"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
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.
Global finance is only one facet of multiple crises facing human civilization - crises over food, water, climate, energy as well as the global economy urgently need to be addressed. So far, neoliberal responses of governments have been to tackle finance alone - by replacing a banker or by pumping money into the system. But it is the system itself - that is in crisis.
In this special edition of Globalizations, François Houtart outlines the interlinked but different elements of the multiple crises we face, and makes radical suggestions for moving beyond the current state of affairs - through addressing all together.
Sixty activists from the global South and Europe are currently touring Europe on their way to Copenhagen. Starting out at Seventh Sessions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December, the tour passes through Italy, Germany, France and Belgium before arriving in Copenhagen on 9 December.
De eerste uitvoerige toespraak komt van Susan George. Zij is vooral bekend geworden als medeoprichtster van Attac, de beweging voor eerlijker globalisering. Ook is zij fellow van het Amsterdamse Trans National Institute (TNI). Van oorsprong Amerikaanse is ze in Frankrijk al jaren bezig met het formuleren van economische kritiek en alternatieven. In haar Engelstalige toespraak van drie kwartier roert ze een aantal belangrijke thema's aan.
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