What's COP15 ?
COP15 (Conference of the Parties) is an international summit organized by member states of the United Nations that will take place at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal from December 7 to 19, 2022. The number 15 means that this is the 15th time this conference has been held. The COP15, which deals with biodiversity issues, should not be confused with the COP27, which deals with climate change. Numerous events, forums and debates are organized there and delegations from many countries will be present.
Why are we opposed to it ?
Because we need a change that the COP15 cannot offer us. The fight for the protection of biodiversity and against climate change are undoubtedly some of the most important issues of our century. Scientific studies and indigenous knowledge are very clear: we are currently experiencing an unprecedented decline in biodiversity. Our economic system, capitalism, is at the root of this problem: only by overthrowing it can we save what can still be saved. Obviously, this is not the objective of the COP15. It even aims at the opposite objectives:
- Encouraging free enterprise while claiming to protect biodiversity
- The COP15 «Agenda for Responsible Business Engagement» aims to actively involve the private sector in the formulation of international agreements on biodiversity. This involves those responsible for the current situation in the decision-making process. The wolf is in control of the sheepfold.
- Allow corporations to privatize life.
- The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol have established in international law the possibility of nationalizing the ownership of «resources derived from genetic material». Genetic resources were previously considered part of the common heritage of humanity. We are going to see an increase in the privatization of life.
- Facilitating the exploitation of southern countries and indigenous lands.
- The Nagoya Protocol calls for an «access and benefit sharing» program. This means that countries with high biodiversity are supposed to give access to their natural resources. As a result of this looting, an unequal sharing of benefits is taking place between southern states and corporations, without taking into account the essential contributions of indigenous communities to this common heritage of humanity.
Taking our future in our hands
- States and corporations are the main culprits in the decline of biodiversity.
- These institutions work hand in hand to subsidize with billions the extractivist projects of big mining and oil companies. The Canadian government even offers tax vacations to mining companies, and the latter are well aware of this support; 75% of the world’s mining companies are headquartered in Canada. These same states finance projects that actively destroy biodiversity. We also think of the Quebec government and its third link project estimated at 6 billion dollars which would encourage urban sprawl. Moreover, when the population does not give in, police and military forces are sent to quell the revolts. Let’s not forget that the Coastal GasLink pipeline is currently under construction on Wet’suwet’en land, under heavy police protection.
- Those responsible for the disaster will not save us.
- As with any social advance, only popular mobilization can bring the government to heel. The history of the environmental movement is the most visible proof of this; without our mobilization, states and companies would still deny the reality of our findings. For decades, governments and capitalists have been aware of ecological issues and have done nothing that has had a significant impact. The mere fact that the COP on climate change is now in its 26th year - and getting worse - shows us what we can expect if we give a free hand to those who are leading us down the road.
- Blocking, to move forward.
- We believe it is time to break the atmosphere of soft consensus within the environmental movement; collaboration with states and corporations has only led to a worsening of the situation. Our only chance is to build a movement that rejects the structures responsible for the catastrophe; capitalism and the state. It is therefore important to attack these events that are designed to reassure us and divert our attention. Let’s show them that we are not fooled.
How to oppose the COP15?
- Join the assembly to fight against COP15.
- By gathering our forces and developing solutions against this international summit, we can be the seed of an environmental movement free from the grip of states and private interests.
- Go on strike
- For students and workers, going on strike gives us the opportunity to make our voices heard in a way that is not the voice of oil companies and governments. The strike sends a clear message that we are determined to act for change. The strike also frees up time to participate in the environmental movement through demonstrations, workshops and discussions that will take place at the same time as the summit. The strike reminds the state and the capitalists that without us they are nothing, and reminds us that in the end we produce everything. We need this time if we want an environmental movement capable of rising to the challenges of the moment.
- Learn and educate.
- The organization of a counter-summit, against the COP15 and for a radical ecological movement allows us to make hear another way than the one of this movement which collaborates to the «management» of the environmental crisis. We have to learn from other struggles and from the history of the social movement and not consider ourselves as a separate issue from capitalism or colonialism.