By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – Exiled Filipino Professor Jose Maria Sison is doubtful that the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will come out with a legally-binding agreement, saying it is plagued with the same defects that had hounded it in the past 20 years: the imperialist system’s crisis of overproduction and greed for profit which continues to worsen climate and social injustice.
COP21 will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris, and will be attended by heads of states, including President Aquino.
Sison, who is also the chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) said in a statement, that industrialized countries are expected to save themselves from accountability, without making drastic changes in their production of profits, such as, in making deep cuts in greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission which cause global warming.
“The monopoly capitalists are conjuring one false climate solution after another, in order to open up new profitable investments while distracting people from addressing the real and deeply rooted social causes of climate change,” Sison said.
“The Paris Summit will predictably fail to satisfy the long-standing demands of the peoples of the world for climate justice and social justice—or even just to satisfy the moderated expectations and demands of most UN member-states,” Sison said.
He expressed support to the protests and mass actions parallel to the COP21. Sison said that the solution to the climate crises lies in the peoples’ struggle to put up an alternative world social system.
Sison cited how the 1997 Kyoto Protocol proved ineffective, even as it bound monopoly capitalist countries to cut their GHG emission. The US did not ratify, Canada withdrew from it, while other countries did not sign again after the first commitment period expired in 2012.
Culprits and victims
He cited the Fifth Assessment Report in 2014 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which said that climate change has reached “dangerous levels,” with carbon dioxide and GHG emissions increasing faster than ever.
“This is the result of relentless production and consumption typical of the global capitalist system, especially its long-standing dependence on fossil fuels for large-scale industrial processes, construction, corporate agriculture, and major transport and communications,” he said.
China is the world’s top GHG producer, emitting 29 percent, as of 2013, followed by the US at 15 percent, while 28 countries of the European Union make up a total of 11 percent. However, the US has historically the highest cumulative share of GHG emissions, from 1850 to 2011, with 27 percent, followed by EU countries with 25 percent.
Sison said losses in the global gross domestic product (GDP) due to climate change have been devastating to poor countries, which will lose an estimated 11 percent of their GDP by 2030.
“On top of these severe climate change impacts, neoliberal policies and imperialist globalization have opened up all countries and all ecosystem types to the unabated entry, control and plunder of natural, human, economic and financial resources by monopoly capitalist giants,” he added.
“In the pursuit of superprofits, the monopoly capitalists ruthlessly plunder forests, minerals, energy reserves, freshwater supplies, agricultural lands and marine areas. In areas already depleted of natural resources, they set up enclaves of sweatshop factories, playground resorts of the rich, and dumping grounds for their toxic wastes,” said Sison.
Sison also noted the “emerging and expanding trend of climate refugees,” or people who were displaced by environmental disasters, now estimated at 27 million each year in 161 countries. The ILPS head said his group joins the call “for a higher level of global climate action not tied to any new protocol that will come out of COP21.”
“We assert that the global struggle for climate justice is interconnected with the global struggle for social justice, with a common enemy in monopoly capitalism and the imperialist powers as the ultimate causes of climate and social injustice,” Sison said.
“The struggle for climate justice and social justice and against imperialism is ultimately for the world’s peoples to establish an alternative social system that is centered on the emancipation of the billions of toiling masses, and national liberation for countries long oppressed by the neocolonial system. Ending monopoly capital’s dominance over the planet and people’s lives ultimately means building a socialist future for all,” he said.