It has been 28 years of climate COPs, of empty talks without the necessary commitments, while emissions continue to rise and the countries of the global south, like Mozambique, are suffering the impacts of this crisis. This year, in the midst of a profound humanitarian crisis and a crisis of humanity due to the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and in total solidarity with the people of Palestine, Justiça Ambiental JA! is joining many other social movements in a complete boycott of COP28 in Dubai.
We also need to recognise that the hypocrisy of the climate negotiations has reached an unprecedented level. A COP taking place in a petro-state that commits war crimes, whose human rights record is appalling, which is chaired by an oil baron whose company has plans to increase fossil fuel exploitation, cannot possibly move towards the solutions we need.
This is a COP in which transnational agribusiness companies want to re-define food systems and accommodate them to their profit interests. It’s a COP in which false solutions such as REDD+, carbon markets, nature-based solutions, continue to gain traction instead of being recognised once and for all for what they are: a dangerous distraction. It’s a COP in which methane-emitting projects such as gas and mega-dams are promoted as if they were part of some just transition. It’s a COP that broke last year’s record – which in turn had already broken the previous year’s record – for the largest number of lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry.
The fact that year after year there are more representatives of the dirty energy industry than of the states most affected by climate change has had its effects. One example of this influence was in the Paris Agreement in 2015. Article 6 of this agreement instituted a system for exchanging carbon credits, which had long been one of the industry’s main proposals.
Let’s also not lose sight of Israel’s interest in these negotiations. COP28 is yet another element in its strategy to distract the world from the genocide it is perpetrating against the Palestinian people, with the support and arms of the United States. At the invitation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel is sending a large delegation to Dubai, including representatives of its main fossil fuel companies. In addition to dirty energy, in Dubai Israel will promote a series of technologies that were developed and tested thanks to the oppression and exploitation of the Palestinian people and land.
We refuse to contribute to legitimising or whitewashing this space.
On the contrary, we will continue to mobilise with movements around the world, such as at the Earth Social Conference, to debate the paths to a just energy transition in legitimate spaces, where affected communities set the agenda, not climate criminals. We will continue to fight for the Yasunisation of our territories. We will continue to stand united and in solidarity with all the peoples who are fighting for the right to say NO to extractivist projects. We will continue to demand that the industrialised countries pay off the climate debt to the countries of the South – but that this funding is not for the benefit of our economic and political elites. We will continue to support and amplify real solutions to the climate crisis – agroecology, community forest management, clean, decentralised and community-owned energy. These solutions are already being implemented around the world, by those on the frontline of the impacts of climate change.
The struggle continues, against companies and governments that whitewash Israel’s apartheid and promote false solutions to the climate crisis.
The struggle continues, driven by the principles of climate justice, in defence of our resources and territories, and in total repudiation of the climate colonialism that infests the halls and corridors of COP28 in Dubai!