Today, as Democracy Now! went to broadcast from the climate talks in Poland, a piece of inspirational news that built on the tails of positive news from the talks yesterday. Here’s the video, although the gist of what it covers is addressed in the following paragraphs:
“Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation and campaign group 350.org will all leave at 2pm local time.”
Amy Goodman wrote in a column for Truthdig that “this year’s meeting has a new feature: corporate sponsorship.”
She quotes Pescoe Sabido, a worker for the Corporate Europe Observatory, which published the pamphlet “The COP 19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying: Climate Crooks and the Polish Government’s Partners in Crime.”
“This is perhaps the most corporate climate talks we have ever experienced,” he told Goodman. Admittedly, there has been corporate influence in past years, according to Sabido, but “what’s different this time is the level of institutionalization, the degree to which the Polish government and the U.N., the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change], have welcomed this with open arms and have actively encouraged it.”
One particularly ironic result of the vast array of support the conference received from the oil lobby was the emblazoning of the LOTOS Group logo (the second-largest Polish petroleum corporation) on the 11,000 tote bags handed out there.
Yesterday, 133 developing nations with the support of China walked out of talks at the conference related specifically to “loss and damage” compensation from wealthier countries to poorer countries for climate change damage already incurred. The thinking goes that the wealthy countries who have primarily caused the climate crisis should be the ones to pay for the effects. The wealthy countries were attempting to push any discussion of loss and damage down the road until 2015.
While these successive walkouts have received little mainstream coverage (Hello, New York Times?) they have received more coverage than the talks did before the walkout, and really are the only logical way for these NGOs and developing countries to respond. Developed countries know their GDPs will suffer from legitimate climate change action, and are willing to march us further on down the path of self-destruction in order to preserve economic gain as a result.
As in all forms of social change, from the most micro-level, to this macro, intercontinental level, when the system is so rigged against you, you’ve got to band together in solidarity, and demand that your voice be heard.