Although a fund to deal with “damages and losses” has been created, no real commitment has been made by capitalist states to stop environmental degradation and the transition to renewable energy sources.
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African Newswire
Expectations were high for the United Nations Climate Conference held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
COP27 took place on the African continent after months of preparation by governments, non-governmental organizations and grassroots organizations in the region and beyond.
However, when the conference ended on November 20, no definitive deadline had been set for the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the adoption of plans to quickly switch to alternative forms of production. electricity, agricultural and industrial production. Underdeveloped countries and Western imperialist states have different and often conflicting priorities for economic development.
Repairs and rebuilding
Many states in the 55-member African Union (AU), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are demanding that governments in Western Europe and North America, which have acquired their wealth and political dominance through the exploitation of vast areas of the globe, should compensate their formerly enslaved, colonized and neo-colonized peoples. The ruling class in the US and other imperialist countries is unwilling to make any promises since the level of “loss and damage” is almost incalculable.
Other geopolitical regions in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Asia-Pacific take a similar position. In today’s global economic system characterized by the unequal distribution of wealth and military power, the United States, the European Union (EU) and the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are not not about to give up their status without a monumental struggle. This view of Western capitalist governments has been reflected in the arguments put forward at COP27 that attempt to obscure the central questions of responsibility and reparations for the current global environmental crisis.
It is indisputable that the main emitters of greenhouse gases are in the imperialist states. The main source of pollutants comes from the many Pentagon and NATO military bases that span several continents.
The most newsworthy report to emerge from the outcome document was the announcement of the establishment of a “loss and damage” fund to meet the demands of developing states. However, upon reading the actual statement relating to the “loss and damage” fund, more questions than answers come to the fore.
In a report on the COP27 conference published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) noted that:
“While the negotiated text recognized the need for financial support from various sources, no decision was made on who should contribute to the fund, where that money will come from and which countries will benefit from it. The issue has been one of the most contentious on the negotiating table. Adapting to the climate crisis — which could require everything from building seawalls to growing drought-resistant crops — could cost developing countries between $160 billion and $340 billion a year by 2030. That figure could reach $565 billion by 2050 if climate change accelerates, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report 2022 found. (https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/cop27-ends-announcement-historic-loss-and-damage-fund)
Beyond not making a clear statement about what is needed for developing states to improve weather conditions, agricultural sustainability, and end military occupations directly or indirectly by Pentagon and NATO forces, it there were no firm guidelines set forth to recognize past obligations to end production. methods and forms of international relations that harm the planet and its inhabitants.
Another major piece of news during the summit was the earth’s population reaching 8 billion people. Various geopolitical regions such as South Asia and AU Member States have stood out for their rapid population growth. As a result of these developments, Western imperialist states will eventually be forced to adapt to the realities of a world destined to escape their spheres of influence.
The UNEP report quoted above also states: “The final agreement mentions ‘the urgent need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions’ to limit global warming to 1.5°C above above pre-industrial levels, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. Yet there were fears that no real progress had been made in raising ambition or cutting fossil fuel emissions since COP26. It was considered bad news for a rapidly warming world. The 2022 Emissions Gap Report, released by UNEP just ahead of COP27, painted a bleak picture, concluding that without rapid societal transformation, there is no credible path to a 1.5°C future. . For every fraction of a degree that temperatures increase, storms, droughts and other extreme weather events become more severe.
Failure to act in a revolutionary way in the face of these predictions jeopardizes the future of the majority of the 8 billion people currently living in the world. Therefore, developing states with their majority working class, farmers and youth must take matters into their own hands to ensure that imperialism does not cause further damage to the planet.
Imperialism and the environmental crisis
Since the first US-led war against Iraq in 1991, the West Asian region and its environs have been mired in instability and societal disruption. Later in 2003, when a full occupation of Iraq by the Pentagon took place, millions of people were further displaced, creating the conditions for the eruption of other wars and the expansion of US-NATO troops .
The continued occupation of Palestine by the US-funded Israeli regime not only drains much-needed resources to feed, house and clothe billions of people around the world, but is the source of the forced exile of Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and Egyptians from their homeland. . Successive US administrations and their allies have provided tens of billions of dollars in direct aid and assistance to the Israeli regime while Palestinians and others in the region are subjected to institutional discrimination and colonial impunity from Tel Aviv.
A program of resource extraction, political interference and military occupation has perpetuated the underdevelopment of Africa and other geopolitical regions of the Global South since the end of World War II and the independence movements who have won liberation since the late 1940s. The link of economic and military hegemony exercised by the United States and NATO countries has reached its capacity to maintain conformity.
Yet the impact of climate change has become much greater on countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There is the increasing frequency of extreme weather events that cause damage to human lives and societal institutions.
An indication of the changing political landscape was the presence of Brazilian President-elect Lula da Silva. The former leader won a runoff in October against far-right incumbent President Joao Bolsonaro who had declared war on Brazil’s indigenous and African people during his tenure.
Lula arrived at COP 27 with great fanfare. People greeted him with the anticipation that environmental policy would change under his leadership in Brazil. Lula addressed the UN gathering in Sharm-el-Sheikh insisting on the need to engage in the major international issues of the time. He invited the United Nations Climate Conference to be held in the Amazon in Brazil in 2025.
Lula’s speech at COP27 expressed his mandate to the electorate to reverse the current disastrous course set by his predecessor:
“There is no climate security for the world without the protected Amazon. We will spare no effort to have zero deforestation and degradation of our biomes by 2030. The planet is alerting us every moment that we need each other to survive. However, we ignore these alerts. We spend trillions of dollars on wars that cause destruction and death, while 900 million people in the world have nothing to eat. (https://www.Reuters.com/business/cop/brazils-lula-put-climate-center-first-post-election-speech-abroad-2022-11-16/)
This is the feeling of the majority of people across the world today. However, to achieve this goal, it will be necessary to defeat the forces of imperialism and its surrogates so that the will of the people is realized.
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