“How high needs the water to get in this conference centre before negotiators start deciding on things?"
The answer is, it doesn't matter how high, or how horrific the impacts of extreme weather on populations across the world because there can’t be a new treaty on climate change within the present profit-driven system.
Right across the world there is evidence of more extreme and unseasonal weather, outside the natural variability of the climate. Glaciers crucial for water supplies are melting.
Closer to home, southern
But none of these events has any impact in the conference centre, and there is no limit to the ability of governments to ignore reality and continue down the same disastrous road.
Before the talks opened, it was said that rich nations had already decided to push any substantive talks on a binding agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 2015 - now it seems unlikely they will accept even that timetable. The truth is, there isn’t going to a successor treaty to
Another major element of the talks was to be the launch of the “Green Climate Fund”, which requires developed countries to provide $100 billion to poorer countries by 2020 to help them reduce their own carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.
Countries who would have benefited were also deeply unhappy that the proposed framework for the fund would have allowed corporations to apply directly for money, bypassing governments.
They were prepared to let it go through unchanged, however, because no more funding for mitigating the effects of climate change would have been forthcoming. But outside the conference, a group of leading NGOs wrote an open letter strongly objecting "to any resources going from the Green Climate Fund directly to the private sector, particularly through the establishment of a private sector facility."
They warn that projects that help poor people to adapt to climate change, or tackle their energy problems, are not going to generate corporate profit. Letting corporations and “green investment funds” get their hands on the money would mean it poured into the existing discredited and scandal-ridden carbon markets, or into the new “risky financial instruments” that "green economy" speculators are designing. So in effect, the fund would become yet another means of transferring public money and assets into the hands of the private sector and the speculators.
The message is that the climate crisis, which is a direct result of the operation of capitalist forms of commodity production, cannot be solved within the system that caused it. Our answer to this shameful failure on the part of our governments must be to replace them with a truly democratic power that can then make a binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions.