Patrick Bond

Copenhagen: the burning issues

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Patrick Bond examines the forces battling it out at the climate summit in Copenhagen - and the resistance from below.

The negotiations in the run-up to the 7-18 December Copenhagen Summit confirmed that northern states and their corporations won't get their act together. Nor will southern elites in high-emission countries, especially South Africa.

South Africa: Capital's Dangerous Gimmick

With climate change posing one of the gravest threats to capital accumulation - not to mention humankind and our environment - it is little wonder that economists such as Sir Nicholas Stern, establishment politicians like Gordon Brown and Al Gore, and financiers at the World Bank and the City of London have begun warning the public. They are all pushing for more market solutions as the way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

This was the key theory motivating capitalist states' support for the Kyoto Protocol. And since February 2005, when the protocol was ratified by Russia and formally came into effect, a great deal more money and propaganda has been invested in the carbon market, including at a major Nairobi climate conference last month.

Imperialism's African Helpers

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Africa needs to break immediately from the most destructive circuits of global capital, and its leaders are on the wrong side.

Paul Wolfowitz is a 'wonderful individual'. He is 'perfectly capable'. This judgment of the Iraq war architect's anointment as World Bank president came from Africa's most prominent finance minister, Trevor Manuel. The former grassroots anti-apartheid leader offered the comments at a 17 April press conference of the World Bank/IMF Development Committee, which he has chaired since 2002.

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