By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement follows the path of previous presidents who have undermined international climate agreements. We disagree with Trump but it is important to understand his actions in the context of the history of the United States regarding previous climate agreements. Once again, the political problems in the US are bigger than Trump. His action brings greater clarity to the inability of the US government to confront the climate crisis and clarifies the tasks of people seeking smart climate policy.
By John Zangas for DC Media Group. Dozens of speakers, including leaders of think tanks, former government officials, and representatives from environmental groups converged on the White House Thursday afternoon to criticize President Donald Trump for his decision to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump’s decision to rescind the US endorsement of the Accord was seen as a set back to collective efforts to curb climate change. The Paris Climate Accord was signed in December, 2015 by 195 countries, and was heralded as a first step towards reducing climate change inducing gases. The US now joins a short list of two countries that did not endorse the accord, namely Syria and Nicaragua. The accord provides for five year incremental reviews and adjustments to keep up with sciencetific developmets as more is learned from the evolving climate situation. It also provides a means of gradually weening civilization off carbon based fuels. One by one speakers railed against Trump’s decision, calling it a “head in the sand” and “climate change denier’s” response on behalf of fossil fuel industry interests.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Washington, DC - President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement today, June 1. This prompted a strong response from people across the United States and around the world. Trump's views on the climate crisis are in the minority. US News & World Report wrote that there is broad public support for the Paris Agreement – even among Trump voters. By more than 5 to 1, voters say the U.S. should participate in the Paris climate agreement. A nationally representative survey conducted last November after the election found that seven in 10 registered voters say the U.S. should participate in the Paris climate agreement. Only 13 percent say the U.S. should not. Trump is in a tiny minority and does not represent the people of the United States.
By Daniel Tanuro for Climate and Capitalism - Although the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) Agreement was described by negotiators and the media as ambitious and historic, the document is actually little more than a statement of intent that confirms the target set in Copenhagen in 2009: to keep the temperature rise this century to less than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. Under pressure from the most threatened countries, the Paris deal adds a hope to keep the increase under 1.5°C, a goal already envisaged in 2010, at the Cancun COP.
By Will Parrish for East Bay Express - Jerry Brown basked in adulation during his whirlwind trip to Paris, and the evening of December 8 figured to offer more of the same. Standing alongside governors of states and provinces from Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, California's governor planned to tout his state's leadership role on global climate policy. The event was one of 21 presentations that Brown delivered during a five-day swing through France during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21).
By James Jordan for LINKS - January 13, 2016 - Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal - It has been a month since the UN climate summit in Paris, aka COP 21. One might expect the kind of ebb and flow we often see in popular movements. Interest in climate issues, the cause of the day during the summit, might be expected to wane and move to the back burner of public discourse until such time as another development pushes it forward again. However, climate change is fundamentally different. It is going to get worse — we will be getting slapped in the face with this one for a long, long time, even under the best scenarios.
By Jeremy Brecher for Portside - In December of 2015 - the earth's hottest year since recordkeeping began -- 195 nations met in Paris to forge an agreement to combat global warming. The governments of the world acknowledged their individual and collective duty to protect the earth's climate -- and then willfully refused to perform that duty. What did they agree to, and how should the people they govern respond? The 195 nations meeting in Paris unanimously agreed to the goal of keeping global warming "well below 2 degrees Celsius" and to pursue efforts "to limit the increase in temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius." Despite that goal, the Paris agreement also permits the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming to continue rising.
By Cam Fenton for Waging Nonviolence - Throughout 2015, I had a hard time explaining my feeling about the Paris climate talks. Friends and allies would excitedly ask me if I was going and I’d force a smile and explain that no, I had been to enough United Nations climate meetings. The truth was that after more than five years of attending and watching U.N. climate talks, the whole thing had started to feel like the climate movement had gotten itself stuck in a time-warp and we were living the same two weeks over and over again every year.
By Brian Tokar for Popular Resistance. Clearly, it will require more than statements of ambitious climate goals to corral the overarching capitalist imperative to grow and expand, or even to rein in political pressures to keep diverting public funds to support fossil fuel corporations. This, of course, is where the worldwide climate movement comes in. My earlier discussion highlighted the potential convergence of “Blockadia” and “Alternatiba” that public actions in the lead-up to Paris were designed to symbolize. Opposition to new fossil fuel infrastructure has spread throughout the world in recent years, as have an impressive array of practical, grassroots alternatives to business as usual. The 350.org network and its global allies are now planning a worldwide mobilization against the fossil fuel industry for May of 2016. It will be preceded by countless local and regional rallies, marches, and direct actions, culminating in a unified focus on the world’s most destructive sites of fossil fuel extraction. Perhaps if enough people are in the streets to say no to continued fossil fuel dependence and yes to community-centered alternatives, grassroots pressure can succeed where diplomacy continues to fall short.
By ELeanor Goldfield of Act Out for Occupy.com. We're back in the swing of things just in time to send you off for 2015. After watching our Best of Paris coverage last week, get a little glimpse of what's to come for the global climate movement in 2016. Also, I promised a while back that we'd get back to the Chamber of Commerce, so let's dig through the history of this corporate low life scum. And finally, Agunda Okeyo talks art and activism from the global, black female perspective. But first, inspired by Paris, let us walk on silent ground. tags: spoken word, Occupy, Act Out, silent ground, climate talks, sacred ground, people power, UN climate talks, Paris climate summit, 350.org, Break Free 2016, fossil fuel divestment, ende galende, mass mobilization, civil disobedience, Chamber of Commerce, Lewis Powell, Powell Memo, Citizens United, money in politics, systemic corruption, Agunda Okeyo.
By Ducky Slowcode for Medium. The climate talks, as to be expected, were a total failure. Negotiations were held up in large part by the United States and Saudi Arabia, both of which have a vested interest in the continuation of our global addiction to fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia in particular has a history of working to water down or entirely dissolve global climate talks in an attempt to maintain its standing as one of the top oil-producing countries in the world. Likewise, the USA, whose military is the single largest emissions producer in the world and an intimidating global presence, and whose rich history of human rights violations would entirely derail this article were I to get into them, stood to lose a lot in the negotiations, and fought to remove human rights provisions from the finalized agreements. The finished product has the member nations agreeing to hold global temperature increase to “2°C…and efforts to limit…to 1.5°C”, but provides no measures for accountability to this figure. Rather, the agreement holds member nations to a “facilitative, non-intrusive, non-punitive” framework. This is not the climate policy we need from global “leaders”, but I can’t say I’m surprised.
By Staff of The Nuclear Resister - Four anti-nuclear activists defied the state of emergency ban on public protest in Paris on Wednesday, December 2, climbing up the steel cables beneath the modern Arche de la Defense to hang banners. French environmentalists joined German climbers from the action group Robin Wood in the ascent as the COP 21 climate talks were underway. They first deployed small banners reading “Don’t Nuke the Climate – Stop EPR” (referring to the latest French reactor design). Police were quickly on the scene, including 20 from a specially equipped mountain brigade in town for the event.