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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Choisir entre le capitalisme et le climat

by L’Humanité

Choose between capitalism and the climate

Translated Monday 21 December 2015, by Adrian Jordan

Joint text. Among the signatories are: Pierre Laurent (PCF, president of the PGE), Panagiotis Rigas (Syriza), José Luis Centella (PCE), Mirko Messner (KPO), Juha-Pekka Väisänen (SKP), Paavo Arhinmäki (Vasemmistoliitto), Felicity Dowling (Left Unity), Anne Quart (Die Linke), Paulino Ascenção (Bloc de gauche).

On 11 December, 196 world heads of state will meet in Paris for the COP21. States say they are ready to act to limit the catastrophic effects of climate change. They are faced with an ever real challenge: reach a binding global agreement on the climate to reduce the impact of the capitalist system. The principal issues of the COP21 are: limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius for 2100 by commitment to reducing greenhouse gases during the 2020 – 2030 period; guaranteeing the rights of a growing world population to food security; and, to energy, education health and work... Finally, rich industrialist countries must effectuate the promise made in Copenhagen in 2009 during the COP15, to provide Green Climate Funds (GCF) of 100 billion dollars per year between now and 2020, allowing developing countries to take measures to adapt to climate change.

We are convinced that best possible standards of living are open to the entire world population with, sparing, sustainable use of natural resources. The transition from a petrol economy to a “low carbon” civilisation is an inevitable path. It calls for a profound change of politics. Such a project is not viable without placing the deliberate and certain interaction of all our fellow citizens at the heart of the process. The fight against global warming and the fight against global neoliberal economic development are closely linked. It is evident that this necessitates an ecological transition, but equally, current trends in production and consumption are now incompatible with policies advocated by doctrines of globalised financial capitalism. The transition towards that sustainable society should be solidarian. During the COP21, we hope that the logic of sustainable development and human emancipation, will finally defeat the socially blind logic of instantaneous profit.

Our choice is clear: give priority to the interest of the planet and the people. We support the benefits of good-living based on the UN Human Development Index rather than that of stock market indices touted by multinationals and financial markets. Based on a model that signals the end of agricultural speculation and the dynamics of globalised trade promoted by the WTO, bringing in regulation of international markets and development of public infrastructures; we ask that the principles of differentiated efforts, of transparency, of equity, and of the fair balance of power between developed and developing countries, be instilled throughout the whole institutional system.

We support the development of research and cooperation between countries so that a transfer of knowledge and technology to developing countries be possible, and, equally, the compensation mechanism demanded by the most vulnerable countries.

Henceforth, we must establish legal status for climatic refugees. Europe’s place amid the international entente is decisive. The EU cannot uphold its ecological commitments within the ambit of austerity policies. We say stop austerity! We propose the creation of a European ecological and social development fund. We act in accordance with civic society groups in Europe and the rest of the world (Climate Express, Alliance 21 and even Alternatiba…). We support the setting up of all actions that will help push heads of states to reach meaningful agreement during the COP21.

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