Climate Change Conference

Those who fight for the climate have no choices: it’s a matter of survival

It’s not possible to prevent people from fighting for the climate. Naomi Klein talked at the Climate Action Zone, Paris. Here’s what she said.

There’s the Le Bourget exhibition centre, where the official climate talks are underway and there’s the Centquatre (104) centre holding from 7 to 11 December a Climate Action Zone (CAZ) a meeting place where everyone can stay updated on the disagreements and proposals of the COP21. A hub that gives everyone the opportunity of expressing their ideas and making their voice heard. The freedom of thinking and speech seems an obvious thing but in these days, mostly in Paris, it wasn’t ensured. The state of emergency proclaimed by French president François Hollande in the aftermath of the terror attacks of 13 November, indeed, dissipated every positive demonstration in the open air and restricted every single activity in definite closed spaces.


Climate Action Zone Centquatre Paris
The entrance to the Climate Action Zone at the Centquatre centre in Paris

Naomi Klein on free-trade agreements

And it’s exactly here, in the CAZ, that Canadian journalist and writer Naomi Klein has decided to go on Friday 10 December to bring here her struggle against capitalism and her ideas and to draw people’s attention on the ambiguity of the free-trade agreements such as the top secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that aims to liberalise the trade between Europe and United States and remove trade barriers. These pacts would threaten the fulfillment of a broad agreement against climate change.

“In Paris no binding agreements will be ratified since the United States knows that they can’t sign an international treaty without the Congress approval, which is now led by politicians who defend the interests of the oil and coal lobbies”, said Klein. That’s why “what we need are coordinated and incessant struggles against fracking in the United States and Europe, against the Keystone XL pipeline, against drilling in the Arctic”, added Klein, encouraging the more than 3,000 people taking part in the debate to ask the governments an energy transition that facilitate a more democratic access to this resource. And what other way to achieve it than through renewables?


Polluting countries will pay

Klein also hinted at the current debate taking place in Le Bourget about who must pay in case of environmental disaster or extreme weather event to aid climate-hit countries. This aspect in the future agreement is called “loss and damage”. Klein has bright ideas in this respect: “The only possible solution is that polluting countries pay”.


Naomi Klein speech capitalism climate CAZ Paris
Naomi Klein holds a speech on capitalism and climate at CAZ, Paris © Tommaso Perrone/LifeGate

Why capitalism failed

Klein has recently written a book that inspired a documentary entitled This changes everything. A book that calls for radical changes in people lifestyles, the way in which we produce and the way in which economic activities are managed. It’s an appeal to stop using the Earth’s resources as if they were unlimited without considering the consequences of our actions on populations, the environment and the climate. So, global warming is the last weapon – according to Klein – to manage going beyond capitalism and adopt a circular economy strategy that definitively eliminate waste.


paris demonstration 12 december
The sign of the demonstration on climate to take place on 12 December in Paris © Tommaso Perrone/LifeGate

The fight for climate

For all these reasons and despite security concerns French and international leading environmetal associations have organised a demonstration in Parigi to take place Saturday 12 December (at 2 p.m.) at Champ de Mars, in the surroundings of the Eiffel Tower. A peaceful gathering in order for those who suffer every day from the effects of global warming to make their voice heard. Because innocent people aren’t killed only by terrorists. The deaths caused or linked to environmental disasters and climate change are as many as 600,000 in the last 20 years. That’s why it’s not fair to prevent the most vulnerable people landed on the French capital from faraway regions to protest. For them fighting means surviving.

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