Patrick Bond, political economist, Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, and Director of the Centre for Social Change, expands on the first Global Stocktake produced at COP28. He criticizes the document’s weak language of “transitioning away” from fossil fuels, which he says is a distraction from the need to phase out fossil fuels outright. Sanctions such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to prevent carbon leakage were removed from the GST in the name of promoting global trade, another aspect Bond problematizes. He also addresses the BRICS+ divided approach toward Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Bruce Robertson, independent energy analyst, exposes the hypocrisies and lobbying taking place at COP28 and how talk of investing in a green transition is belied by increasing fossil fuel subsidies worldwide. He explains how the industry employs terms such as net zero and carbon capture and storage (CCS) to appease social opinion and pretend that emissions are being cut, while CCS technology has largely been a failure. Lastly, he tears into deceptive emissions accounting frameworks, which purport to reduce domestic emissions by exporting gas to other countries but, in fact, contribute to higher emissions globally.
Patrick Bond, political economist, Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, and Director of the Centre for Social Change, discusses the recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg. The BRICS countries continue to call for greater representation within Bretton Woods institutions, while their opposition to US-dollar hegemony has been feeble at best. Patrick Bond lays out the complicity of the BRICS and soon-to-be BRICS+ elite in corruption networks as they profit from Big Oil and Gas contracts and accelerate environmental disasters. This is part 1 of 2.
Rebecca Burns, journalist at the investigative news outlet The Lever, discusses her reporting on extensive lobbying efforts to hold up legislation which would require companies to disclose all of their greenhouse gas emissions. In a recent report, she details how the same lobbyists who seek to derail progressive climate legislation in California are also getting paid by counties and cities along the California coast to deal with the impact of coastal erosion and fires.
Dr. Asoka Bandarage is an adjunct professor at the California Institute for Integral Studies and the author of a new book, Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World. Sri Lanka has had a minuscule carbon footprint, and yet the country is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, coastal erosion, and flooding. She discusses the convergence of existential climate and debt crises in Sri Lanka, the latter resulting from IMF debt restructuring and the lack of a globally coordinated multilateral sovereign debt mechanism that places traditional and private lenders on an equal footing.
Matin Qaim, Director of the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn, examines the various aspects comprising food security, namely local and global supply chains, the generation of income for local farmers, investments in the production of nutritious foods, as well as accounting for climate externalities. Attaining food security has become even more difficult given the disruptions around the pandemic, rising inflation, and the failed Black Sea grain deal. He asserts that small-scale farming and agroecological approaches are not necessarily low-tech and that certain technologies, if applied correctly, can assist smallholder farmers.
Éric Pineault, professor of ecological economics at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal, explains how the fires raging in Canada are a corollary of the paradigm termed Extreme Oil. He discusses various oil and gas projects across North America, as well as the Canadian government’s support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline project, and how terms such as “net zero” and “carbon neutral” are misleading and conveniently serve Big Oil’s aims.
His recent book A Social Ecology of Capital presents an empirical analysis of capitalist societies, which both builds on and enhances Marxist theories by accounting for the energy extraction and colonization of ecosystems, a characteristic of what he terms our “fossil-industrial” society. His conception of capitalist metabolism outlines extractivism, production, consumption, and waste dissipation, which leads to an absorption of surplus energy, capital accumulation, and profit maximization. Most importantly, how is this understanding of social ecology useful for furthering a project of emancipation?
Robert Pollin says PERI research findings published in Fossil Fuel Industry Phase-Out and Just Transition demonstrate Just Transition policies are easily affordable in all high-income countries & imperative for any serious prospect of success in climate stabilization plans. Lynn Fries interviews Pollin on GPEnewsdocs.
Why net zero commitments are empty and dangerously misleading if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Talia Baroncelli speaks to retired physician and IPCC climate expert Peter Carter about how ongoing wars, illegal mineral wealth extraction in active conflict zones, and the plunder of resources by transnational corporations are literally killing the planet.
Why net zero emissions by 2050 cannot be attained if carbon capture and storage is used to pump more oil and gas out of the ground. Talia Baroncelli speaks to Bruce Robertson, energy analyst at IEEFA.
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