Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tomorrow is the day the world leaders begin trying to bang out a fair and binding treaty to help solve the worlds climate crisis

With that in mind, it may be a good thing to clarify just what 
we are in store for, treaty ( if any ) wise and also what 
alternatives are being offered and brought to the 
negotiations table...
The heads of participating nations 

gather to negotiate and come to some 
progressive agreement that will lead the 
world out of this environmental crisis we 
face and put us all back on track to 
350 ppm ( parts per million ) of 
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 
(at present we are at 389 and that figure 
is set to rise dramatically if we do not 
start curbing our emissions NOW.)

The proposals set out in the talks in the run 
up to COP15 seem geared to reaching this
by means of Carbon Trading...

Carbon trading is the main way in which wealthy
 industrialized countries and companies are avoiding
 their emissions reduction targets - by trading carbon 
credits amongst themselves, either between countries
 (as happens under the Kyoto Protocol) or between 
companies (as happens under the EU Emissions 
Trading Scheme). Essentially, it's the way that
 industry can continue as usual, while encouraging 
the poor and disadvantaged to sell their rights to pollute.
Carbon trading is aimed at the wrong target. It doesn't 
address climate change. Solving climate change means
 figuring out how to keep remaining fossil fuels in the 
ground. It means reorganizing industrial societies' energy,
 transport and housing systems - starting today - so that
 they don't rely on coal, oil and gas.
Carbon trading isn't directed at that 
goal. Instead, it's organized around
 keeping the wheels on the fossil fuel 
 as long as possible. Carbon trading 
allocates industries
 a generous short-term numerical 

budget and then tries - through

 trading - to make
 it cheap and easy for them to 

continue business 
as usual within those budgets,

 by buying credits
 from less economically developed

 countries and companies.

Even if you were to accept that it might be a
 good idea, carbon trading has been a 
massive failure so far and doesn't show
 any signs of improving. The price of 
carbon has always been so low that it's
 cheaper for companies to buy permits 
than to 
start paying for more expensive 
 changes. The allocations of permits 
have been 
so generous that a number of Europe's
polluters have made HUGE profits by selling
 on permits that they didn't need, or
 by passing 
on the cost of the permits to consumers - 
 the fact that they have been handed out 
for free! 
E.ON is just one example of a company 
has made billions in windfall profits so far
 from carbon trading.

Markets themselves aren't a bad thing, 
but they 
are when artificially created and 
 based on an ideological commitment 
to solving 
every problem through the market rather 
 a natural evolution of trading in existing 
commodities. Important decisions, 
 and demands about climate change are being 
swept aside in favour of 'leaving it to the market,' 
despite the fact that it's a market whose 
and rules have been largely determined 
by some
 of the biggest polluters around, 
teaming up with 
the same financiers responsible for the 
'structured investment vehicles' and 
'credit derivative swaps' that have brought 
economies crashing down.

And that leads me to the second approach 
which is being highlighted at Copenhagen 
during the climate talks, 

The people's KLIMATFORUM09...

Where the official UN conference brings together
 heads of state, Klimatforum 09 unites
from global civil society.

Klimatforum09 is the first truly global, people's
summit on climate change. So far more
than 5.000
peoples from all continents have registered to
 participate. More than sixty international
 environmental networks and people's
organizations support the initiative. Among
them are Friends of the Earth, Campaign
Climate Change, Global Forest Coalition,
Via Campesina and Permaculture

Klimaforum09 aims at constituting a
framework for a multitude of conferences,
 workshops, exhibitions etc., to
which citizens,
 grass roots and organisations
from all over the
world will contribute during the COP15
conference in Copenhagen.

The basis for Klimaforum09 is the
that there is no technological »fix« to the
 mounting climate crisis. No technology
per se -
such as i.e. nuclear power, biofuels,
modified organisms, carbon capture
 and storage -
 can lead us out of the climate crisis.
solutions will typically lead to far larger
 problems than they solve. In contrast,
societies require a diversity of locally based
 solutions - which again require significant
 mobilization of civil society.

Klimaforum09 believes that what is
 needed is
building a finely balanced relation to
 thus reducing consumption and
rather than uncritically exploiting
and believing in economic growth
as is the
 case in global society today. To
such change we need new ways of
new cultural values, and new means
organizing society.

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