Paris climate summit, Jeremy Corbyn and Naomi Klein

This video from France says about itself:

COP21: A Greenpeace demo at the Arc de Triomphe

11 December 2015

Greenpeace activists leave yellow paint on the road by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and one man hangs from the famous French landmark with a banner saying “Mr Hollande, renew energy”.

This video says about itself:

Historic Paris climate change agreement adopted at COP21

12 December 2015

The historic Paris agreement on climate change is finally adopted with no objection on Saturday by the 196 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) hosted by France.

THE climate deal knocked together in Paris this weekend is progress of an incredibly limited sort. We must keep our heads firmly screwed on: here.

Paris agreement papers over failure to act on climate change: here.

5 Ways the COP21 Deal Dooms the Planet to Climate Change Chaos: here.

By Alan Simpson:

Corbyn speaks truth to the climate cabal

Saturday 12th December 2015

Labour’s leader is one of few realists in the room at the Paris talks filled with polluters and their lobbyists, writes ALAN SIMPSON

JEREMY CORBYN’s Paris meeting with author and activist Naomi Klein is the closest the climate summit came to the storming of the Bastille.

Paris is a city under siege. Everyone and their dog is there, with ideas about how much (or how little) we should do to secure human existence on this planet.

A billionaires’ club has turned up with a business bailout plan. Nuclear lobbyists fill the corridors with bankrolled delusions of how only a nuclear renaissance can save us all. And global leaders haggle over every small departure from “business as usual.”

The Saudis want the afterlife to be based on oil. India and Poland want it full of coal. Aviation and shipping want to pretend their carbon footprints don’t exist. And poorer nations just ask where adaptation and mitigation funding will come from.

In their hearts, neocons believe that salvation can only be found in a free trade agreement, so prefer a distracting debate on distinctions between “the poor” and “the vulnerable.” Britain doesn’t particularly care about the outcome, just as long as speculators in the City don’t get asked to pick up the bill.

If the world could be saved by dots, commas and conditional clauses, the Paris summit would do it. But it can’t. At best, Paris will leave the planet with a 1°C overshoot into climate chaos and a figleaf promise to come back and try to do better.

In contrast, both Corbyn and Klein bring a more urgent message: it is that the game of global governance itself has to change. And this is what global leaders find so hard to face.

Across the planet, millions of people are looking for a bigger plan. They represent the antidote to a summit which again (sadly) demonstrates the inability of the rich to abandon its addictions to oil and exploitation. But this a movement that also needs both clarity and leadership.

Blame and recrimination will not fill this space. It requires vision and courage.

Post-1945, global institutions were reconfigured to deliver stability, reconstruction and the avoidance of war.

Today, a new institutional framework is needed to bring an end to the war we are waging on ourselves. This is far more than a dot and comma exercise.

Corbyn took his own shopping list of ideas for this to Paris. Its presumptions are straightforward.

The world has to tax “bads” far more than taxing “goods.”

It needs markets where non-consumption takes priority over more consumption.

Global institutions must be freed from narrow national constraints, taxing monies that move internationally as funding streams to deliver climate stability and repair.

It needs taxing of carbon (and double-taxing those who subsidise non-renewable energy sources) and the refounding the World Trade Organisation within a remit that unambiguously puts “world” before “trade.”

This is the space that cries out for a modern French revolution. Amusingly, it is the one space in which the rich, as well as the poor, will find “security.”

Far beyond the preoccupations of his Parliamentary Labour Party, Corbyn knows that this is what today’s real politics is all about. The generations that follow won’t give a toss how he ties his tie, what he sings in the bath or whether he kneels before the Queen.

They will bother about whether they have air fit to breathe, storms they can survive, energy they can replenish and ecosystems they live in harmony with.

Sadly this will not be the coverage given to Corbyn’s speech. Britain’s parliamentary press corps is now little better than a festering of gossip columnists. Obsessed with trivia, it hunkers down with MPs who, in all honesty, have little to bring to big picture politics. Commentary struggles to get beyond the playground politics of personal ambition and bile.

For the third time in a decade, great swathes of northern England (and Scotland) are submerged in “once-in-a-century” floods. But Britain’s “upstream” flood defence/avoidance budgets have been consistently cut. It has no climate resilience plan. And its Chancellor is more obsessed with selling off the Green Investment Bank than using it as the bedrock of a different economics.

At £3 million a throw, he will send an unlimited number of planes to bomb Syria. But no such unlimited pot will be found to rescue and rebuild the lives of citizens in Carlisle. The climate politics that should be the centrepiece of strategy never gets beyond the level of special pleading.

Internationally you can say the same about political responses to drought in California, Ethiopia or in Kenya. It applies equally to crop failures and climate turbulence almost anywhere. Wherever you look, the planet comes last.

Like it or not, the world must enter the age of reparation: an epoch in which survival itself will depend on our ability to put back far more than we have presumed to take out.

Corbyn knows this. And in quiet, non-abusive terms, it is the message he brings to every meeting. When he warns that “human fortunes will evaporate like water under a relentless sun if climate change is not checked soon,” he knows that a queue of “colleagues” will instantly denounce him as the would-be destroyer of markets. Few will bother to check that it was the International Monetary Fund saying this, not Marx, Lenin or Mao.

Across the country, tens of thousands of people voted for Corbyn because he stands for something better. When I look at my children, I hope we have the sense to do as he asks: to think — boldly, radically — for ourselves. When I look at the state of Parliament, I’m not sure we do.

Alan Simpson was Labour MP for Nottingham South from 1992 to 2010.

This video says about itself:

France: Climate change deal not enough, says Greenpeace’s Naidoo

12 December 2015

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo shared his thoughts on the Final Draft of the Paris Agreement as part of the Climate Change Conference (COP21) at a press conference in Paris, Saturday.

Legendary Climate Scientist Is Not Impressed With The Paris Talks. “There is no action, just promises,” says James Hansen: here.

The announcement earlier this month that the federally-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) plans to sack up to 350 climate scientists has been condemned by scientists in Australia and internationally. The decision is a major blow to scientific research into ocean temperatures, greenhouse gas levels and other indices that provide a deeper understanding of climate change: here.

80 thoughts on “Paris climate summit, Jeremy Corbyn and Naomi Klein

  1. Dear amazing Avaaz community,

    World leaders at the UN climate talks have just set a landmark goal that can save everything we love! This is what we marched for, what we signed, called, donated, messaged, and hoped for: a brilliant and massive turning point in human history.

    Climate March
    It’s called net-zero human emissions — a balancing of what we release into the air and what is taken out — and when the dust settles and the Paris Agreement is in the hands of lawmakers, clean energy will be the best, cheapest, and most effective way to keep their promise. This gives us the platform we need to realize the dream of a safe future for generations!

    Out of great crises, humanity has borne beautiful visions. World War II gave rise to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an enduring standard for our spirit and capacity as one people. The fall of Apartheid led South Africa to the single most bold and progressive constitution in the world.

    Ambitious visions like these rely on movements to carry them into the mainstream, and on movements to make them reality in our everyday lives. Today is no exception:

    Click to read the story of our climate journey and join the celebration.

    In the last weeks, our community has played an extraordinary role to help push through this historic deal. After we smashed global records, marching in the hundreds of thousands all over the globe, we brought our voices into the summit — literally — with a chorus of members’ personal messages as delegates entered, Avaaz staff then delivered our petition directly to the UN Secretary-General, kicking off an incredible string of campaigns.

    “When in 2014 the UN Secretary General convened his UN Climate Change Summit and hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of New York, it was then that we knew that we had the power of the people on our side.”
    – Christiana Figueres, head of UN climate talks, speaks to the power of our marches in her closing speech to the summit today.

    From the starting gun to the finishing line of these talks, every time a government blocked progress, we responded, and when they led the way, we heralded them. Our community has called our leaders to go further in 45 different actions in just 14 days. And we had incredible impact:

    Climate March
    After the Indian Finance Minister came out against 100% clean energy, Avaazers filmed Chennai under water and it was projected with messages from across India on a screen inside the talks. A day later the media announced Modi had changed course and said, “So what has brought about this U-turn?… A video with interviews of Chennai flood survivors was played out on giant projector screens inside the venue of climate change talks.”

    And that was just the beginning — our marches, messages, and video appeals were played on loop outside of the main negotiation room. Heads of state, ministers, and all of their staff were reminded of us and our calls to action every day.

    Then, after we plastered Paris with posters of the faces of the worst fossil fuel lobbyists and climate deniers, calling on ministers to ignore them, the lobbyist for the world’s largest mining company withdrew from the talks altogether!

    When it became apparent Argentina and Saudi Arabia were major blockers, Avaaz members in both regions went into urgent action, and we were all over the media. In Argentina, the newly elected President, who had committed to renewable energy, was inundated with messages to send a delegation to Paris. And within days they came. The Saudi government was so worried by the public attention that a lawyer representing the Kingdom called our staff to say they would sue.

    And just a few hours ago, the German minister personally thanked Avaaz members for making her and her delegation feel consistently supported throughout the negotiations.

    But probably the single most effective thing our community did was raising hundreds of thousands to support a strong Marshall Islands presence at the talks. Their Minister has became one of the heroes of Paris — announcing a High Ambition Coalition that cut through the toxic North / South divide, and got 100 countries to work together.

    When they called for others to join them, Avaazers launched campaigns and started texting the delegates of big emerging economies — within hours Brazil responded to Avaaz staff, and 48 hours later they joined the High Ambition Coalition, too.

    And that’s just a few of the amazing campaigns we rallied around in this short time!

    Everyone expected failure from the climate conference process. Leaders told Avaaz staff over and over again, “people don’t care about climate change”. But we knew better. We knew this community of millions consistently chose saving our planet as a key priority for our work together, year after year.

    Since 2007 — in Bali, Copenhagen, at G7 summits, in key capitals, and now in Paris — this is how we helped show leaders how wrong they were:

    Winning the path in Bali (2007): Our movement’s journey on climate began in Bali eight years ago, when Avaazers sent thousands of messages to blocker countries and funded a newspaper ad that Japan’s largest newspaper credited with changing the government’s position. Together, we helped push leaders to agree to a roadmap that paved the way for Copenhagen’s big climate talks and the eventual deal in Paris.

    “The elephant is moving” (2008-09): For a whole year, our community put everything on hold to focus on the Copenhagen Summit — spearheading hundreds of vigils and rallies around the world, making hundreds of thousands of calls to decision-makers, delivering millions of petition signatures, and leading a Global Wake-Up Call to presidents and prime ministers. Leaders failed to make history, but as one Avaaz member put it: “the elephant began to move, and when an elephant starts moving, it’s hard to stop…”

    “You have driven forward the idealism of the world… do not underestimate the impact on the leaders here.”
    – Gordon Brown, Prime Minister, UK, 2009

    Refusing to lose hope (2010-13): While the result of Copenhagen was disappointing, our movement never gave up hope. Instead, in every country, at every opportunity, Avaaz members kept fighting tooth and nail for the policies we needed on climate. We staged a protest at the Durban Summit in solidarity with developing nations, held candlelight vigils in the wake of the Japan nuclear disaster, and created a global petition of 1.5 million to save the precious Amazon.

    Building our movement (2010-13): Copenhagen taught us we needed to be much bigger if we were going to defeat the fossil fuel lobby and move our leaders to action. And that’s what we did: growing from 3 million to over 30 million members!

    The biggest climate march ever (2014): Working with many partner organisations and after months of preparation, we staged the biggest climate march ever on the eve of a critical UN Climate Summit — 400,000 people in NYC and another 300,000 across the globe — all with one powerful message: the world wants 100% clean energy. Weeks later, the US and China signed a landmark agreement to reduce emissions. The political momentum on climate had changed.

    “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call.”
    – Barack Obama, addressing the UN, 2014

    A time for climate heroes (2015): Using the momentum from the marches, we focused our attention on the richest economies and pulled out all the stops to support Germany’s leadership of the powerful G7. Thousands of us funded opinion polls and hard-hitting ads calling out key countries blocking climate progress, we delivered our 2.7 million-strong petition in person to all key German and French ministers — meeting in person with French President Hollande. Hundreds of Avaazers followed Germany’s Chancellor Merkel at nearly every public event she attended, urging her to be a climate hero. The result? G7 leaders said goodbye to fossil fuels by committing to phase out carbon pollution over the course of this century! The tide was turning.

    For Paris and everything we love (2015): With the final countdown to Paris set, hundreds of thousands registered to march just before the crucial summit. Events and rallies were pulled together by Avaazers everywhere. But the tragic attacks shocked us all, making the planned mega-march in Paris and others across France impossible…

    Avaazers then answered with hope and creativity, and in just a few days we collected and displayed in Central Paris an incredible installation of over 22,000 shoes symbolising all the protesters who couldn’t march — the Pope and the UN Secretary-General added their shoes, too!

    And as world leaders arrived in Paris, we broke our own record! From São Paulo, to Sana’a, to Sydney, over 785,000 people marched at 2,300 events in 175 countries united in one voice calling for a 100% clean energy future to save everything we love. Imagine if the hundreds of thousands expected had marched in Paris and across France, too!

    Messages and footage from the global marches spread like fire, on the front page of dozens of major newspapers, covered by hundreds of global and national news outlets, and beamed on a big screen at the heart of the conference centre. The tone was set.

    We have decades of work ahead of us to live up to the promise of this moment. We need more ambition to meet our 100% clean energy by 2050 target, improving on the benchmark of “the second half of the century” now in the agreement. We need rich countries to give more money to developing countries so they can skip coal altogether and lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. We need to push governments everywhere to keep the planet’s warming under 1.5 degrees so that island nations can survive. And most importantly, we need to make sure all our governments keep the promises they made here in Paris.

    But we won a lot too —

    At least $100 billion in finance after 2020 to keep the money for poor countries flowing for decades;
    A promise to meet every five years to increase ambition and move us closer and closer to the day the net-zero world becomes reality; and
    A global agreement that climate change is a world problem, requiring cooperation from Saudi Arabia to Spain to Senegal to deliver a future for this human family.

    Most importantly, tonight sends a clear message to investors everywhere: sinking money into fossil fuels is a dead bet. Renewables are the profit centre. Technology to bring us to 100% clean energy is the money-maker of the future.

    History delivers moments when the wind shifts, you can smell it in the air. The best of us harness that power, using it to fuel the new path. Like our brothers and sisters in South Africa who won legal equality, LGBTQ members in the United States who won the right to marry the people they love, Gandhi’s non-violent movement that gave birth to a new hope for India, we are on the brink of that new, sweet wind.

    Let’s harness it together, let’s fly together under the sail of a common humanity, across the oceans, rivers and lakes that divide us. Let’s take the promise of right now and deliver our children a beautiful, safe, and clean future.

    With excitement for all we will do together in the years to come,

    Emma, Iain, Alice, Ricken, Oscar, Marie, Ben, Mojgone, Alex, Melanie, Luis, Sam, Nic, Rich, Fatima, Mia, Oli, Pascal, Risalat, Christoph, Stephen, Nataliya, Andrea, Sobaika, Heather and the whole Avaaz team


  2. Monday 14th December 2015

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    Fine words not enough, warn campaigners

    WORLD leaders have vowed to cut carbon emissions in an “historic” deal to curb global warming — but campaigners warned yesterday that fine words will not be enough to address the problem.

    The 195 heads of state gathered at the United Nations summit in Paris cheered on Saturday after agreeing to the first pact of its kind following two weeks of negotiations.

    Prime Minister David Cameron heralded “a moment to remember and a huge step forward in helping to secure the future of our planet.”

    But activists said leaders need to prove by their actions that they are serious about preventing small islands from being submerged and lowland countries being flooded by rising sea levels.

    The Paris negotiators “are caught up in a frenzy of self-congratulation” over their agreement when we are “still locked into three degrees of global warming,” said Global Justice Now director Nick Dearden.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Cameron of failing to show strong leadership in the negotiations and urged him to reverse government cuts to clean renewable energy and to invest in “green jobs of the future.”

    He said: “The challenge now is to turn the Paris agreement’s fine words into the strong action the planet and its people need.

    “The Labour Party will do everything we can to ensure Britain takes a leading role in making these aspirations a reality.”

    In the French capital, Green MP Caroline Lucas said that a clear plan for 100 per cent of energy to become renewable was needed by 2050 to “deliver climate justice for all.”

    The richer of the countries at the UN summit also pledged funds to poorer ones to pay for renewable energy systems.

    However, the deal “seems to be shifting more responsibility on [poorer] countries who are least responsible for the problem,” said Mr Dearden.

    The funds to be allocated by “bullying and arm-twisting” rich countries are “just a fraction of what is broadly agreed is necessary for them to cope with the impacts of climate catastrophe,” he added.


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