Negotiations here in Copenhagen are at a critical stage. Time is running out for a climate deal’a strong, binding agreement. Some say it won’t happen. Others say the U.S. is leading a “race to the bottom” and that the Western media is unfairly blaming non-western nations like China and Sudan for the potential stalemate. Hours pass; no real news. The BBC reported that delegates are bringing their toothbrushes to the Bella Center, set to negotiate through the night. Sure, something will come out of Copenhagen. But it may be insufficient to address the realities and pressures of the climate crisis. However, these observers say, it will be marketed to the world (spun) as a success.
Indeed, it appears that much isn’t what it seems, or is being rebranded its very opposite. On Wednesday, for instance, a Brazilian senator who’s on the government delegation here declared, “meat is a human right,” and something very good. Brazil will, she continued, further expand its meat production and Brazilians, their meat consumption, dismissing, as she did, any ecological or climate impacts. This morning during a report on the state of the negotiations at the Klimaforum, a Brazilian NGO delegate described Brazil’s more than 800-member delegation as chock full of agribusiness “emperors” (alas, like many delegations here in Copenhagen). They’re lobbying intensively to ensure that a climate deal doesn’t require major changes in current agribusiness practices. That’s despite the fact, she continued, that dismantling the “crazy” agribusiness system would provide a major reduction in GHGs, including from deforestation and use of fossil fuels. Just one rebranding: “No till” agriculture is being marketed as climate friendly, and being used in Brazil to justify expansion of soy monocultures.
Photo courtesy of Greenpeace