To inspire us for action in 2016, TNI picked 12 significant victories of social movements in 2015 that show that, despite the immense challenges we face in a world of unprecedented concentration of corporate, financial and military power, people power works.
John Hilary, Diana Aguiar and Brid Brennan discuss how we need to move beyond reformist politics in a convergence of citizens, organised citizens, organisations social movements, trade unionists, peasants, women organisations, and indigenous peoples to reclaim sovereignty over the resources of the planet.
Climate change action demands moving to an energy system based on renewables and leaving fossil fuels in the ground. International investment agreements, and particularly ISDS, stand in the way of energy transition. They limit the ability of governments to set the terms of their energy policy, including the support of renewable energy. Investment agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will further empower corporations to challenge strong government action on climate change
I can only see progress—technological, political, social, moral, whatever—as a goal of human action and since progress has no will or direction of its own and depends entirely on what people do or don’t do, it’s neither contented or discontented about anything. As judges of the direction human affairs and the world are taking I am, and practically everyone I know is mightily discontented with the cumulative effects of changes brought about over the past several decades.
This public event will highlight the risks that provisions negotiated as part of trade agreements – such as ISDS – can pose for governments’ ability to regulate to protect the environment and act on climate change.
Although there is talk of peace, there are no safeguards for the activities of the social organisations that are working to defend social rights and to oppose an economic model that is deepening inequality and that violates fundamental rights.
The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause present in many trade treaties give investors far-reaching protection, curtailing governments’ ability to regulate for progressive agrarian and agricultural policies and reinforcing the notion of land as a commodity.