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This Could Be the Moment World Governments Chart a Path Toward Tackling Climate Change

September 6, 2018 in Blogs

By Asad Rehman , Meena Raman, Tom Goldtooth, Nnimmo Bassey, Independent Media Institute

It could also be the moment that global leaders condemn millions more to losing their lives and livelihoods.

Killer floods and heat waves have made 2018 another record-setting year as the climate crisis intensifies. The UN climate negotiations in Bangkok (September 4-8), followed by the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco (September 12-14) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, (December) could make 2018 the year that world governments chart a path toward tackling climate change, enhanced ambition and implementation of the Paris Agreement. It could also be the time that global leaders fall dangerously short in reckoning with the climate crisis, condemning millions more to losing their lives and livelihoods.

Despite consensus that climate change is jeopardizing life on Earth, there is a massive chasm between the action needed and what the fossil fuel industry—with governments in the Global North in its pocket—is pushing. If polluting countries and corporations are successful, ineffectual interventions—like carbon markets and geo-engineering—become central to the global response to climate change. The result: soaring emissions, lives lost, hundreds of millions of people displaced and species extinction.

This is the path we are on. We are here because of decades of mass deception and political manipulation by big polluters that has allowed them to undermine international, national and subnational climate policy to guard their profits. This political interference is directly correlated with the emergence of carbon market schemes as a “solution” to today's crisis, despite their consistent failure.

Carbon pricing—putting a price on carbon and regulating it through markets including cap and trade and offsets (i.e., commodifying the air we breathe)—have been pushed by corporations and Global North countries as our fail-safe for the planet.

Carbon markets have not proven to be an effective way to reduce emissions. Instead of the Global North making emission reductions domestically, corporations located in the Global South can sell offset credits to corporations in the north to meet their emissions reduction limits. Human rights and environmental injustices are well-documented by communities who live near these so-called clean development projects in the Global …read more


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