UN COP21 Climate Conference in Paris: Privatization of UN’s environment agenda

Protest against Keystone Pipeline, Ottawa, September 26, 2011.

The United Nations’ Climate Conference will take place from November 30 to December 11 in the Parc des Expositions, Le Bourget, Paris, France. This is the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties, serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP).

With 196 parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties.

The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

In addition to COP21 and CMP11, the meetings of the parties will also include the 43rd session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA43), and the 43rd session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI43) from December 1 to 4.

Also meeting during the proceedings will be the 12th part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP2.12).

With this Climate Conference, a disturbing development is the privatization of the movement concerned with climate change which has now been extended to the United Nations. Climate Action and the UN Environment Programme have organized the annual Sustainable Innovation Forum to run concurrently with COP21 as an official event. All the public material surrounding the Forum appears as if it is an integral official part of COP21.

“The Forum will convene cross-sector participants from business, Government, finance, UN, NGO and civil society to create an unparalleled opportunity to bolster business innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy,” the Forum website writes of itself.

Climate Action adds, “For our clients we help generate profitable business opportunities and partnerships, provide top-level access to emerging markets and reinforce their commitment to, and their position as leaders within, the global sustainability industry.”

Participants in the Forum must be senior executives in large corporations, vetted by the organizers and pay a $1,000 registration fee. The corporate sponsors and speakers are from well-known global monopolies such as BMW, Coca Cola, Moody’s Investors Service, Banco Santander (the largest bank in the Euro zone), BNP Paribas etc., and lesser known corporations involved in what they call the green economy such as Carbon Wealth, Climate Resources Exchange (CRX), which owns and operates the CRX CarbonBank®, Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX) and others.

Scheduled speakers at the Forum from the public sector are leaders from the U.S.-led imperialist system of states. Amongst others, two are highlighted along with their neo-liberal credentials, which include privatization of public assets and enterprise, austerity for the people, suppression of rights, and continuous predatory and inter-imperialist wars and war preparations:

“Dr Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy — As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr Ernest Moniz is tasked with implementing critical Department of Energy missions in support of President Obama’s goals of growing the economy, enhancing security and protecting the environment. This encompasses advancing the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing the nuclear danger, promoting American leadership in science and clean energy technology innovation, cleaning up the legacy of the cold war, and strengthening management and performance.”

Protests at the 2010 conference on climage change in Cancun, Mexico. Sign reads: “The carbon market is a fraud.”

“President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate; Former President of Mexico. Felipe Calderón was President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012. During his presidency he prioritised the rule of law and public security, a competitive and job-creating economy, equal opportunities, sustainable development, effective democracy, and a responsible foreign policy. Among other achievement[s] his government pushed through structural reforms to modernise the Mexican economy in key areas, such as public pensions, tax, the energy sector and universal healthcare.”

Protests at the 2010 conference on climage change in Cancun, Mexico. Sign reads: “Respect the rights of Mother Earth.”

The working class movement rejects with utter contempt the neo-liberal agenda presented and practiced by Moniz and Calderón. This agenda has brought the world to the precipice of a disastrous world war and destruction of the planet. The working class presents a new vision for a direction that humanizes the social and natural environment and rejects war and the use of force to settle international disputes.

The working class notes the privatization of the United Nations and the agenda concerning climate change. This comes as no surprise during this period of retreat of revolution. The working class movement for emancipation and empowerment and to humanize the social and natural environment must fight to have its voice heard within the available space. The imperialists are constantly limiting this space through privatization of public forums and fascist suppression of rights in the name of security, which is occurring in Paris with the banning of all public demonstrations. The working class cannot and will not accept the imperialist denial of its rights and the necessity for a new direction.

The human-centred view of the working class challenges the capital-centred view of the Sustainable Innovation Forum and its privatization of the public space. The capital-centred view is the ideological underpinning of monopoly capitalism, which has put the world into the climate and war danger it now confronts. How can the same viewpoint causing the problems and its violent imposition of monopoly right worldwide be considered a solution?

To humanize the social and natural environment requires the public right to bring in a new direction under a modern aim to serve the people. Public right and the general interest of society demand a new modern aim for production not the old aim of monopoly capitalism that has put the world in such trouble. Public right demands the use of the social and natural sciences to modernize the relations of production and to guide the forces of production to put additional value into production in an all-sided way with concern for the consequences. This makes production more valuable but lowers the rate of profit. The capital-centred aim to maximize profit cannot be harmonized with the goal of humanizing the social and natural environment.

To bring its new aim to the economy to serve the people and humanize the social and natural environment, the working class needs political and economic empowerment. The working class needs to control what is produced, how it is produced and for what reason, purpose, motive and aim.

Human participation in production brings changes to the natural world, including pollution and other issues and consequences that are undesirable. The issue of how to humanize that change and bring it under control to reduce and eliminate harmful effects on both the social and natural environment requires a new aim and the activation of the human factor/social consciousness. It cannot be done with the capital-centred viewpoint and aim, and by suppressing the rights of the working class and depriving it of empowerment.

The working class needs to organize itself to come to economic and political power. It needs this power to deprive the ruling imperialist elite of the power to deprive the working class of its rights, empowerment and pro-social agenda for a new aim and direction for the economy.

People’s Climate March, Vancouver, September 21, 2014.

Source: TML Weekly Information Project, November 28, 2015 – No. 37

(With files from http://www.cop21paris.org)



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