Saving the environment
There is a widespread feeling that the UN, which is being misused by corporatist and capitalist engines to promote their profit interest, is not at all serious about tackling the impending environmental, as well as human disaster. The alternative climate movement, known as People’s Summit on Climate Change, includes grassroots organisations and networks — including the Workers General Confederation of Peru, Andean Coordinator of Indigenous organisations and Workers Autonomous Central of Peru. It constitutes an alternative to the ongoing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, where government representatives and corporate leaders are holding the latest in a series of UN talks. Lima is the focal point for the alternative movement where social movements and civil societies from around the world have gathered to find a possible lasting solution to the vexed environmental tragedy terribly impacting human survival. They had an ambitious goal of developing an alternative form of development, one that respects the limits and regenerative capacities of our planet and tackles the structural causes of climate change. The social movements and the progressive forces of civil society are beginning to seriously prepare themselves to present an effective alternative to provide for a protracted struggle to defend the people and the planet and create a just transition from the extractive and exploitative global economy to a democratic economy that aligns us with the natural processes of the earth.
Representatives from the fossil fuel industry have been holding private meetings with numerous national delegations, including a closed-door meeting between the Canadian delegation and Chevron and TransCanada. Activists, including indigenous communities in Colombia, Peru, Canada, and beyond, shut down a panel at the Conference. The panel was originally titled “Why Divest from Fossil Fuels When a Future with Low Emission Fossil Energy Use is Already a Reality?”. It was organised by the fossil fuel industry lobbyists and featured speakers from major corporations.
The People’s Summit, which takes place from December 8 to 11, is “split into five tracks all of which address a piece of climate change from food to rights of Mother Earth to alternative energy and economies”. The People’s Summit organisers say the UN conference presents an opening to civil society and social movement groups to set their own vision for global change heading into the Paris meeting. As world leaders draft a new climate agreement, those gathered at the alternative summit will “share initiatives, proposals and experiences”.
Meanwhile, as part of accelerating water pollution, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, South Asia, is now facing a major environmental disaster, after a vessel carrying over 350,000 litres of furnace oil capsized in the Sela River in the early hours of December 9. Such a spill can jeopardise the dolphin sanctuary, the local food chain and the entire local ecology. With various authorities, which neither have the experience nor the capability to handle such a case, trying to pass the responsibility on to each other instead of making a move, the situation is getting worse by the minute since the capsize took place. Dr Abdur Ruff Colachal