home > climate > greenhouse > justice

Greenhouse Market Mania

The Way Forward: Climate Justice

The main challenge in The Hague is to stop the Kyoto Protocol from being further perverted by market-obsessed governments and corporate lobby groups. The political space that has been appropriated by this unholy alliance, for the deeply flawed 'market-based' mechanisms, needs to be reclaimed.

alling a halt to the market-mania that has colonised the UN climate talks is a prerequisite to moving towards effective and socially just solutions to the climate crisis. A first necessity is an acknowledgement by the North of its ecological debt to the South (80% of all CO2 emitted since 1850 has come from the North). [80] A fair solution also implies the full recognition of equity between and within nations, with equal rights to the atmosphere for all human beings. Highly developed models for an equitable path to reducing global CO2 emissions to sustainable levels exist, such as 'Contraction and Convergence', or 'Contraction, Convergence, Allocation and Trade' developed by the Global Commons Institute. [81] However, real equity cannot be achieved in any regime which opens-up the potential for the commercialisation of the atmosphere.

It must be said that most environmental NGOs have failed to challenge the steadily growing dominance of market-based mechanisms in the UN climate negotiations. A number of mainstream NGOs have even actively endorsed emissions trading and entered into partnerships with corporations including some of the biggest contributors to climate change. [82] These alliances have given corporate strategies undeserved legitimacy, and have provided momentum for the market-based climate regime. By justifying this model, they have made it even more difficult to promote real alternatives.

Any sustainable solution certainly implies an end to all new oil exploration and a just phase-out of existing exploitation projects. A smooth and fair transition will be required for all communities and workers currently dependent on unsustainable businesses. The burden must be overwhelmingly bared by the largest producers of greenhouse gases- the corporations themselves. Ecological taxes are an obvious part of the realignment of economic policies towards more social and ecological ends.

Real solutions imply a profound societal transformation- a sharp turn away from fossil fuel dependent economies. The addiction to ever-increasing energy consumption needs to be broken, as even renewable energy will have negative social and environmental impacts if current growth patterns are to be sustained.[83]

The burden is now on grassroots movements all over the world to increase pressure on governments to adopt real solutions to the climate crisis rather than caving-in to corporate 'greenwash'. It is clear that increased synergy between various grassroots movements and groups, for instance those campaigning on global trade and investment issues and those that work solely on climate change, is sorely needed. Such a convergence of knowledge and campaign experience could form the foundation of a new politic emphasising movement-building and participatory democracy as the means to achieve climate justice.

————————————— << Back  •  Top   •   Next >>-———————————

Paulus Potterstraat 20 1071 DA Amsterdam Netherlands tel/fax: +31-20-612-7023 e-mail: <ceo@xs4all.nl>