Climate Justice

In the light of the current economic crisis, many developed countries are trying to get out of their prior, binding deals to reach upcoming emissions targets. Or, as Naomi Klein put it, “They want to start from zero.” Much to their dismay, Klein says, “The world does not have a restart button.” (I will have a short video from the event on here later)

Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine  spoke at the Climate Justice themed side event I attended this morning, along with environmental lawyer and Eco Equity Director Tom Athanasiou, and three other leaders of regional environmental rights organizations from India, the Phillipines, and Ethiopia. The  “polluter pays principal” is something Klein believes poorer nations should use, and have used, to collect damages from the richer countries whose emissions are many times higher than those of the lesser developed countries. 

Climate change is a type of class warfare, according to Klein, because the “actions of the wealthy disporoportionately affect the poor.”

“20 percent of people live in rich countries and produce 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Klein,. “While 75 percent of the effects of climate change affect (everyone else on Earth living in) poor countries.”

“Hurrican Katrina,” Klein says,”was a snapshot of climate aparteid.”

Klein, a Canadian, strongly criticised the Canadian government’s efforts to block a stronger Copenhagen resolution. Due to its exploitation of tar sands in Alberta, Canada’s CO2 emissions have risen 25.3 percent since 1990. 1990 is the benchline year set by the Kyoto Protocol that countries are supposed to strive to have their emissions below 1990 levels. She believes Canada’s actions are a far bigger environmental crime than the rising emissions of the United States because, unlike Canada, “the US at least didn’t sign it.”

 Klein also believes in the light of climate change, all of the once fractured “soft” rights movements of water, food, and environmentalism are now merging to form a much “harder” organization because climate change is the factor underpining everything.

– Adam Ellsworth

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2 Responses

  1. You guys are doing a wonderful job! Terrific, can’t say enough good things.
    I like the variety too. Am doing a story on your updated blogs.
    On a lighter note, what I saw here on TV on the conference – and this does indeed say it all – is the UFO that apparently someone took videos of. Dovetails a bit with your aliens.:):)
    Comment on that?

    Thanks,
    Linda

    How many are actually there?

  2. Hurricane Katrina was anything but climate aparteid. It is a perfect example of why the role of the federal government should be limited. It was a category 3 storm which hit in the perfect location to cause the most damage, especially in a city 8 feet below sea level with water on 3 sides. In fact, Katrina itself did little damage to the city, it was the resulting levy failures which resulted in the bulk of damage and death.

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