US Spying a Threat to Global Climate Deal

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

climate-change-conference1The US government has been at it again spying at all and sundries and this time it is revealed the target were the UN Climate Talks and its participants.

Activists and experts have expressed outrage at the revelations that the US government, through the NSA and its allies, has conducted espionage on participants of UN climate talks.

They are calling for President Obama to commit to no further spying on participants of the talks, accompanied by a drastically increased commitment to climate action on the part of the United States, if the talks are to succeed as they build toward another global summit at the end of 2015.

"The UN climate talks are supposed to be about building trust - that's been under threat for years because of the United States' backward position on climate action - these revelations will only crack that trust further," Meena Raman, negotiations expert from the Malaysian based Third World Network, said.

Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst with development organization ActionAid in the United States, said: "Fighting climate change is a global struggle, and these revelations clearly show that the US government is more interested in crassly protecting a few vested interests - rather than acting ethically by taking responsibility to lead and working cooperatively with others to find solutions."

"This is yet again an underhanded, undemocratic and arrogant use of power by the US government to protect corporate interests. We urge the citizens of the United States to condemn these actions by their government and call for an immediate stop to its blocking progress in the climate talks," said Lidy Nacpil, director of Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, a social movement headquartered in the Philippines.

And Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate at Friends of the Earth EWNI in the UK, said: "If Obama's rhetoric on climate change in the State of the Union is to be believed he must use an executive order to stop spying on climate negotiators and take up a position on pollution cuts that is consistent with the science."

But, let's face it, the United States government and its funders, the industries with vested interest, and those of it allies, have no interest in the success of the UN Climate Talks as that could and would mean that things would have to change. This could not possibly allowed to happen now, could it, as it would cut into the profits of the companies and the “income” of the politicians industry has managed to bribe.

All the United States and most other developed countries do is pay lip service with regards to climate change and the wish to make changes and then they look at (1) buying carbon credits from Third World countries and (2) play with fire by claiming that nuclear power is the answer to a carbon-free future. But I will not start a discourse on nuclear even though it is not the answer. The fact is that the powers that be in the developed countries have no interest in reduction of carbon emissions and reduction of consumption as that does not bring them money; it is as simple as that. And that is why the likes of the US and the UK will spy on the talks in the same way that they declare climate protests acts of terrorism.

There is lots of rhetoric from the sides of the powers that be in the often referred to as “Western” nations but it is but rhetoric as far as climate action is concerned totally missing the point that action is required and total different action that which they are advocating in their speeches and all the papers that are being produced by them.

They wish to have business as usual and further economic growth (and this is not just the way it is seen in the developed world) on a Planet that cannot grow and with ever diminishing resources. How that is supposed to work beats the hell out of me, for sure.

A copy of the leaked document, which concerns the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, can be found here.

© 2014