No longer National Security: It is now Planetary Security

George Monbiot superbly sums up the talks, saying: “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.”

The Path From Paris

He writes that: “A maximum of 1.5C, now an aspirational and unlikely target, was eminently achievable when the first UN climate change conference took place in Berlin in 1995. Two decades of procrastination, caused by lobbying – overt, covert and often downright sinister – by the fossil fuel lobby, coupled with the reluctance of governments to explain to their electorates that short-term thinking has long-term costs, ensure that the window of opportunity is now three-quarters shut. The talks in Paris are the best there have ever been. And that is a terrible indictment.””

Here is 350’s Bill McKibben, following up on the Avaaz positive clarion call to arms with a powerful article in today’s Guardian titled ‘Climate deal: the pistol has fired, so why aren’t we running?’

“With the climate talks in Paris now over, the world has set itself a serious goal: limit temperature rise to 1.5C. Or failing that, 2C. Hitting those targets is absolutely necessary: even the one-degree rise that we’ve already seen is wreaking havoc on everything from ice caps to ocean chemistry. But meeting it won’t be easy, given that we’re currently on track for between 4C and 5C. Our only hope is to decisively pick up the pace . . . the only important question, is: how fast . . .

“You’ve got to stop fracking right away (in fact, that may be the greatest imperative of all, since methane gas does its climate damage so fast). You have to start installing solar panels and windmills at a breakneck pace – and all over the world. The huge subsidies doled out to fossil fuel have to end yesterday, and the huge subsidies to renewable energy had better begin tomorrow. You have to raise the price of carbon steeply and quickly, so everyone gets a clear signal to get off of it . . .

“The world’s fossil fuel companies still have five times the carbon we can burn and have any hope of meeting even the 2C target – and they’re still determined to burn it. The Koch Brothers will spend $900m on this year’s American elections. As we know from the ongoing Exxon scandal, there’s every reason to think that this industry will lie at every turn in an effort to hold on to their power –

What this boils down to is not an issue of National Security, but of Global Security, of Planetary Security. The huge subsidies doled out to fossil fuel companies must be clawed back and put towards the Clean Energy Agenda. This is particularly an issue given what we know from the ongoing Exxon scandal, there’s every reason to think that this industry will lie at every turn unless made to pay for their endangerment of humanity.

We have to raise the price of carbon steeply and quickly and use this income to mitigate and sequester carbon in the atmosphere.

Kevin Anderson concludes that we have to make: “Fundamental changes to the political and economic framing of contemporary society. This is a mitigation challenge far beyond anything discussed in Paris – yet without it our well-intended aspirations will all too soon wither and die on the vine. We owe our children, our planet and ourselves more than that. So let Paris be the catalyst for a new paradigm – one in which we deliver a sustainable, equitable and prosperous future for all.”

We must remember that the Montreal Treaty did work. Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations stated “Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol” Remember; “It always seems impossible until it's done” Nelson Mandela. More


LAC Negotiators Prepare for Paris

19 May 2015: Senior officials and negotiators from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries gathered for a meeting, titled ‘4th Meeting of Chief Climate Change Negotiators of Latin America and the Caribbean,’ to discuss the content of a climate change agreement, which is expected to be adopted during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015.

The meeting, which took place from 14-15 May 2015, in Santiago, Chile, brought together representatives from 20 countries in the region. It was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and promoted by the Governments of Chile and Brazil, with support from the EU and France. It aimed to deepen the understanding of priorities, national circumstances and differing positions of countries in the region regarding environmental issues. Participants also discussed, inter alia, regional priorities and needs regarding adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation, finance, national contributions and vulnerability.

During the opening session, Edgardo Riveros, Chilean Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said the region can make a contribution that reflects its capacities and priorities, while promoting the concept of climate justice, given that environmental degradation contributes to deepening inequalities. France’s Ambassador to Chile, Marc Giacomini, noted that France seeks to support a process for a “Climate Alliance” in order to reach an ambitious accord that is “forged collectively.” Alexandra Knapton, the EU’s representative in Chile, expressed hope that LAC countries will show leadership and present ambitious mitigation contributions.

Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary, emphasized the “asymmetries of climate change,” noting that while LAC produces 9% of global CO2 emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. She added that ECLAC has proposed that countries build a “countercyclical investment architecture with a portfolio of low-carbon projects,” noting that equality-centered development requires diversified production. ECLAC estimates that a temperature rise of 2.5°C could lead to a loss of about 3% of the region’s GDP by 2050.

Attending the meeting as President Pro Tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Ecuador noted its intention to promote opportunities for dialogue in advance of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Environment of CELAC to be held in October in Quito, Ecuador, in order to forge consensus on a CELAC regional position on climate change. [ECLAC Press Release] [Government of Chile Press Release] [Government of Ecuador Press Release]

read more: