Where many governments have been slow to act against climate change, cities and localities where the community has more direct influence on politicians have started to act to limit greenhouse gasses. In July 2015, Pope Francis gathered mayors from big cities around the world, who discussed how they could make cities sustainable such as planting trees, providing public transportation, making room for bicycles, installing solar panels etc. Because local communities for some time have acted on their own, this has started to push national governments towards more action. We see a change where cities and local communities are taking action for climate change.
The pressure to move away from fossil fuels is finally having an effect on the financial capitalists, who are the major force behind the capitalist system.
The governor of the Bank of England that issues the British currency warned investors in September 2015. He simply said that the vast reserves of fossil fuels could never be burnt and thus investors will end up owning useless oil or coal reserves and making huge financial losses.
Goldman Sachs, the leading investment bank in the USA and the ultimate insider whose chief executives go on to become leaders of government agencies and central banks in North America and Europe, announced in November 2015 that it will invest 150 billion USD in clean energy. They do so not because they love nature, but because they love profit and see how people and countries are shifting away from fossil fuels.
The UN is one of the few international agencies where all countries are represented and have a right to speak. Countries on the frontline of climate change, such as small island nations that will be swallowed up by rising sea levels and countries hit by hurricanes, floods and droughts will speak up and demand climate justice. The rich polluting countries will try not to hear. Most likely the existing draft agreement will be approved, but as explained above it will be insufficient to deal with the disaster.
It was action of people that lead to the Danish wind industry, to the German support for solar energy, to stopping coal power plants and the Keystone-LX pipeline, it is cities, communities and people that shift to renewable energy, demand electric cars, and choose to use solar lamps instead of kerosene lamps.
Even if all fossil fuel burning were to end tomorrow, the atmosphere is already so polluted with CO2 that climate change will continue for many, many years, some say thousands of years.
Thus it is up to people and to act to make the big steps that need to be taken in the years to come to adapt to the changes that are coming.
Capitalist industrialization 200 years ago and capitalist globalization over the last 40 years have created and accelerated the climate change disaster.
We should take note of what will happen in Paris in December. Big words will probably be spoken, but we should be aware that this is only a very small part of the whole story, the story of mankind’s struggle for a livable planet, a planet for all people.
The history will be written by people who stand up to the capitalist madness of making money on the destruction of the Earth and its people.