[Marxism] EU conference in Durban Framework: Informative Video Stream

ehrbar at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu ehrbar at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu
Sun May 12 12:46:24 MDT 2013


An important result of the 2011 Climate Change Conference
in Durban

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_Nations_Climate_Change_Conference

is the "Durban Platform for Enhanced Action."  This
framework for international climate negotiations eliminates
the distinction between Annex I and Non-Annex I countries.
Instead, its goal is to draft an international climate
agreement by the year 2015, to go into effect in 2020, which
ensures "the highest possible mitigation efforts by *all
parties*."

I always thought the Durban framework has two shortcomings:

(a) 2020 is too late.

(b) by ignoring the historical debt of the rich countries
it places too much burden on the poor countries.

But I'd like to start a discussion here whether activists
world wide, environmentalists, socialists, and
ecosocialists, should support the Durban framework anyway.

As part of its preparations for this climate agreement, the
European Union organized a so-called "stakeholder
conference" on April 17, 2013.  The Conference Web site

   http://ec.europa.eu/clima/events/0073/index_en.htm

has a link to the videos and slides of all talks.  The first
speaker is John Schellnhuber, giving an overview of the
latest science and a preview of what is going to come in the
5th Assessment Report of the IPCC which is due next year.


Climate deniers try to make a big deal from the empirical
fact that world-wide atmospheric mean temperatures have not
risen much since 1996.  This does not mean global warming
has stopped.  But right now all the excess heat goes into
the oceans.  Schellnhuber said that this pause in
atmospheric warming may last another decade.  Although the
heating of the oceans is dangerous itself, I have the
impression this gives us a little more time.

This is relevant for my objection (a) to the Durban process.
Perhaps it is not too late but has some chance of success.
I try to be realistic.  Being realistic not only means
seeing the dangers but also seeing the opportunities.

Regarding point (b), Schellnhuber says here, but in much
more detail in a teaching video

   http://www.wbgu.de/en/trafoseminar/1-interview/

that soon, the majority of the affluent people, whose
consumption of meat and cars wrecks the climate, will live
in the global South.  Therefore it is no longer going to be
OECD countries against poor countries, but affluent
consumers everywhere against poor people everywhere.  If
this is the real issue, then ignoring the historical debt of
the OECD countries does not do terminal harm to
international negotiations.

The second speaker, Connie Hedegaard, the EU Commissioner
for Climate Action, gives an overview of the political
issues.  Then there is a panel discussion and also audience
questions.

A young person in the audience asked whether the Durban
framework was going to represent the interests of the youth.
Schellnhuber answered that, in order to have their interests
heard, the youth has to organize.  Although the majority of
the youth affected by climate change are still in diapers or
are not yet born, those who are old enough should indeed
organize.


I think this video shows that there are people in
responsible positions who see the danger and are trying to
save the climate.  They need support from a world wide mass
movement.  Due to the internet, such a mass movement is
possible.

The elephant in the room which nobody really could talk
about was of course the US.  Criticizing the US would have
been counterproductive, because it would have given the US
an excuse not to cooperate.  Therefore the US was mentioned
very little.  If the younger Bush wrecked the UNFCCC
process, Obama may become known in history as the president
who wrecked the Durban process.  The pressure is on us,
citizens and activists in the United States, that this is
not going to happen.

This video stream is several hours long but very
informative, I can recommend it highly.

Hans G. Ehrbar




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