COP21: an agreement that perpetuates existing hegemonies
Paris, 12 December
[translated from French]
150 Heads of State and Government attended the opening event of the Paris climate conference. They stated their noble intentions and promised their governments’ commitment to limit global warming. Two weeks later, what remains of these intentions? After behind-the-scene bargaining discussions and plenary sessions, governments have backed down on most key issues.
Yes, there is an agreement, but at what price and with what contents? What of environmental or social justice? It is but an empty shell acceptable to developed countries – and to the overpowering multinationals present at the COP. However, people and countries – especially those in the global South – who are already the victims of global warming, will continue to foot the bill for irresponsible policies laid out without any thought for their consequences.
The limited commitments on financing, technology transfer, long-term ambitions on emissions and compensation for loss and damage offer no prospect of slowing global warming, let alone stopping it.
Industrialized countries, historically the biggest polluters – starting with the US – have little to fear from a climate cataclysm. They have the means to overcome it. Even if consequences weigh on workers and populations, there is, in these regions, existing finance and technology to mitigate the impact. Yet, developing countries, including trade unions and associations which did not have the means to attend the COP, will pay the highest price. Workers in these regions will be the victims of the lack of courage of the Paris conference.
Climate change negotiations are no longer limited to environmental issues. They also address social and human aspects. The COP21 raises the question of solidarity between the peoples of our planet, but to no avail once again. Climate migrations, social tensions and rising inequalities will be the consequences.
Signatories to the current statement strongly denounce governments’ irresponsibility, and primarily those of industrialized countries. We are the keys to our own future, through cooperation, solidarity and struggle. Governments have refused to take their responsibilities in the face of history. Consequently, it is up to us to engage in a real and united fight against global warming, for fundamental rights and for just transition and decent work for all, everywhere.
• New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), Inde
• National Garments Workers Federation (NGWF), Bangladesh
• Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), France
• 全国労働組合 総連全国労働組合 総連全国労働組合 総連（全労連）(ZENROREN), Japon
• Confédération Démocratique des Travailleurs du Niger (CDTN)
• La Confédération Générale des Travailleurs de Mauritanie (CGTM)
• Unite, Nouvelle Zélande
• Confédération des Syndicats Autonomes (CSA), Sénégal
• Centrale Syndicale du Secteur Public du Cameroun
• Fédération des Syndicats Autonomes de Côte d’Ivoire (FESACI)
• Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU, Mouvement du 1er mai), Philippines