Traders failed in Copenhagen. The future lies in people’s hands

(Copenhagen, 19 December 2009) The climate talks this week in Copenhagen ended in failure. Governments of the world showed themselves incapable or unwilling to make the changes necessary to find a just solution to the current climate chaos. The talks have been driven by self interest and trade ‘solutions’ that have so far proven useless.
Josie Riffaud, one of the leaders of the farmers movement Via Campesina said: “Money and market solutions will not resolve the current crisis. We need a radical change in the way we produce and we consume and this is what was not discussed in Copenhagen”.

The governments of industrialized and industrializing countries showed themselves to be unwilling to tackle the model of development which has created and economic and environmental disaster.
They were incapable of considering real solutions and to see that carbon markets will not solve the climate crisis.
The drastic emissions cuts (included in a binding deal), reorientation of agro-export economies, agrarian reform and other measures which could really contribute to slowing the heating of the earth were not discussed or considered. Once again governments acting in individual self interest have failed to consider the real alternatives offered by International social movements, environmental groups, indigenous peoples and others in creating a more just and fair society.
Even though the “Copenhagen deal” doesn’t mention agriculture explicitly, it seemed during the two weeks of talks that the UNFCCC wanted to include soils in the carbon capture methods, and include agriculture in it’s technology transfer – opening up space for transnational companies to receive subsidies for introducing GMO seeds and industrial agricultural methods such as non-till agriculture. This is exactly the type of agricltural development that has led us to the current environmenent and social crisis in the countryside.
The real power in Copenhagen was expressed in the streets and in the halls of the Bella centre on the 16th of December, when activists, community groups, international and local social movements and NGOs from the North and South pushed to meet each other in a symbolic “3rd” space outside the Bella center.
The vicious repression of the police, including the preemptive arrest of many of the spokespeople of the movement “Climate Justice Action” further showed the desperation of governments to prevent the voices of real solutions being heard.
We cannot look to governments to provide a magical solution to the Climate Crisis. Under the guidance of transnational corporations, they only prepare a further round of capital speculation, this time using Carbon, the building blocks of life itself as their stocks and shares.
In view of the failure of the COP 15 – international social movements are more ready than ever to tackle the problems of the world and will mobilise for the next climate conference in Mexico due at the end of 2010 – their time has come and governments will have no choice but to listen.

Josie Riffaud: + 33556236509