UN COP21 Climate Conference in Paris: Trudeau government rides climate change road to riches

Climate_up_for_auction

While in Paris during the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change, Prime Minister Trudeau joined with multi-billionaire Bill Gates and the war presidents François Hollande of France and Barack Obama of the U.S. to launch “Mission Innovation” and its private sector partner the “Breakthrough Energy Coalition.”[1] The initiative is not a movie spinoff but rather a public-private partnership (P3) for privileged private interests to become even richer using public funds in the booming climate change sector.

The global partnership involves 20 countries within the U.S.-led imperialist system of states and their most powerful monopolies. Mission Innovation will double the amount of public funds currently being channelled into the coffers of private monopolies, as Al Gore wannabes scramble for ways to become climate change billionaires.

On his website, Trudeau says the government fully supports handing public funds over to private interests under the guise of combating climate change. The website suggests public funds channelled through P3s can deliver real benefits for the private sector economy during this period of austerity for the people. An indication of the funds that will likely be put at the disposal of such schemes is the Trudeau Liberals’ election promise to create a $2-billion “Low Carbon Economy Trust” that will provide funding to projects that “materially reduce carbon emissions” under a new pan-Canadian climate-change plan the government is co-ordinating with the provinces and territories.

Under Mission Innovation, the Canadian public treasury will give an additional $100 million each year to private companies ostensibly to develop alternate energy sources. The government will hand over a further $200 million annually to the private monopolies in the natural resource sector “to support innovation and the use of clean technologies.”

By joining the Mission Innovation coalition of the willing rich, the Trudeau government demonstrates its commitment to building stronger P3 climate action global partnerships so that monopolies within Fortress North America can prosper, and those in control of them along with their owners can expand their private fortunes and strengthen their class privilege.

Trudeau writes, “Canada is proud to be a partner in this ambitious global initiative. By working together, we will deliver real benefits for our environment while also strengthening our economy…. Mission Innovation will tap into the vast economic opportunities of our environment….”

Besides the U.S., France and Canada, Mission Innovation includes amongst others, such notable fighters against climate change as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Norway and South Korea. Mission Innovation declares itself to be “focused on increasing private sector investment with the help of a group of investors from countries that are prepared to contribute unprecedented levels of capital and drive clean innovation from the laboratory to the market place.”

Trudeau speaks on riding the climate change road to riches

While attending the COP21 Conference on Climate Change in a militarized Paris, Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of his government’s policy objectives for the coming period and how he will take a different approach from his predecessor.

Unlike Harper, Trudeau accepts the thesis that climate change is real. In doing so, he seeks “the right thing to do, for our environment and our economy.” Part of “the right thing” will include carbon pricing, cap-and-trade, carbon taxes and paying the rich.

In helping “the developing world tackle the challenges of climate change,” Trudeau says, if those countries are to develop, they need our help in providing them with “access to clean energy technologies.” This need for energy technologies creates what he calls an unprecedented opportunity for North American monopolies to find new markets. Those monopolies will be assisted through P3s and other public subsidies to develop and exploit those markets.

The new and growing marketplace for clean energy technologies led Trudeau to speak with zeal about overcoming the economic difficulties of today by expanding into new sectors in which North America’s monopolies can prosper and grow. Public funds channelled through P3s and other ways can help those monopolies “drive clean innovation from the laboratory to the market place,” he reiterated.

“We view climate change not just as a challenge but as an historic opportunity. An opportunity to build a sustainable economy, based on clean technology, on green infrastructure, and on green jobs. We will not sacrifice growth; we will create growth,” he said.

The climate change road to riches presents an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen North America’s most powerful energy monopolies, of which many have substantial private holdings in Canada.

Trudeau reemphasized his government’s commitment to P3s and the Mission Innovation initiative to give public funds to the energy monopolies and others “to develop technologies to reduce emissions.”

“We will participate in collaborative initiatives, such as Mission Innovation and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and we will seek out opportunities to work bilaterally or multilaterally, beginning with our North American partners. We believe climate finance is critical,” Trudeau said.

“We are going to need the efforts of those countries that are now in a position to help others reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. [This] requires a prominent role for the private sector and multilateral institutions to mobilize finance. Those who can act, must,” he said.

The Workers’ Opposition rejects with utter contempt the capital-centred road to climate change riches. The social class in control of the monopolies and the imperialist system of states, its backward anti-social outlook and thirst for private riches and class privilege are responsible for the climate change problem and the present scourge of predatory wars, economic crises, austerity and attacks on rights. The monopolies and their political representatives cannot be part of the solution to any problem in the present. The working class movement must deprive them of their power to deprive the people of their right to solve problems and build the new. The resolution of the historical problems the era of monopoly capitalism has created requires a new pro-social direction under the control of the working class and its human-centred outlook.

Endnote

  1. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is made up of a global group of 28 private investors from 10 countries who will fund clean energy companies that emerge from the research programs of the various Mission Innovation countries.

Along with Gates, the group also includes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos; Virgin Group founder Richard Branson; Jack Ma, executive chairman of the Alibaba Group (a Chinese e-commerce powerhouse); Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman; and billionaire Tom Steyer, president of NextGen Climate and an “anti-oilsands activist” who is promoted as having spearheaded the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

(With files from PMO)

Source: TML Weekly Information ProjectDecember 5, 2015 – No. 38

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