After last week’s round of climate negotiations in Bonn, it is clear that the world powers are pushing for a climate treaty that will be much more successful in reinforcing the neo-liberal agenda than mitigating global warming. While climate jargon-fuelled meetings like this one happen at the global level, examples of local resistance can remind us what dealing with climate change is really about.
With a new President in the White House there’s a fresh approach to climate change and energy policy in the US. But the Energy bill currently going through Congress is based on the widely-criticised “Cap & Trade” system and has been weakened further by a massive corporate lobbying campaign. How does this feed into the UN talks in Bonn in June which prepare the way for the critical meeting in Copenhagen in December?
Unless we tackle issues of equity, public accountability and corporate control, it remains difficult to see how even a green new deal, however worthy the intention, will not end up throwing good money after bad
The oil, gas and coal industry lobbyists who have spent almost $45 million on President Obama´s clean energy plan in recent months need not worry: it is so full of holes that US industry could avoid making any reductions at home until at least 2026, rendering talk of a 17 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 largely meaningless.
The UK government has set the world´s first carbon budget, but it contains so many offset loopholes that most emission reduction commitments could be met without any action to clean up power generation and industry in the UK.