As governments, corporations, lobbyists and NGO's meet in Milan for the COP9 climate talks, cut your carbon emissions and protest in London.
Join with the many protesters who have also gathered in Milan to say 'no' to the UN's Kyoto charade, and 'yes' to 60-90% cuts in CO2 emissions and social justice.
Nearest tube stations are Westminster (District and Circle) and Pimlico (Victoria line). It's 10 minutes walk from both. The 77A bus stops right outside Millbank Tower.
Date: Wednesday 9 December 2003, midday - 2pm
Marvel at the shimmering 15 foot UN 'Cloak of Respectability'!
Boo and hiss the dodgy dealings taking place in the folds of said shimmering cloak!
Shimmy to the cycle sound system!
Gasp as you read the shocking 'Why the Kyoto Protocol is pants' dossier!
Gather inspiration to go out and trigger multitudinous and diverse solutions to climate chaos, not to mention capitalism itself!
Come along on the day or get in touch if you can help out with prop, banner or leaflet-making, or if you'd like to be part of the street theatre. Your help would really be appreciated!
Contact London Rising Tide (LRT) for more information. LRT is part of the Rising Tide UK and international networks. It takes direct action to confront the root causes of climate change, and to promote local, community-run solutions to our energy needs.
62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Rising Tide UK: www.risingtide.org.uk
So what's wrong with the Kyoto treaty?
Climate change is the most clear and present weapon of mass destruction currently aimed at this planet and all the species clustered together upon it. Climate chaos is a very frightening prospect, what with all the flood, famine, disease and drought sweeping in with it. Many people look to the UN-brokered Kyoto treaty as a possible beacon of hope in the darkness, a step forward that is being held back by the Bush administration and certain US oil companies, not to mention the Russians.
But would the Kyoto deal really mean a serious reduction in the burning of the fossil fuels that are currently wrecking our weather? And would it begin to balance many of the cancerous injustices - of North over South, men over women, rich over poor, white over black - that are poisoning the planet? Sadly, the answer to these questions is 'no'. Using current projections, it would result in a minute reduction in emissions - nothing like the 60-90% that IPCC scientists have recommended. And it would entrench a new, 21st century version of colonialism in international law, while at the same time elegantly sidestepping the core issue of our need to cut society's dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, not to mention economic growth.
Kyoto is, in effect, a business deal nestling beneath the cloak of respectability and morality that the UN graciously provides. (It's interesting to note the similar role the UN played in sanitising dodgy corporations at last year's 'Sustainability' conference in Johannesburg, not to mention the 'blue-washing' service it has offered to those that have signed up to its 'Global Compact'. And let's not even start on the way the UN Security Council is the plaything of the world's richest countries...) The Kyoto deal allows the countries and the companies currently responsible for profiting from the pumping of the lion's share of CO2 into our atmosphere to create a new market in CO2, magically transformed from a lethal pollutant into a commodity like gold, oil or coffee. It would enshrine the buying and selling of the global commons: our atmosphere.
If the deal were to be ratified, this gleaming new machinery, so lovingly designed by oil executives, bankers and financial service providers, would come clanking into action with a huge fanfare from them and from their friends in the corporate media and the world's richest governments, and with many of the big green NGO's, co-opted into this corruption of the process many years ago, wringing their hands and saying very little.
So if this is the seedy truth behind the Kyoto veil, where does the hope lie? Well, like it or not, it lies with us. While of course some sort of concerted international action is necessary, it's also up to individuals, communities and movements the world over to both challenge the power structures that are playing havoc with our climate, and to create new structures built on local, diverse, ecological and socially just foundations. Let's get to it.