This year’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt brings together tens of thousands of participants and more than 100 heads of state.
COP27 runs from Nov. 6-18 in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, aiming to build on Glasgow’s climate deal and the Paris Agreement from 2015. But attendees face a sobering reality. Thousands of delegates from around the globe are there to tackle a range of pressing environmental issues following a year of heat waves, droughts, typhoons and flooding. Yet, the question remains : will the hypocrisy of wealthy nations and big business again dominate COP27 ?
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
A major plastic polluter, Coca-Cola, is sponsoring COP27
In a massive feat of irony, the COP27 sponsor is the American giant, Coca-Cola. In a press release for COP27, Coca-Cola says that the company wants to “continue to explore opportunities to strengthen climate resilience across its operations.” This event will be “an opportunity to continue working” to transform its “value chains”.
Coca-Cola does not deny the reality of climate change, nor the need to contribute to the effort to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Coca-Cola says it has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% since 2010. It also aims to achieve 25% of reusable products by 2030, and carbon neutrality around 2040. Coca-Cola seems perfectly aware of the magnitude of this mission and does not ignore, for example, the importance of the emissions produced by their value chain (the famous scope 3 often hidden by brands).
The civil society organization, Clean up Kenya, called the move “disgusting” and noted that nearly half of the plastic bottle waste found in Kenya could be traced back to Coke. Ugandan Climate activist and UNOCHA Ambassador, Nyombi Morris, told the BBC: “When polluters dominate climate negotiations, we don’t get good results. As an African activist, I am concerned that more of our lakes are going to be filled with plastics again.” (source : Globalvoices.org)
The past 8 years have been the world’s warmest on record; yet COP27 delegates Fly In From Around The World
Reports published in the run-up to COP27 show the world is currently on course to warm between 2.6 and 2.8°C (5.04°F) by the end of the century, absent further emissions cuts. Ironically, delegates fly in from around the world (often on highly polluting private jets), contributing tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
The VIP menu at Cop27 features beef, poultry, fish, and dairy products
An array of pricey meat and fish dishes served up during the 12-day climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh; including £90 mushroom sauce covered beef medallions, £43) one-hour unlimited drinks package – including beer and red, white wines and fancy bottomless cocktails.
The menus are all posted by Cop Gourmet, the provider of Cop27’s official catering provider, on the climate conference’s website.
The Cop27 wifi network in Egypt blocks key news websites and human rights organizations
During the Cop27 climate meeting, attendees discovered that the conference internet connection blocked access to key news websites. The list of blocked websites includes Human Rights Watch (HRW), which is set to conduct a panel discussion at the conference. It also includes Qatar-based news outlet Al Jazeera, American publishing platform Medium, and Egypt’s sole independent news outlet, Mada Masr.
Alexandria Villaseñor, an activist who leads the youth climate organisation Earth Uprising, tweeted: “There are so many blocked websites in Egypt at #Cop27, that it is noticeable and hard for us to work. We can’t use our @Earth_Uprising Medium site, because Medium is blocked. News agencies we refer to are blocked.” She added: “There is no climate action without truth and information.”
Climate Justice ?
2022 has seen floods in Pakistan, directly affecting thirty-three million people, Indonesia, India and elsewhere. We have seen wildfires, extreme heat, ice melt, drought, and extreme weather events on many continents, yet governments pursue still more fossil fuel production. 2022’s summer of disasters broke records worldwide. In 2021, global sea level set a new record high and is projected to continue to rise. Moreover, according to the United Nations, climate disasters are more likely to kill women and children than men.
Environmental destruction is woven into the very fabric of the system itself. However, much big business resists, we will have to force it to act on a global scale. Ultimately, only the ending of capitalism itself and its replacement by democratic Ecosocialist planned production for need and not private profit can guarantee the necessary action.
Genuine climate solutions cannot be based on the very market system that created the problem. Only the organized working class, and the rural oppressed of the global south -women and men have the power to end capitalism, because their labour produces all wealth and they have no great fortune to lose if the system changes, no vested interests in inequality, exploitation, and private profit.