Activists: no to polluters’ profit on carbon trade

2011-11-30 00:00

CIVIL action groups from all over the world were mobilised outside the main conference venue yesterday.

Protesters said there was a “corporate siege” at the meeting and that any talks within its confines are not representative of the world at large.

The group carried placards and shouted slogans “Down with Canada for not committing” and “We are the people” and “Why Africa the victim?” in a park area near the Exhibition Centre dubbed Speaker’s Corner.

Dayamani Barla, an tribeswoman from the Jharkhand state in South India, shouted through a loudhailer: “You destroyed our water, our mountains, our air. This isn’t our property, it is our heritage”. Tt is what her people worship, she said of her homeland.

Bobby Peek, director of the SA groundWork Environmental Justice Action, said it is ridiculous that the biggest polluters are over-represented at the conference. Sasol alone has over 30 representatives.

“The conference is a farce. We will not accept false solutions, smokescreens and most definitely not carbon trading. You cannot profit from pollution,” he said. Peek said that Africa is most affected by global warming and that industrialised countries owe it to developing countries to fix this calamity they have caused with their greed. “They have a historical debt to us and funds should be publicly accessed to repay it,” he added.

Yesterday Canada’s Environmental Minister, Peter Kent, would not confirm or deny rumours that Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty that has come out of the COP negotiations so far.

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