The Global Climate Fiasco: The future of the planet in the hands of merchants and bureaucrats

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This story originally appeared in Ecoceanos. It is republished here as part of Patagon Journal's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 350 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
 
By Juan Carlos Cardenas
Translation by Ecoceanos
 
After thirteen days of frustrating negotiations, version 25 of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 25) ended with the largest emitters of carbon dioxide and fossil fuel producers on the planet getting what they wanted: a weakened final text that postponed to COP 26 any progress in the commitments to contain the climate crisis and evidencing to the world´s public opinion a massive crisis of multilateralism in international relations.
 
For most scientists and members of civil society organizations, the results of this climate summit were miserable.
 
COP 25: Corporate greenwashing and “green business”
This political and diplomatic disaster happened at a COP 25 that turned into the world capital of the transnational corporations, entrepreneurs and governmental greenwashing, along with "double talk" speeches and the promotion of billionaires “green businesses."
 
Carolina Schmidt, environment minister of the repressive Chilean regime and the president of COP 25, is blamed for excluding small countries and island states from negotiations, precisely those who are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, while systematically privileging the interests of the big polluting countries.
 
An example of this was the closed-door and last-minute ministers meeting of the "bad boys of the climate" called governments: China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan, together with the European Union. With this, Chile tried to close an agreement without the presence of the island States of Oceania and small countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and of course without information to global citizenship.
 
The presentation of the latest draft of the Chilean presidency led to the outrage of several countries and non-governmental organizations, due to the absence of climate ambition, and the lack of clarity regarding the contributions that countries should make to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
 
For Mohamed Adow of Power Shift Africa, “the drafts presented by the Chilean presidency are disastrous and very disappointing. The worst I've seen in the 10 years I've been following the climate negotiations."
 
Going back until before the 2015 Paris Agreement
The Chilean regime tried to use COP 25 for its “green” state-business marketing, plagued by double speeches, such as the fact of not having signed the Treaty of Escazú, or submitting a misleading proposal to close coal-fired hydroelectric plants, not according with the commitments assumed as presidency of the Summit.
 
The failure of COP 25 will have unsuspected consequences for the claims of the repressive and pro-business Chilean regime, of trying to become a global environmental leader, as well as the internal political survival of Minister Schmidt.
 
Twenty-five years of annual meetings go without significant progress. The parsimony and diplomatic inaction, evidencing the kidnapping of the United Nations system and the national States by corporate and financial interests, who systematically lower expectations, blocking progress or delaying decisions, while the global climate crisis continues to worsen.
 
COP 25 has pushed back the situation that existed before the 2015 Paris Agreement, when there were no serious commitments to the climate crisis, there was no road map to reduce the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, There was no timetable for the reduction of carbon emissions, nor a clear commitment to the 'green fund' for developing countries and support for their climate transition. Up to that level we have receded.
 
The lack of a draft text that would replace Article 6 on decarbonization and regulation of the international carbon credit market, allows the planet's temperature to continue to rise up to 3.2ºC with respect to the pre-industrial era.
 
The role of the Chilean regime in this climate meeting will have devastating environmental, health and social consequences at the global level, which will go hand in hand with frequent social outbursts, imminent falls of governments, along with massive migrations and multiplicity of conflicts nationwide, regional and global.
 
Transnationals controlled the Chilean presidency of COP 25
The obvious pro-business bias evidenced by the Chilean presidency during COP 25 negotiations was also reflected in the side-events that were organized by the South American government pavilion, during the 12 days of this Climate Summit. There, the most strategic issues discussed were co-opted by Chilean business groups and / or transnational companies, especially Europeans, several of which are responsible for the current Chilean political crisis, that is the biggest social rebellion in the history of Chile today.
 
Some of the most prominent were the transnational companies Suez and Aguas de Barcelona, which controls Aguas Andina, the main health company in the Andean country. These companies were one of the main sponsors of the COP25 in Madrid, together with the Italian energy transnational Enel Green Power, which also operates in Chile.
 
They were joined by companies such as Shell, Endesa, AES Gener, StatKraft, Spanish Hydrogen Association, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (USA), Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Association, Prime Energy (Chile), National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Tech (Germany ). Gazprom (Russia), Group of Liquiefied Natural Gas (France), Enagas (Spain), AGN (Chile), IGU (Spain); Carbon Free Future, Euroelectric, Global Wind Energy Council, World Bank Group, International Emmission Trading Association, Unloking Hydrogen, Siemen (Germany) and Bloomberg (USA). All these companies conducted an active lobby inside the COP with Chilean support.
 
At the national level, and taking advantage of the dynamics of this international meeting, the entrepreneurs and transnational water, energy, mining, agribusiness, fisheries and aquaculture companies have presented to the State a “Green” Action Plan that will replace the environmental agenda of the Chilean government, without any information or citizen participation.
 
COP 25 definitely left in brutal evidence what happens when the life and future of the planet is left to investors, oil companies and the castes of politicians and bureaucrats, who operate outside the control of organized citizenship.
 
The author, Juan Carlos Cardenas, is executive director of Centro Ecoceanos
 
 
 
 

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