European Union officials once again proved themselves to be the standard-bearers for free-market capitalism by making a series of concessions to the continent’s heavy industries in the latest series of international climate change negotiations in Poznan, Poland. These industries will now only have to pay for 70% of their climate ‘credits’ on the already-flawed EU Carbon Trading Scheme, while hospitals and universities remain paying the full charge. The talks, which are designed to iron out the differences between the various national capitalist interests ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009, have been littered with obstructions that are exclusively based around state sovereignty (such as Brazil’s reluctance to allow isolation of the Amazon akin to that of Antarctica) or corporate interests from the oil, coal, aviation and automobile industries.
The following is a speech given by a speaker from Sheffield Anarchist Federation for a meeting hosted by the group at Newcastle Green Festival (7th June 2008).
I am sure we will find much agreement with those who join us here today when we say that the ecological crisis that currently faces our planet is a matter of life or death. The human suffering that has the potential to be unleashed (of which we have already seen much) through environmental devastation over the coming decades is truly staggering. It is unquestionable that the time to act is now. But how do we act?