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Change the System, Not the Climate !

No to market based solutions to climate crisis

No to privatization of natural resources

Yes to public policies and regulations for climate justice

Yes to people sovereignty on natural resources and environmental resources 

The climate crisis the world now faces is one aspect of a more encompassing crisis affecting the whole planet. As its other aspects, this ecological crisis is deeply rooted in the neoliberal model of production, exchange and consumption :  

The unlimited expansion of an economic model based on exports and market globalization has increased global trade exchanges. It has largely contributed to the explosion of greenhouse gases emissions. 

This export-oriented model has been developed on the basis of a wild exploitation and dispossession of raw materials and fossil energies by Northern countries in the global South. 

The agrobusiness model promoted by transnational companies and Northern countries has pursued a single goal : high return on investments and lowest production costs, despite pollution, soil erosion, reduction of biodiversity, and general social and environmental hazards such as dispossession of local farmers and indigenous peoples. 

Biodiversity and climate have been appropriated by corporate power and have become commodities.

Global and bilateral trade rules directly affect the fight against climate change and therefore global negotiations on climate

They give Northern companies access to Southern countries' natural resources, land and raw materials, threatening to turn ecosystems into commercial goods; they simultaneously deprive those countries of alternative opportunities to develop local and indigenous sustainable economies and livelihoods based on their knowledge and know-how. Those are looted and privatized by the same transnational companies thanks to Intellecutal Property Rights (IPR) rules defined by World Trade Organisation (WTO) or Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in stark contradiction to social, cultural and economic rights of UN.

Moreover WTO and its agreements are guardians and instruments of an economic and financial globalisation which drove the whole world into global meltdown and ecological crisis. Unlimited expansion of global trade relied on over-exploitation of fossil energies, water and other limited resources, all of which has irreversibly damaged the environment and intensified carbon emissions.

Yet, despite these failures, successful completion of WTO negotiations is presented as an uncontestable solution to the global crisis, of which Heads of States and governments from the North try to convince their Southern counterparts.

While the globalization of the ecological crisis threatens people, their livelihoods and ecosystems, richer countries, elites and transnational companies continue to push the same neoliberal model and instruments of growth that already brought the world to the edge of the precipice : market-based solutions, international financial institutions, trade liberalization, privatization of natural resources, geoengineering and technological solutions like GMOs, nuclear power... 

The climate-finance connection

The carbon market is likely to become the next bubble. Financial transactions on carbon markets are based on hedging, derivatives and futures contracts. Their use and importance are likely to be strengthened despite their inefficiency to reduce Green House Gas emissions.

Recent reports have alerted us to an increasing number of high-risk ’junk carbon’ contracts. A plausible scenario is that carbon prices will collapse, banks and financial operators will lose a lot, and the whole financial system will be drawn into a new crisis.


- Northern countries must demonstrate their responsibility and solidarity towards Southern countries.  

- Heads of States and governments must act democratically and listen to the voices of their citizens and the calls for change of millions of people who are directly affected by ecological risks


- low-carbon economies

- people's sovereignty on livelihoods and resources

- responsible production and consumption models, local markets and short circuits 

Therefore the European Attac Network, in the framework of the Copenhagen Summit, demands European governments for:  

- The recognition of the historical responsibility of the North towards the South  

- Respect of the international requirements defined by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) in terms of emissions reduction (- 40 % based on 1990 data). Refusal of creating pollution havens and of mechanisms such as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or Joint Implementation (JI) which enable developed countries to operate emission reduction abroad instead of domestically  

- Strong financial commitments from the North to finance adaptation for countries which already suffer from climate change, to support mitigation (transformation of unsustainable economic and production models towards low carbon patterns).  

- 100 % public financing ; exclusion of carbon trading and offsetting from the financing solutions proposed by richest countries, including systems like Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing countries (REDD) or others which tend to include lands, forests... in carbon trading systems; refusal of geoengineering ventures and projects.  

- Creation of a Climate Global Fund set up under the umbrella of the UN system, which will be mandated to channel and distribute funds  towards developing countries; IMF and World Bank have to be withdrawn from this financial architecture.  

- Thorough revision of the IPR regime designed by the WTO and various FTAs, reconsideration of monopoly detained by transnationals on licences and patents; ban of land grabbing and capture of other resources of indigenous peoples and small-holding agriculture; no further privatization of natural resources e.g. water, forests and other public commons.

- No further expansion of free trade via concluding the WTO Doha Round or bilateral free trade agreements and the development of an alternative trade and investment model supportive to achieve global climate justice.

- Recognition of North and South indigenous peoples' rights and sovereignty on their resources and livelihoods.

European Attac network