Statement of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) on the COP26
Imperialism is digging a mass grave for the planet and most of humanity as it is poised for “business as usual” in the ongoing negotiations of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP26 in Glasgow.
This contradicts the recent report of the UNFCCC along with thousands of scientists that have shown that we are in a climate emergency. Simply put, the world is in a dangerous situation because of the unabated rise of carbon concentration in the atmosphere and runaway global climate temperature. Global warming is on the pathway of more than 2 degrees Celsius of temperature rise. If this situation will not be reversed in less than two decades, the world will face imminent devastation that can render a significant portion of the earth uninhabitable.
With this scenario, hundreds of millions of peoples’ lives and livelihood will be obliterated. We will see more nations and communities experience flooding and inundation; pandemic incidents will occur more frequently; and drought, heatwaves, and forest fires will be a normal occurrence in many parts of the world. Along with these, the obliteration of biodiversity or life, degradation of ecosystems, and depletion of natural resources. Displacement and migration of people will worsen.
Yet imperialist countries like the United States, China, Canada, Japan, UK and those in the European Union turn a blind eye on the urgency of the climate crisis we are experiencing. They are silent on their massive and disproportionate contributions to global carbon emissions, which include those from their fossil fuel-driven military industrial complexes and proxy wars. They refuse to undergo immediate and deep emissions cuts to protect humanity from imminent climate catastrophe.
They are turning away from their historical, moral, and just responsibility to provide reparations for loss and damages as well as unconditional financial and technological support for poorer countries that bear the brunt of their excess emissions. Worse, like before, they are using COP26 to craft novel neoliberal policies through misleading and phony climate solutions like Net Zero Emissions, carbon trades, and carbon sequestration to address climate change and global warming. It is business-as-usual to further profit from exploitation of nature and people.
We have seen this in the crafting and implementation of the 1996 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement whose primary objective is to reduce global carbon emission and slow the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Yet almost three decades have passed since the establishment of UNFCCC and these agreements but the reality shows otherwise. Record shows the imperialist countries and their monopoly corporations have doubled their carbon emissions.
Already, reports are coming in of massive lobbies and the commitment of trillions of dollars by the world’s top financial institutions for Net Zero emissions. They are excited at the prospect of expanding their portfolios – which have already earned up to $17 billion through financing trillions of dollars for fossil fuels since 2015 – through renewables and carbon offsets, without regard to how the rights, health, and livelihood of many peasant, indigenous and local communities are gravely impacted by projects like forest plantations, mega-hydroelectric dams, mining of rare earth minerals, and nuclear power. Governments are similarly excited at the prospect of climate financing for developing countries in the form of loans and official development assistance that will give them the power to dictate vital aspects of their economies in terms favorable to them.
Decades of climate negotiations with painstakingly slow and antipodal progress has shown us that the fate of the world lies not with the empty talk and rhetoric of world leaders and corporations, but with the collective and purposeful will of peoples who will not wait for catastrophe. Together, we should work towards ending this rotten, unequal, unjust, and oppressive system that is imperialism which is the root of the planet’s climate woes.
We applaud peoples movements, especially from the Global South and from most affected areas and peoples, who have braved enormous difficulties to fight for their place at the table in the climate negotiations. We support efforts to expose imperialism at its core and strengthen solidarity among peoples and movements most affected by the crises of overproduction, pandemic, and climate change. At the same time, we rejoice at liberation movements that fight the plunder of transnational corporations and their allies in government, weaken imperialism and hasten an end to the systemic cause of global climate disasters.
The worsening climate and economic crises that are both caused and exacerbated by imperialism’s unceasing thirst for profits is pointing out that the only way forward is a radical and drastic change in our economic and social systems. Comprehensive solutions to the climate crisis such as massive cuts in emissions, accelerated development of environmentally sustainable and appropriate technologies, the judicious utilization and care for natural resources, and a social system that will ensure protection from climate shocks and the equitable distribution of wealth for all will only happen under socialism.
Together, let us struggle against imperialism and defeat imperialist domination in every oppressed and exploited country to put in place a socially just, equitable, and environmentally sound system that puts people’s needs and the judicious use of resources at the heart of production.