Climate Justice

COP17 – the 17th annual Conference of Parties, aka the Conference of Polluters – began on Monday in Durban, South Africa. The Kyoto Protocol, to which most attendee nations (but not the U.S.) are signatories, is widely acknowledged to be in its death throes. As in previous U.N. climate conferences, civil society organizations are mounting a counter-summit, a step that is particularly important given the significant reduction in the number of NGOs allowed to register for the conference. But will global civil society be able to exert any influence on the powerful nations of the world? How much traction can a radical anti-capitalist critique of over-development gain under current conditions of global economic crisis? Will rising inter-imperial competition between nations such as the U.S., China, and Brazil spell the end of the Kyoto Protocol and a complete abandonment of all attempts to regulate the world’s increasingly chaotic environment? Ashley Dawson addresses these and other questions as he blogs from the conference.