By every measure, COP25 failed to rise to the challenge of our time. COP25 failed to deliver for people. And it’s clear, now more than ever, who’s at fault.
Polluting industries, with Global North governments like the U.S., EU, Australia and Canada at their side, attempted to completely eviscerate the Paris Agreement and the broader UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This axis of polluters tried to force through dangerous distractions and aimed to renege on all commitments and responsibilities. Fortunately, some of their efforts were stymied.
The elements of the agenda led by the U.S. and its allies are simple: First, secure a carbon offset scheme and market mechanism with no safeguards, lots of loopholes, and no respect for human and indigenous rights. Second, prevent any agreement on finance needed by and owed to developing countries, and third, absolve themselves and maybe even the industries they represent from liability for the crisis from which they’ve so richly profited. These elements add up to a lock in of the status quo for generations to come.
But with every move to lock in this agenda, governments representing people on the frontlines of the climate crisis held firm and people are pushing back harder and in more numbers. Next year, governments have an opportunity to reject faulty carbon trading schemes in Article 6.2 and 6.4, and choose instead to advance real solutions in Article 6.8. In momentous shows of solidarity and unity, civil society from all areas of the UN stood steadfast, together to demand that obstructionist governments like the U.S., EU, Canada, and Australia step up, that governments on the frontlines of the crisis continue to stand strong against obstructionist bullying, and that those most responsible for this crisis pay up — including Big Polluters themselves.
Around the globe, people, led by frontline communities, indigenous communities, women, and young people, are demanding justice and action. People are demanding that Big Polluters pay. And they’re demanding climate policy that works for people and the planet, not corporate profits.
The time for inaction is over. People have the solutions — and they’re on the table now. The time is now for governments around the world to start listening. We will not stand idly by as they sell our planet off to the highest bidder and doom millions. We will not be silenced when our words offend those they continue to protect. We will rise and realize the solutions that our world urgently needs.
-Patti Lynn, executive director, Corporate Accountbility