Durban Climate Summit Saves Face at the Expense of Future Generations

the following is a statement from the Canadian Youth Delegation

As the sun rose over Durban, youth from across Canada sat in the final plenary session of COP17 and watched through bleary, sleep deprived eyes as our futures were bargained away in the name of “good” diplomacy.

Despite the fact that COP17 is being touted as a success by the architects of its demise, global “leaders” in Durban did little more than lay a roadmap to devastation. They are celebrating the creation of a deal to find a deal at some point in the future while emissions rise and the planet cooks.

The Green Climate Fund is an empty piggy bank with no decision on the sources of finances. Should those nations in desperate need of adaptation financing shatter it they will find only the promises of the richest, most polluting nations. Unfortunately you can’t buy clean water, arable land and food security with promises.

While Kyoto survived in Durban, it is held hostage by polluting nations and corporate interests. The world’s major emitters, Canada among them, refused to adopt new emissions targets resulting in a zombie Kyoto Protocol which covers only 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This irresponsibly low ambition does nothing to solve to the climate crisis, simply delaying decisions onto time borrowed from our generation.

Nation after nation addressed the plenary, criticizing the text for abandoning the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. A representative of Grenada took the floor at one point, saying that those “living in vulnerable countries are now being asked to accept something meaningless.”

The historical climate change culprits have gotten away with murder in Durban, they have abandoned their responsibility for this crisis and placed the burden upon the shoulders of the world.

Only when the process threatens to turn into progress does Canada meaningfully engage in the climate negotiations. It’s clear that their interests are not in a binding global climate regime, only in maintaining business, and profits, as usual.

No matter the outcome of these high level negotiations, the real solutions will be created by the self empowering movements of youth that are able to take on the fossil fuel industries and the governments that support polluters and profits over the rights of people.

What we did see in Durban were youth standing up from the ‘kids table’ created for us by our governments and the United Nations. Young people from around the world rejected the the adage that young people here are meant to be seen, seldom heard and never listened to. It started when six young Canadians turned their backs on their Environment Minister refusing to take the disregard for their future sitting down.

7 Responses to “Durban Climate Summit Saves Face at the Expense of Future Generations”
  1. This is a pathetic blog entry !!
    Canada’s emissions are only 2% of all global GHG emissions => Canada is not a major emitter.
    The Alberta Oil Sands represent 6% of Canada’s GDP => 1/1000th of global GHG emissions. It’s a grain of sand in Virginia Beach.

    At least the blog recognizes that Kyoto is a zombie and covers only 15% of global emissions. After Canada’s withdrawal, it will be 13%. It’s time to put Kyoto to the grave !!

    • Anika Terton says:

      Dear Immanuel. I encourage you to do your homework before writing a reply on this blog. Obviously you do not understand the importance of the Kyoto Protocol neither the importance of international legal oblidations and diplomacy. You are the best example of the uninformed citizen who reads the mainstream media and is a viticm of the fossil fuel industry. I can only feel sorry for you. The reason why the KP excists and is so important is that it will fill the gap between now and a new legally binding agreement. You might feel better telling yourself Canada’s emissions are only 2% percent globally – well, look at the real numbers: GHG emissions per capita. 20tonnes per person vs. 4 tonnes per person in China. I know it takes some abstract thinking to think beyond borders but again: try it! You like to blame China and India? It’s easy when their popoluation makes up 1.2 billion. Let’s not get into the money issue and historic responsibility and why we are so welathy compared to them. But hey.. I’m sure you enjoy buying cheap crap from China and still think you are not part of the problem or the reason for their high GHG emissions. It takes a bit of abstract thinking…and reading. Do your homework before replying!

  2. Lise Richard says:

    I am disappointed (again) to be Canadian in Climate negotiations.
    It is great that there are new CYD/international youth every year and that they are always fresh and idealistic.

    After only attending two COP processes I have become so jaded and disenchanted with the whole process I fear I truly believe that there will never be a meaningful globally binding treaty that will ACTUALLY bring about a positive change for the futures of all.

    I apologize on behalf of the 40% of the population of Canada who believed voting for a Conservative majority was a good idea; I apologize on behalf of the Canadians who are screaming at the top of their lungs for action and change whose voices are silenced by the greed of our government.

    Such shameful actions – I do not understand how these politicians sleep at night, or look themselves in the mirror.
    They should feel nothing but SHAME about what they are doing and should fear the retribution of karma.

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