Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 25, November 13, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Empty Promises at COP26

People's Actions Exposing the "Global Greenwashing Festival"

The UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12. It adopted the slogan "uniting the world to tackle climate change". The Opening Ceremonies on November 1 revealed the agenda of the rich and powerful countries which dominate the climate change narrative. Talk centred on the urgency of the situation and the need for every participating and non-participating country to reduce carbon emissions, increase carbon capture and develop renewable sources of energy to prevent the world's temperature increase going above 1.5°C by 2030. There was also a lot of talk about the "developed countries" fulfilling their commitment to fund the "developing countries".

But the claims of humankind are being expressed not by these leaders, but by the peoples themselves in their mass demonstrations and protests which were taking place during COP26. Whatever measures are promised by the leaders in the name of addressing the climate crisis, they will not entail the mobilisation of the human and natural resources of each country in a manner that puts the needs of the peoples in first place, beginning with their need to take the decisions which affect their lives.

Governments representing the interests of the oligopolies are in their service to make super profits from "greening the economy". That is the bottom line. They have put forward a clear framework: "the private sector" must unite to do the job that they have declared the "public sector" cannot do. It serves to cloud the fact that the public sector has been taken over by the private sector in a world marked by the politicisation of private interests.

COP26 will stand as a big internationally co-ordinated fraud to push schemes to pay the rich, both the corporations positioned to seize the day and the financiers who will reap the interest payments on funding the new "green economy" while exercising control over who will or will not be allowed entry into the projects they finance.

The peoples will continue to pay the price from having no say on the matter. They will pay in various forms - interest on financing, whether it is funneled through governments or through supranational bodies, and increased costs for goods and services plus the results of the damage being done to the environment. The peoples are nonetheless refusing to be reduced to spectators. They oppose the shameless patronising and condescending references and homages to the courage and determination of the youth in demanding climate crisis action. What the youth are demanding is their right to decide, their right to have a say and a bright future built by the peoples of the world in their favour.

COP26 has been a concentrated expression of the ongoing politicisation of private interests and destruction of national sovereign governance. The peoples must discuss among their peers and establish their own independent political positions - positions which unite the people to make way for democratic renewal.

Role of Global Financiers and Royals

We reproduce below extracts from an article by Pauline Easton in TML Monthly dated November 7.

[Look at] the wheeling and dealing and agreements that will come out of the COP26 Summit and the role of the global financiers led by Mark Carney, [1] UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. Carney, former governor of the banks of both Canada and the UK, was tasked with the job of amassing the trillions of dollars controlled by various private entities for the green deals that are to be rolled out. Going back decades, the financial oligarchs have been building the regulatory and organisational structures to put the financiers squarely in charge and turning national governments into their enablers.

When Carney was appointed to the role, he says he put together a team to accomplish "a simple but vital task ... to have in place by COP26 ... all the necessary foundations so that every financial decision takes climate change into account." He describes the aim of the task as "a fundamental reordering of the financial system so that all aspects of finance - investments, loans, derivatives, insurance products, whole markets - systematically take the impact of their actions on the race to net zero. The objective is a financial system in which climate change is as much a determinant of value as creditworthiness, interest rates or technology, where the impact of an activity on climate change is a new vector, a new determinant, of value."

Carney launched two finance capital organising projects: the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). There is also a Net-Zero Insurance Alliance. Carney boasts that some "1,300 of the world's largest companies ... supported by financial institutions controlling balance sheets totalling over $170 trillion, including the world's largest banks, pension funds, asset managers and insurers" have committed to this new financial system. This system will include things such as new standards for Enron-style corporate annual reports and prospectuses to show who is worthy and who is not of being the recipient of the funds flowing for the "net zero" economy.

[...]

The takeover of climate policies by the world's financial oligarchs was declared at the Opening Ceremony of COP26 by Charles, Prince of Wales, who is being paraded nowadays as the forthcoming "King of Canada," and hopeful to head the Commonwealth, not a "hereditary" position, in the not too distant future. He told the gathered world leaders that "independent initiatives running in parallel" would not do to tackle the climate crisis. "The scale and scope of the threat we face call for a global, systems-level solution," he declared.

Unabashed, the Prince told the assembled leaders: "Here we need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal - far beyond global GDP and - with the greatest respect, beyond even the governments of the world's leaders - it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition."

As to the question which loomed large in the background: "Who pays, and how?" the answer given was: "to align private investment behind these industry strategies to help finance the transition efforts, which means building the confidence of investors so that financial risk is reduced."

"More than 300 of the world's leading CEOs and institutional investors have told me that, alongside the promises countries have made ... they need clear market signals, agreed globally, so that they have the confidence to invest, without the goalposts suddenly moving," the Prince announced.

It is clear to the peoples of the world that it is up to them to settle scores with this new more extreme anti-people financial order that is in the making, which is going to impact their lives in a very big way. Everyone must lay the claims on society which they must and not permit decisions being made behind their backs and at their expense to decide the outcome of the crises which are taking place due to the fact that ruling elites have become a huge weight that is unsustainable. The solutions that favour the working class and people are sensible and must prevail.

Note

1. Mark Carney is one of the world's largest finance brokers, he himself a minor wealth holder with a net worth of US$35 million. He is currently a Vice Chair of Brookfield Asset Management and Head of Transition Investing. His work at Brookfield is described as "the development of products for investors that will combine positive social and environmental outcomes with strong risk-adjusted returns". From 2013 to 2020, he served as the Governor of the Bank of England, having served as the Bank of Canada's Governor from 2008 to 2013. He was Chairman of the Financial Stability Board from 2011 to 2018. Prior to 2008, he worked at Goldman Sachs, and in the Canadian Department of Finance. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), which is in turn owned by Allianz SE, whose major holdings including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, United Healthgroup, Alphabet and Tesla.
Carney was taken on as a board member of Stripe, a global technology company building economic infrastructure for the internet. It welcomed Carney to the board in February 2021 as someone who would benefit the company "as it rolls out its climate efforts globally, enabling millions of businesses to bring more funding to emerging carbon removal technologies". It adds that Carney's UN role has allowed him to "galvanise climate action and private finance ahead of the forthcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow".
Carney is also a member of the Group of Thirty and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, and sits on the boards of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Hoffman Institute for Global Business and Society at the European Institute for Business Administration.
Quotes attributed to Carney in this article are from his book, "Value(s): Building a Better World for All", published in March 2021 by McClelland and Stewart.


ShareThis

Link to Full Issue of Workers' Weekly

RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Weekly Online Archive