Imperialism

Change the system to fight climate change

Agreement between states on Climate Change reached in Paris on December 12 marks expression on pious wishes on curtailing the climate change with little action to show for them. Moreover it marks a big victory for the imperialist countries particularly USA which pulled all strings to prevent actionable goals in the agreement. The Agreement has set a laudable target of containing rise in global temperature to 1.5 Celsius till the end of the present century compared to pre-industrial time i.e. 1850 but has not outlined any action to achieve the same. If the targets set by different countries are taken into account, the rise in temperature is estimated to be in the vicinity of 3 Celsius. It is estimated that if global temperature rise by over 2 Celsius sea levels would rise due to melting of ice caps thus drowning a number of countries and wiping them off the map of the world. This danger is creating pressure to contain the change in the climate. Paris Agreement is high on the noise but low on action.

First and foremost, the agreement does away with historical responsibility of the developed countries for over production of hydrocarbons responsible for the degradation of the environment. In the earlier UN action plan the responsibility for the climate change was held to be of the developed capitalist countries. But in the Paris Agreement this concept was done away with to be replaced by vague different national circumstances. US has been opposing this concept and has succeeded in getting it done away with. But the fact remains that imperialist countries are responsible for the emission of the bulk of these harmful substances and it is their responsibility to reduce these emissions to contain damage to the environment. For example, US per capita emission of these harmful substances is ten times more than per capita emission of such substances by India.

In line with this, the responsibility of containing damage to the environment has been held to be of all the countries irrespective of their emission of greenhouse gases. Thus the phrase coined is common albeit differential approach which means that developed capitalist countries will have greater responsibilities. How much it will be translated into practice is in the future. The important point is that advocating a common responsibility, the imperialist countries have been able to force upon underdeveloped countries curtailment of their industrialization and thereby perpetuate their monopoly of world production. Developed capitalist countries have once again proved that for them protecting their domination of the world is more important than any objective of saving the environment. It also proved that profits of large corporate are much more vital for these govts. than the well being of the people and need to arrest climate change. The govts. of imperialist countries have faithfully pursued the agenda of their gigantic corporate.

Secondly, the setting of targets has been left to individual countries. Earlier, in Kyoto protocol, mandatory targets were set for industrialized countries. These have been replaced by the individually determined targets. Thus the developed capitalist countries have evaded their responsibility.

In order to continue economic growth while fighting climate change, shifting to green technologies is being advocated. This green technology is expensive and shifting to this would involve economic burden. In Copenhagen Meeting it was decided that developed countries would give US $ 10 billion every year to enable underdeveloped countries to shift to green technologies. This amount was to increase by $10 billion every year to reach $100 billion every year in the year 2020. Over the past five years the record of developed capitalist countries is abysmal in making this contribution. Experts have questioned their claims of having contributed 62 billion $ over the last five years. In fact these are not mandatory claims but left to the sweet will of these countries. The developed capitalist countries also hope to earn huge sums of money by selling green technologies to the underdeveloped countries. They are opposing in the name of WTO rules attempts by other countries to source their green technologies indigenously. On the one hand they deny their culpability in climate change and on the other they hope to reap huge profits from this.

While developed capitalist countries have evaded their responsibility in Paris Agreement, they have gained levers of interference in the underdeveloped countries in the name of transparent accounting of the emission of harmful substances. These intrusive inspections will enable the govts. of these countries to increase their penetration of the economies of underdeveloped countries.

In the Paris Agreement, there is no provision of compensation for the environmental damage. This clause does not figure in the agreement. Thus the corporate evade total responsibility of their environment degrading actions.

The world really faces the grave danger of environmental degradation and climate change. The responsibility for this squarely lies with developed capitalist countries. It is the profit greed of their giant corporate which is mainly responsible for the climate change. For fighting climate change, the system needs to be changed.

Indian Govt. has been blowing its trumpet about its role in the Agreement. In fact Indian Govt. collaborated with imperialist countries, particularly USA, while betraying the interests of third world countries. Indian Govt. has specialized the propaganda art of making noise about the interests of third world countries and siding with US led imperialist powers. The oversized chests of Indian ruling politicians get deflated before their imperialist patrons.

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