12 December 2008
Members of Climate Justice Now! - a worldwide alliance of more than 160 organisations — have been in Poznan for the past two weeks closely following developments in the UN climate negotiations.
UNFCCC IN CRISIS
Governments and international institutions have to recognise that the Kyoto mechanisms have failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - common but differentiated responsibilities, inter-generational equity, and polluter pays — have been undermined in favour of market mechanisms. The three main pillars of the Kyoto agreement –the clean development mechanism, joint implementation and emissions trading schemes — have been completely ineffective in reducing emissions, yet they continue to be at the center of the negotiations.
Kyoto is based on carbon-trading mechanisms which allow Northern countries to continue business as usual by paying for “clean development” projects in developing and transition countries. This is a scheme designed deliberately to allow polluters to avoid reducing emissions domestically. Clean development mechanism projects, which are supposed to support “sustainable development”, include infrastructure projects such as big dams and coal-fired power plants, and monoculture tree plantations. Not only do these projects fail to reduce carbon emissions, they accelerate the privatisation and corporate take-over of the natural world, at the expense of local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
Proposals on the table in Poznan are heading in the same direction.
In the current negotiations, industrialised countries continue to act on the basis of self-interest, using all their negotiating tactics to avoid their obligations to reduce carbon emissions, to finance adaptation and mitigation and transfer technology to the South.
In their pursuit of growth at any cost, many Southern governments at the talks are trading away the rights of their peoples and resources. We remind them that a climate agreement is not a trade agreement.