Green Party leaders and candidates responded to the 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, which concluded on Friday, Nov. 22.
During the meeting, which is also called Conference of the Parties (COP 19), two walkouts took place in protest of the behavior of delegates from wealthy nations: (1) 132 developing countries walked out during talks about compensation for ‘loss and damage’ because of climate change, claiming sabotage by developed nations; (2) the International Trade Union Confederation, World Wide Fund for Nature, Oxfam, ActionAid, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace walked out on the last day.
Greens expressed special concern over a leaked U.S. internal briefing paper instructing negotiators to oppose a time line regarding funding for climate-change adaptation in poor nations and to delay emission-reduction commitments (http://www.popularresistance.org/leaked-documents-us-opposes-helping-poor-countries-re-climate-change/).
Wes Rolley, past co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/ecoaction/index.php): “When the final global climate change agreement is ratified in 2015 at the Paris Conference, the goal must include deep economic reforms that meet the needs of all the Earth’s people while phasing out all fossil fuels. The breakdown in talks at COP 19 last week leads us to fear that the U.S. and other industrial nations will only tolerate steps that don’t interfere with the investments of the One Percent or block high-consumption domestic growth. The well-being of billions of people around the world must take precedence over corporate bottom lines and intellectual property rights, or we’ll see a massive breakdown in global security in the coming decades. Greens understand this. Democrats and Republicans apparently don’t.”
Darryl! L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: “The U.S. and other wealthy nations must make good on the pledge made at the 2009 Copenhagen meeting of $100 billion for poorer countries that seek to lift their populations out of poverty and prevent projected environmental catastrophes. Wealthy nations owe much of their prosperity to decades of high fossil-fuel consumption and to resources and labor taken from poorer nations. Unfortunately, only $7.5 million has been committed to this fund as of June 2013. To put the pledge into perspective, remember that the White House and Congress guaranteed over $7 trillion in TARP bailout funds after the recent economic meltdown. Is saving Wall Street more important than saving the world?”
David Doonan, Green Mayor of Greenwich, New York: “The death toll and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, widely considered a likely consequence of global warming, should be taken as warning. Unless we want such disasters to become the norm around the world, all nations must sign and follow through on a post-2020 legally binding agreement that limits global warming to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with greenhouse gas emissions peaking before 2020. In the U.S., the Green Party has called for several immediate steps: cancellation of subsidies for fossil-fuel and nuclear energy, withdrawal of permission for mountaintop detonation mining, a halt to off-shore drilling, denial of permits for the proposed oil pipelines from the Canadian tar sands, and enactment of a fairly allocated carbon tax. Emissions trading should be recognized as a scheme that allows companies to trade credits to pollute, and should be scrapped.”
Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: “Green candidates in the U.S. have promoted a model for fighting climate change, living within the planet’s ecological limits, lifting Americans out of poverty and joblessness, and jumpstarting the economy. The Green New Deal (http://www.jillstein.org/green_new_deal) was the central platform of 2012 Green nominees Jill Stein for President and Cheri Honkala for Vice President. Inspired by the New Deal programs of the 1930s, the Green New Deal would provide employment for tens of millions of Americans through jobs creation and investment in development and implementation of clean renewable energy such as solar and wind, retrofitting homes and buildings, conversion from car traffic to public transportation, and other measures to establish a Green economy. The Green New Deal is the only realistic and comprehensive proposal that takes climate change seriously. Americans have a choice — either elect candidates who will enact the Green New Deal or something very much like it, or keep electing Democratic and Republican politicians loyal to Big Oil, Wall Street, and other top corporations responsible for global warming. That’s why we call the Green Party an imperative for the 21st century.”
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org