This December the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP15 will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Those organising the conference claim it aims to be a step towards the building of a ‘new global climate treaty’ in an attempt to tackle climate change.
But many feel that this meeting is a sham, created to prop up existing systems that promote, not hinder climate change. Propaganda to back this up is already pouring out of the COP15 website which in a recently published article dubbed Britain, France, Germany, Greece and Sweden as ‘climate heroes’.
Many groups and individuals have spent the last year and a half organising against COP15. This will culminate in several days of protest during the conference. The protests, organised by a wide network under a loose banner of ‘Climate Justice Action’ focus on many climate related issues including production, anti-corporate action and industrial agriculture.
Copenhagen has seen several mass protests in recent years, notably in 2008 after authorities evicted the Ungdomshuset squatted social centre. Read more at http://www.archive.lasthours.org.uk/news/riots-in-copenhagen/
What is COP15?
COP15 is the name given to the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place between the 7th and 18th of December in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Officials from almost 200 countries are expected to attend as well as representatives from other organisations and NGOs. The aim is to establish a ‘global climate agreement for the period from 2012′. The conference is sponsored by corporations such as BMW, Honda and Volvo.
Who are Climate Justice Action?
Climate Justice Action (CJA) is a broad network people and groups mobilizing to take action against Climate Change. The group includes NGOs and charitable organisations as well as more grassroots groups. All are operating under a united set of network goals and principles. For more information on CJA or to read the network principles visit http://www.climate-justice-action.org/about/about-cja/
Never Trust A COP
More explicitly anti-capitalist organising is also taking place. A network titled Never Trust A COP was formed in April 2009. The network includes people from the radical left, anarchists and ‘groups based on consensus decision making’. The network have called for an anti-capitalist block on December 12th’s mass demonstration as well as participation in the action on December 13th (see below). A longer text from NTAC which outlines the need for anti-capitalist action can be read here.
Below is a brief outline of some of the protests and actions taking place. However protest will be taking place across the world. A more extensive list of COP15 related events can be found at http://earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/22201
November 30th – Pre-Copenhagen day of action
Ten year to this date anti-globalisation protests crippled the city of Seattle in the USA. The protests shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings taking place there. In London thousands of people took part in a Reclaim the Streets protest. A police observation van was set on fire, and luggage trolleys where used as battering rams against police lines.
To mark the date a global day of action has been called in opposition to climate change.
As part of the COP15 a ‘Global Business Day’ is taking place. Organised by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Chamber of Commerce the meeting provides an opportunity for commercial interest to have its say in the negotiations. “Corporate leaders and lobby groups get unhindered access to the decision makers- as if they don’t have enough influence already!” (CJA website). As a result a day of anti-corporate action has been called for on this date.
Mass demonstration starting from Danish parliament. Different groups will head off in different directions across the city. Never Trust A Cop call to ‘get heard not herded’
Hit the production! – Target symbols of capitalism. Affinity groups are being encouraged to take action in Copenhagen and across the globe. As well as this a blockade of Copenhagen harbour will take place. ‘The harbour is a key symbol of the global free-market economy. Here becomes visible what is usually hidden: ecological deterioration, economic and social exploitation, and utter injustice.’ (CJA website)
No Borders, No Climate Refugees! (Day of action in Copenhagen. Call to action to international no borders groups during the COP 15 in Copenhagen)
Resistance is Ripe! Agriculture Action Day (Change the food system not the climate)
An attempt is planned to take over the conference through non-violent means. In the event that the space should be taken a ‘People’s Summit for Climate Justice’ will be set up.
The last day of the conference.
Both Climate Justice Action and Never Trust A COP offer logistical information from their websites. The UK based group Camp for Climate Action have organised coaches to Copenhagen for the protests. You can find more information on this at http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions/copenhagen-2009/coaches