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Globalisation of capital causes climate change

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 | 10:14 AM

Delivering his lecture on the causes and impact of climate change at the seminar of International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) with focus on South & South East Asia Climate Change of in the aftermath of the adoption of International Mechanism for Loss and Damage 2013 at the 19th conference of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Gopal Krishna of ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) recalled how the shift from the study of local ecosystem to the study of global ecosystem happened after artificial satellites were sent in 1957 by USSR. US Department of Energy did study on global warming in 1970s. The first World Climate Conference took place in 1979. International Geosphere Biosphere Program of Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden did study in 1987. UN set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to analyse and report on scientific findings.  

He dwelt on the launch of negotiations on dangerous interference in the atmosphere causing global warming due to emissions for an international treaty by the UN General Assembly, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992, Kyoto Protocol 1995, Bali Road Map 2007, Copenhagen Accord 2009, Cancun Agreement 2010, Durban Platform for Enhanced Action 2011, Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol 2012 and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage 2013. He underlined the historical responsibility for dangerous interference in the atmosphere since 1750s that is causing adverse climate change and averments at the 68th UN Assembly General Debate in September 2013.  

He expressed concern over the global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 or likely to exceed 2°C as a result of past, present and expected future emissions of CO2. He urged transport companies to make specific and tangible commitments to combat climate change.

He underscored the fact that there is no time left for vulnerable countries to wait for an international climate deal to be reached in Paris in 2015. Drawing the findings of science that clearly shows that a significant degree of climate change is unavoidable which has been confirmed by the latest findings of the IPCC  released in September, 2013, he reiterated to the delegates of Asia Pacific that some of them like Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Lao, Singapore in particular are threatened with extinction from rising sea levels. This creates a compelling logic for adoption of universal approach to mitigate climate changes.
He appealed to all the member countries of UN and the transnational companies including those from the shipping, aviation, road and railways to factor in the crying need of measures for mitigation, adaptation and implementation against the maximum load of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions that could be discharged globally to the ambient air in the future without causing irreversible changes in ecosystems.

He urged the trade unions to get deeply involved in the UN negotiations for target and commitment to combat climate change globally. He urged the trade unions to support the advocacy for creating infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. He argued that in times of prosperity there can be boundaries of different sorts but in times of crisis all boundaries melt as is bound to happen to due to climate change induced crisis which is part of larger environmental and economic crisis due to globalisation of capital. He hoped for globalisation of resistance to challenge climate change deniers and the 90 companies like Chevron, Shell, BP and others that cause 63% of emissions. He called for policy reversals in a radical way because it is a matter of life and death. He denounced promotion of carbon trade as part of solution and expressed the hope that the climate agreement that will be finalized in Paris in 2015 will have no place for it.   

The conference held during 26-27 November 2013 at Lonavala, Maharashtra was focused on young transport workers resolved to undertake urgent measures to ensure just transition to a sustainable transport system and promote public transport based on targeted commitment.  
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