Rhododendron, OR – In disappointing but unsurprising news, the Global Agreement on Climate Change that has come out of Paris this weekend is exploitive, deceitful and hollow, favoring the rights and voices of corporations over people. This agreement has been signed by nearly 200 nations at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris but fails to address the most pressing issues facing our climate and global communities. This agreement sends a powerful symbol that the world is fully committed to participating in the carbon-trade economy, not taking on a low-carbon future or keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
In particular, we are disturbed and deeply unhappy with the exclusion of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the agreement. Indigenous communities are the first to die at the hands of the results of dangerous, empty agreements like the ones reached in Paris.
“Not only is this a slap in the face to the Indigenous communities of the Global North and the Global South, this agreement is a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of us all. When Indigenous rights are discarded, our collective rights to clean air, drinkable water, and a world that can sustain us are in peril,” says Christy Tennery-Spalding of Rising Tide North America.
The lack of reparations extended to the Global South are particularly disgusting. The U.S. continues it’s legacy of brutal imperialism that places economics over human life by co-signing on this agreement. It’s not a proud day for the United States.
This agreement is a blatant public relations maneuver. While the parties have agreed to combat a global temperature rise above 1.5 degrees, there are no substantive mechanisms in place to make this real. The result of COP21 is yet another example of empty promises, false solutions, and an attempt to deceive the global community to this reality.
Meanwhile, the French National Police have been summarily revoked the rights of civil society in Paris this week. The French government has sanctioned attacks on citizens and journalists alike for exercising their civil liberties during the U.N. talks. Given the profits at stake for U.N. members and multinational corporations, it’s no surprise that they’d want to silence this reality with violent, repressive force on others as well.
“Without real action, the fossil fuel industry will leave the signatories to this agreement with barren, unusable land. This directly threatens the lives and livelihoods of frontline communities and our climate. The U.N. has failed people the world over, just as the French National Police have failed to protect Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for All,” says Ahmed Gaya, Flood the System organizer.
Arielle Klagsbrun, also of Rising Tide North America, asserts, “We stand in solidarity and with movements and people directly affected by our climate crisis. We will continue to build people-powered movements in response to these threats upon all of our lives. We will organize direct action that mobilizes people to challenge the ongoing U.S. imperialism, capitalism, and corporations who participate in and/or bankroll this nonsense, because that’s what this Paris agreement is.”
Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer anti-capitalist climate justice network working to challenge the root cause of climate change.