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Failure at Durban as business interests sinks climate talks

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After the terrible failure of the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 there was little belief that this year’s summit in Durban, South Africa, was going to get much further. The pesimists were proven right, once again writes Gunnar Westin

The same problems that prevented a deal in 2009 also prevented a deal now. And predictably, there was no outcome of a meeting which was said by many to be the "last chance" of reaching a treaty - don't forget that the Kyoto protocols expires next year. This was mainly because the major powers, being more worried about the profits of the big corporations than by the threat of global warming, were against any binding treaty.
In Durban nothing apart from maintaining the ineffectual UN process was agreed on. There was no deal on any substantive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which is the urgent question today. A new treaty within the process will not be achieved before 2020, and the “green investment fund” that was decided on lacks any money.
With this failure the goal to limit global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius until 2020 – according to much of science the very limit of what ecological systems can stand before the process of wming will become self-strengthening and therefore unstoppable – was effectively given up.
Despite the very real threat of global warming, it stands ever clearer that the capitalist system and the world order with different competing states stands in the way of finding a solution to save the ecological systems of the planet.
This is why there is an urgent need to fight internationally for a planned shift away from fossil fuel burning and towards renewables. Enforcing a cap on fossil fuel emissions and banning cap and trade would be a great step forward. As long as the different governments put their own domestic and business interests ahead of the interests of the people and the planet then it is becoming clearer to millions that the fight to save the planet is also a fight against capitalism.