Climate Change Conference

Why Isis has also hit those who fight for climate

Why would a possible failure of the COP21 suit Isis? The answer is one: the exploitation and control of the world’s “dirtiest” source, oil.

Isis has stricken a blow that could go unnoticed. The French government has banned two marches for climate supposed to be held in Paris on 29 November, COP21’s eve, and on 12 December, the day after its conclusion. The decision has been made to “avoid further risks” and to guarantee the safety of citizens and of anyone who is headed to the French capital to talk about climate change. On the contrary, all indoor activities have been confirmed.

Many may agree with this decision because the risk is concrete and the fear is still too much, but this choice can be seen as anything but a defeat of civilisation. A defeat of all the people that have been fighting for months and years for putting climate and the fight against global warming on top of governments’ agendas and in newspapers’ headlines.


A successful failure

Is it thus just a coincidence that the Paris attacks have been carried out just a few weeks ahead of the most important climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell for The Ecologist. However, he adds that a possible failure of the conference or a possible achievement of a non-binding deal, which means a useless deal, would suit the terrorist organisation, which makes millions of dollars each day thanks to oil.


Bombing Kobane against ISIS
An explosion in Kobane, Syria, to hit ISIS © Gokhan Sahin/Getty Image


France definitely is one of the countries bombing the most the Islamic State in Syria. And the banlieue, Paris’ suburbs, are surely areas where immigrants’ inconvenience has exponentially increased over the past few years. Yet, there must be a closer link between the Ville Lumière and the terror attacks.


Almost perfect alignment

As of the COP15 of 2009, the disastrous climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this is the first time that the United Nations negotiations are at a turning point. The objective is to reach the broadest deal possible in order to contain the global average temperature rise below 2°C. The United States was ready to take on the leadership, thanks to Barack Obama to be remembered as the climate president. Canada just made a change thanks to the victory of Justin Trudeau. The European Union was doing great, whilst Australia got rid of the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, one of the last climate change deniers left in the world.


Il premier canadese Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau (centre) © Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Getty Images


Everything was in place, perfectly aligned. Until the 13rd of November, when a group of fanatics has in just a few hours cancelled the commitment of millions of people. Differently from Copenhagen, the streets of Paris will be not walked down by a cheering crowd singing chants and waving posters reading “You know what to do, cut down CO2” and “There is no Planet B”. There will be no concert under the snow and no stand of WWF and Greenpeace will be animated by volunteers disguised as pandas or just wearing their green bibs. And the leaders that will meet in the exhibition centre of Le Bourget are likely not to talk about emissions reduction, but security and borders.


The oil of terrorists

We must thus say that those who will benefit from the icy climate in Paris are them: the terrorists of Isis. The ones that make from 1.5 to 3 million dollars from oil illegal trade every day. The ones that don’t look kindly upon a limit in the consumption of fossil fuels.

Is it so unlikely to think that, even the attacks did not directly target the COP21, terrorists have talked about when and where to strike? Even more so, we should not be afraid and stay at home. We must use the Isis to claim, once again, that we do not need oil and fossil fuels to protect the planet’s climate and to not fuel terrorism, violence, and the massacre of innocents. Blocking the investments in the black gold means increasing the international security the heads of state long for. Today, we need to take to the streets, in Paris and all over the world, to urge a binding, global deal. An historic deal, not a missed opportunity.

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