Climate change, the challenge to sustainable development

Climate change, the challenge to sustainable development

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By Oilwatch

Climate change is no longer an omen, an exaggeration or a threat. Climate change ceased to be a problem for scientists to pass entirely to the political and, of course, economic scene.

Climate change is no longer an omen, an exaggeration or a threat. Climate change ceased to be a problem for scientists to pass entirely to the political and, of course, economic scene.

Climate change behind an Oscar

Climate change is no longer an omen, an exaggeration or a threat. This is demonstrated by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or the melting of the poles.

There is all kinds of evidence about its consequences and the certainty that the actions to solve it cannot be postponed. Climate change ceased to be a problem for scientists to pass entirely to the political and, of course, economic scene.

Indeed, the main reason why it has now become a global issue is not the Oscar received by the former vice president of the United States, Al Gore, which can be understood as part of a media campaign to launch what is Background: the fictitious emissions market. For this new market, the central issue is not to avoid the impacts of climate change, let alone help the millions of people who are already suffering its consequences, but rather to achieve profits and thus increase even more the ecological debt that the North has. with the South of the world. It is a market that concentrates the wealth it will generate in a few hands, but that socializes the impacts of global warming with the poorest countries on the planet.

The Carbon market and environmental services

The Carbon market is nothing more than the purchase of Carbon absorption capacity and the consequent sale of CO2 emission rights. It is also known as the emissions market. This new and flourishing market is not a way to reduce the burning of fossil fuels - which are the main responsible for global warming - but, on the contrary, it will allow consumption to increase and at the same time reward those who do it the most, since they have more opportunities to enter a subsidized market due to climate change.

The emissions market is a way of transferring responsibilities and impacts to the South of the world, creating new threats to peoples, whose territories will be occupied by forest plantations to supposedly capture CO2, whose forests will be handed over to private companies to conserve (and sell ) the carbon stored there, their agricultural lands will be used for crops to produce biofuels, their lands will be mortgaged, they will suffer displacement and expropriation, the protected areas will be privatized. Northern countries and companies want to use and control forests, which are large carbon reservoirs, whose conservation involves avoiding carbon emissions, to offset their industrial emissions.

In many cases, supposedly "degraded" forests are replaced by monocultures of exotic trees - and in the near future possibly transgenic - to use these lands for the absorption of carbon of industrial origin. This is a mechanism created by companies solely for their own benefit to the detriment of the countries of the South.

The more polluting a company is, the greater the benefit it will obtain, since it occupies the emission quota of the country forced to make reductions. The company saves money by avoiding having to make expenses in technological changes in its place of origin and, in return, receives state subsidies, credits from the Multilateral Bank and direct profits with the projects that it implements in the countries of the South - forest plantations, biofuels, technology transfer-, in addition to the fiscal revenues for investing in supposedly "green" projects.

Total schizophrenia and absolute profit by financing billions of dollars for oil projects that produce global warming and, at the same time, as many in emission reduction projects to, deceptively, alleviate the effects of climate change. For emissions trading to be a good business, it requires the creation of a commodity under the figure of environmental services, which the countries of the North are inventing.

Environmental services are a new way of turning into merchandise what was not yet on the market: mainly air, water, maintenance of biodiversity, photosynthesis, the carbon cycle. They are proposals that appear to be good, since they would allow local populations to charge money for the maintenance of forests, river headwaters, hydrographic basins, etc., however, in practice, the rights of the peoples are alienated as they lose control over their lands and territories, in addition to deteriorating their resources, thus guaranteeing only the rights of the purchasers of the service.

The sale of environmental services is accompanied by a campaign to gain control of large areas, many of them protected and others strategic due to their climatic and biological functions.

The transnational conservation NGOs, partners in this negotiation, are acquiring the rights of administration, planning and research in these areas. In this way, they achieve two simultaneous objectives: on the one hand, local communities and States are deprived of land rights and, on the other, companies are allowed access to resources.

When the sale of the “environmental service” is not carried out in a protected area, then the communities will have to abandon their traditional practices of agricultural production and harvesting in areas where trees are conserved that fulfill functions that have been sold to third parties, passing to to be mere park rangers, when they, as small farmers, indigenous people or peasants who have the real capacity to conserve or rebuild ecosystems.

An unequal carbon market

The Carbon market is characterized by being colonial, unequal, unfair, monopolistic and promoting the theft of the resources of others.

It is colonial because it promotes a new process of colonization of foreign territories and spaces.

It is unequal because the South has resources and the North consumes and predates them.

It is unfair because social and environmental impacts are transferred to the South, while financial wealth and well-being are concentrated in the North.

It is monopolistic because it seeks to apply property laws, individual and corporate, over land, knowledge and biodiversity, for example through biotechnology.

Alternative energies

From the point of view of the industry, energy is part of a process subject to monopoly control, and dependent on the product cycle and, of course, on prices. From the point of view of the communities, qualifying an energy source as an alternative has to do with access, control, and the fact that it does not harm their ecosystems or those of others. In this framework, alternative energies are sovereign, ecological, fair and solidarity proposals.

They are sovereign because they must not compromise food sovereignty or the subsistence bases of the communities.

They are ecological because they are based on diversity, on concern for the environment, on the recognition of the problems of the future.

They are fair because they raise the issue of justice and diversity; Y,

They are supportive because they are not based on competitiveness.

Solutions to Climate Change

For several decades, energy has been at the heart of structural adjustment programs. A model has been consolidated in which energy is no longer a right, but is now a service and citizens are clients of companies, almost always private, that control the investments of the States, which they left with the sole role of guarantee business rights.

Climate change has renewed the debate on the issue of energy. An approach has been implemented that seeks to access at all costs all the gas and oil that remains and the lands that own them, thanks to agreements, free trade agreements, contracts, invasions, etc.

But the debate on the development of alternative energy sources has also resurfaced, as if the energy issue were just a technological problem, creating total ambiguity about those responsible for the global crisis.

At the planetary level, an energy matrix based on fossil fuels governs, but with the high costs of oil, enthusiasm for nuclear energy is renewed and biofuels are promoted with unusual interest, using not only the atmosphere, but also the southern lands , to supply a growing demand for energy.

Every year in the world so much energy is consumed that in fossil fuels it is equivalent to the use of four centuries of plants and animals; if it were supplied by crops to produce biofuels, it would take four times the surface of the entire Earth; if it were solar energy only to supply New York's energy demand, the entire Amazon basin would have to be filled with photovoltaic panels; if they were hydroelectric dams, for example, the entire territory of Costa Rica should be flooded to satisfy the annual energy voracity of the United States; or if it were nuclear, more uranium and other resources and more space for radioactive waste would be needed.

Leading the Way Facing Global Warming ...

* Understanding that the fossil fuel civilization is at an end, regardless of what corporate interests want,

* Resisting new fossil fuel extraction projects,

* Stopping projects that destroy our forests and other ecosystems, the only protections against global warming,

* Demanding the repair of ecosystems destroyed by a history of looting, unequal exchange and exploitation of resources; and the restitution of the full exercise of rights in sustainable societies,

* Opposing and denouncing projects for the sale of environmental services or emissions trading,

* Reflecting and sharing not only about the type of energy in our societies, but fundamentally the type of societies we want.

* Taking back control over our present and future

The OILWATCH network was born driven by the need to develop global strategies for communities affected by oil activities and to support their resistance processes in the fight against these activities. Among the functions of the organization are: the exchange of information on the operations of the oil companies in each affected country, on their operating practices, as well as on the different resistance movements and international campaigns against specific companies. OILWATCH strives to increase environmental awareness at a global level, exposing the impacts of oil activity on tropical ecosystems and their local populations, also establishing the relationships of this activity with the destruction of biodiversity, climate change and the violation of human rights with impunity. At present it has more than 100 organizations as members in countries of the South.

We are one of the voices of the South ... more than a voice, a cry!

* OILWATCH Statement for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 15) - April 30 to May 11, 2007, United Nations, New York

Video: Climate Change - We are the PROBLEM u0026 the SOLUTION Animated Infographic (June 2022).


  1. Daviot

    This variant does not come close to me. Who else can say what?

  2. Muran

    Sorry to interrupt you, but, in my opinion, there is another way to resolve the issue.

  3. Gracin

    I'm sure this doesn't suit me at all. Who else can suggest?

  4. Benon

    I am sure that is the error.

  5. Keme

    I can't take part in the discussion right now - there is no free time. But soon I will definitely write what I think.

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