Following the expected failure of the Cop15 conference to produce any binding commitment to tackle climate change, it’s increasingly clear that we need global Systemic Change.
The question remains, what now for Climate Justice?
Like most of the reasonable people predicted the COP15 did not reach a progressive and legal binding agreement in Copenhagen. The promised “Hopenhagen” was not participative and not inclusive. It was not about finding solutions for a global crisis. It was a struggle between the rich and the poorer countries about economic development.
It is important to note, that the developing countries do no beg for help but demanded for reparations or like they put it “pay our climate debt“. In the end it s about the same thing – who is getting more money out of the summit. Compared to the vast amounts spend on bailing out banks to “solve” the financial crisis and the thousands of billion dollars spend every year especially by NATO countries on military expenses the offer to save the climate was a bad, a very bad joke.
The official summit kept on debating the “false solutions” like carbon trade or bio fuels instead of listening to the hundreds of thousands voices on the streets of Copenhagen and at the Klimaforum09. Voices which traveled often hundreds or thousands of kilometers, not rarely on their own expenses because they had something to say and live already the consequences of climate change. These voices addressed the real concerns of worlds citizens and proposed solutions based on their local experiences. There have been a Cuban delegation talking about their experiences with oil scarcity after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Grass roots organisations planting their own food in urban gardens in London. Agriculture has to be in the hands of small farmers in order to empower people and combat climate change – as well in Europe! They demanded to decentralise the energy system and bring the power back into the hands of communities. There are already initiatives to bring the power back into peoples hands. For example the German cooperative “Energie in Bürgerhand” (Energy in hands of citizens) tries to create a huge fund to buy shares of the Thüga in order to have a say in the boards of the company. The cooperative will invest in renewable energy and tries to influence the policy of the Thüga away from nuclear power and fossil energy. Already on their way to Copenhagen the caravan coming from Geneva was able to see the infrastructure in Freiburg where a syndicate buys houses to withdraw them from the market and have people living in their own houses. There are countless examples of alternatives but the politicians did not want to listen to the voices on the streets.
The Voices of this massive amount of people from every corner of the world were not just ignored by the elite gathering at the Bella Center. They first tried to keep critical voices out of the country by interrupting the Schengen Agreement and closing all borders. Then they excluded in the second week various critical NGO’s and hindered others to hand out information material inside the Bella Center. Demonstrations have been violently repressed on almost every single day of the summit. People have been pre-emptively arrested for no obvious reasons. Accommodation of activists has been raided on several occasions by the police [1,2].