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COP27 meetings will not bring Climate Justice.

Brian Champ

November 11, 2022
COP27 climate talks opened in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this year with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres declaring that the world is “on the highway to climate hell”.
Some people are already there: devastating floods in Pakistan and Nigeria; extended droughts in East Africa; dried up rivers and increasing wildfires on all continents; rising sea levels drowning island nations like Tuvalu; devastation around the world from typhoons and hurricanes.
Host country Egypt is playing champion for the Global South, demanding increased funding from rich nations for loss and damage. This is a legitimate climate justice demand - the devastation in Pakistan displaced 33 million people and will cost over $40 billion (USD) – nearly half the $100 billion promised previously for one catastrophe.
But there can’t be climate justice under a repressive regime – calls for the release of Egypt’s 60,000 political prisoners are growing. British-Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Adb-el Fattah is on hunger strike after being jailed for years for criticizing the murderous Sisi regime that seized power in a violent coup in 2013. The campaign to #FreeAlaa has demanded UK PM Sunak press Egypt for his release – Alaa’s sister, Sanaa Seif, has travelled to Egypt on his behalf, risking her life and freedom.
Egypt’s greenwashing of their police state and rising carbon emissions must be opposed. Canada’s government must end its silence but for them interests in oil and gas and mining in Egypt trump human rights and democratic freedoms.
This continues the true legacy of Canada, a colonial settler state built on Indigenous genocide through armed conquest, the reserve system, residential schools, 60’s and millennial scoops and the ongoing colonialism of extraction megaprojects over traditional territories. Indigenous people face apartheid conditions at the hands of the police, in the courts, prisons, healthcare and education.
Trudeau skipped the conference, instead sending federal minister of the Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault and a delegation that is top heavy with executives from RBC, Suncor, Enbridge, Cenovus Energy and Imperial Oil. 
RBC finances the CGL pipeline, being built over unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, and the RCMP clear the path for development despite Canada’s supreme court recognizing the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs as sovereign.
That is inviting the fox to guard the henhouse.
Fossil fuel company representatives have outnumbered Indigenous participants at all 26 previous COPs where they have worked to ensure that any measures will not impact their profitability. Embracing the rhetoric of "sustainability" and "Net Zero" they hope to hide rising carbon emissions.
The federal government helps them in this - Guilbeault’s portfolio should be renamed the Ministry of Corporate Greenwashing.
Governments and industry will not do what is necessary to stave off the existential climate crisis. The profit system they protect is based on the appropriation of Indigenous lands and the exploitation of workers.
Our urgent task is to build the mass movement of movements from below based on climate justice to challenge those who profit from this system. It can develop into a power that can smash the system and build a different world based on the needs of people and the living world.
Join the protests in:
Norman Bethune square guy concordia metro exit guy 13:00
Matt Cohen park, Bloor and Spadina - across from Chrystia Freeland’s office - 1 pm

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