COP21 Paris – World Leaders Sign A Death Warrant for the Planet

Written by on December 20, 2015 in Climate Change, Environment, World with 0 Comments


By Marion Deschamps and Cyril Mychalejko  |

As world leaders celebrate the “historic” Paris COP21 climate deal, climate activists suggest a lot of the praise is just hot air. On Saturday night, 195 countries agreed on a climate deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after two weeks of painful negotiations at the Paris COP21. Host country France celebrated the “historic, universal and binding agreement,” according to France’s Ecuador Ambassador Francois Gauthier.

U.S. President Barack Obama said it’s “the best chance to save the one planet we have.” If Obama is right, we should be worried. “What they have done in terms of (Saturday’s) agreement is really signed what we are calling a death warrant for the planet,” Cindy Weisner, national coordinator for Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, told teleSUR English. “I think for people it's a slow death that they are prescribing.”

Related Article: Amazonian Tribespeople Participate in Paris Climate Talks To Try To Stop Big Oil From Destroying Their Ancestral Land (Beautiful Video)

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, a U.K.-based social justice organization, cast much of the blame on the U.S., EU, and other rich nations for passing such a toothless deal. “It’s outrageous that the deal that’s on the table is being spun as a success when it undermines the rights of the world’s most vulnerable communities and has almost nothing binding to ensure a safe and liveable climate for future generations,” said Dearden.

Related Article: Historic Climate Deal Reached at COP21, But Campaigners say the Work is Just Beginning

While many in the climate justice movement acknowledged that this year’s climate deal is an improvement from the past, the dire projections from the scientific community about our impending climate catastrophe suggests too little, too late, as climate scientists have made clear that failure to reduce warming to below 2 degrees Celsius would end human life as we know it on the planet.  While the agreement aspires to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it lacks concrete measures supposed to meet the proposed target –  and there is an absence of any mention about fossil versus renewable energies, thanks to a successful industry lobbying. Center for International Environmental Law President Carroll Muffett casts much of the blame on corporations’ stranglehold over governments and policy debates, especially with domineering countries such as the United States. “The fossil fuel industry's lingering chokehold over U.S. politics leaves the Paris Agreement a nearly empty vessel,” said Muffett.

He said the deal is “inadequate” and “inequitable.” “The Agreement's vision of a world ‘well below 2 degrees’ of warming moves the needle forward, but its weak commitment to ‘pursue efforts’ to limit warming to 1.5 degrees reflects a continued denial of fundamental climate realities,” added Muffett. “We're trying to shift the dialogue from regulating the poison that's killing our atmosphere to preventing the poison from being emitted in the first place.”

The Paris deal also failed to create an international court judging transnational crimes against environment – one of civil society's demands, also championed by Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. Furthermore, the “loss and damage” component, supposed to fund the most vulnerable countries that have little responsibility in climate change, fell far from the expectations. “The issue of loss and damage was a clear point of contention throughout the negotiations. Developing countries called for a deal which would offer support to people suffering the catastrophic consequences of rising sea levels and soaring temperatures,” said ActionAid Chief Executive Adriano Campolina.

“The U.S. and several other rich countries instead took the opportunity of the Paris talks to deny people this right putting them at their mercy for dealing with climate change impacts. Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica said that moving forward the strategy will be to challenge President Obama through a new campaign called “Keep it in the ground,” which calls for a moratorium on all new possible fuel leasing in the United States. “We're trying to shift the dialogue from regulating the poison that's killing our atmosphere to preventing the poison from being emitted in the first place,” said Pica.

Related Article: The TPP is the Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History – Chris Hedges

The group plans to question Obama's “hypocrisy,” signing the Paris deal on one hand, while on the other pushing for environmentally damaging trade deals such as the pushing for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which Exxon Mobil helped write the energy chapter for, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which allows corporations to challenge national and international laws in secret trade courts.


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