities only dislodged the venal creatures, not the system, so replacements crawled right back in.

Nnimmo Bassey on what to expect from Durban climate talks

Nnimmo Bassey (centre). Photo: Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

November 2, 2011 -- It’s unlikely there will be "an equitable outcome" from the COP17 climate talks, to be held in Durban in December 2011, but it will be "a great moment to intensify campaigns against the business-as-usual manner" in which climate negotiations have been conducted so far, Friends of the Earth International's Nnimmo Bassey told Pambazuka News.

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Pambazuka News: What role will Environmental Rights Action (ERA) and Friends of the Earth International be playing at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban? What will you be pushing for?

Thailand's flood crisis: neoliberalism is not the answer

[For more on Thailand and the Red Shirt movement, click HERE.]

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

October 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The serious flooding in Thailand has affected millions of people. Houses, property and infrastructure have been seriously damaged. Factories and workplaces have been closed and hundreds of thousands of people have become temporarily unemployed. Agricultural land has been flooded, leading to further loss of incomes. Millions of people who are living modest lives will see their incomes and savings drastically lowered and the economy can only be dragged down. The waters are now predicted to remain high for at least a month.

The longer-term effects of the flood damage will become a real test for the Peua Thai government of Yingluck Shinawatra. If this crisis is not solved to the satisfaction of most citizens, the government risks losing long-term public support.

Zeitgeist, far-right conspiracy theories and Occupy Wall Street

October 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The global Occupy movement sparked by  Occupy Wall Street has mobilised tens of thousands of people angered at the actions of the big corporations, banks and financial institutions. Protesters rightly hit out at government bailouts of the banks and the close relationships between politicians and big business, while leaving the majority -- the "99%" -- to pay the price through austerity and attacks on their rights.

John Bellamy Foster: Capitalism and the accumulation of catastrophe

Film produced by Jill Hickson and John Reynolds.

[For more material from the conference, click HERE.]

October 20, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At the 2011 Climate Change Social Change Conference held in Melbourne, John Bellamy Foster, Marxist academic, editor and author on economics and ecology, was a featured speaker. Above is the video of his keynote speech on September 30.

The conference was sponsored by the Office of Environmental Programs, Melbourne University, and organised and co-sponsored by Green Left Weekly, Resistance, Socialist Alliance and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Other co-sponsors included Friends of the Earth (Melbourne), the Labor Party Pakistan and Sydney University Political Economy Society.

Australia: Climate Change, Social Change conference attracts hundreds

[For more material from the conference, click HERE.]

By Viv Miley

October 8, 2011 -- Socialist Alliance -- More than 500 people gathered in Melbourne over September 30 to October 3 to take part in four days of stimulating talks and discussion at the second Climate Change Social Change conference. The conference, which featured five plenary sessions, 39 workshops and more than 90 speakers, was organised by Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and Resistance. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal also sponsored the conference.

The conference brought together activists, academics and unionists from Australia, Asia, North America and the Pacific to share ideas and experiences from the movements for Indigenous people's rights, against environmental destruction, for women's rights, for queer rights, for peace, social justice and workers’ rights.

Hands over the city: Towards an urban nightmare

 

By Dave Holmes

[This is an edited version of a workshop talk given on October 2, 2011, at the World at a Crossroads: Climate Change, Social Change conference in Melbourne. For more material from the conference, click HERE. It first appeared at Dave Holmes' Arguing for Socialism and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission. See also Are livable cities just a dream? by Dave Holmes.]

I want to give an overview of the crisis of our cities as I see it. The city I focus on is Melbourne, where I live. But I doubt that the broad situation is much different in the other states.

Modern cities are "free-fire" zones for the corporations. And the situation is getting worse. We can't work out what to do without understanding this basic reality.

'Dissecting those "overpopulation" numbers', excerpt from "Too Many People?" by Ian Angus and Simon Butler

October 4, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Haymarket Books has kindly given permission for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to publish "Dissecting those 'overpopulation' numbers", an excerpt from the just published Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis by Ian Angus and Simon Butler. Links' readers are urged to purchase this essential book. You can order it directly from the publisher HERE; Australian readers can also purchase it at Resistance Bookshops in their city, or online at Resistancebooks.com.

Download "Dissecting those 'overpopulation' numbers" HERE (PDF), or read it on screen below.

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