The counter-summit to the COP denounces the industrialized nations: Politicians protected only interests of large transnational corporations.
The organizers of the Social Summit in Madrid Photo: dpa
Satisfied looks different. "The big polluters have corrupted COP25," complains Tom Kucharz, one of the spokespersons of the "Social Climate Summit," which was held in parallel with the UN Climate Conference in Madrid "to give a voice to those who were ignored by COP25." "The United States, the European Union, Australia and Canada have pressured and blackmailed the weakest countries for one more year," explains the sociologist, who is responsible for globalization and international solidarity in the Spanish environmental organization Ecologistas en Accion, at the end of the UN Climate Conference in Madrid.
This Saturday, participants are still wrestling over a final document, and the COP has already been extended by one day. To put pressure on the UN climate negotiations, Germany and other countries have joined forces to call for minimum standards for international trade in climate protection credits. But in the morning, there was still no end in sight for the conference.
The counter-summit had already presented its final report at a sit-in by "Fridays for Future" in Madrid on Friday afternoon.
The four-page document speaks of "criminal climate policies" by major industrialized nations "that protect the interests of large transnational corporations." "We know that the Paris Agreement does not go far enough," it says. "Nevertheless, we condemn U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement." This, it says, is "a crime against humanity.
"Madness of CO2 markets"
Participants in the counter-summit are particularly critical of CO2 trading. The industrialized nations would "expand the madness of largely unregulated CO2 markets, where polluters such as oil, mining and electricity companies can continue to extract, pollute, poison and violate human rights as long as they acquire ‘pollution rights,’" the report says.
The "Social Climate Summit" lasted a week. More than 300 events were held on topics such as the limits of the planet, climate emergency, economic and financial power, social or environmental and financial justice. A special focus was on the living conditions of indigenous peoples. The organizers wanted to turn the counter-summit in Madrid into a summit of the South.
As such, it had originally been planned as a parallel event to COP25 in Santiago de Chile. But the president there, Sebastian Pinera, canceled just over a month ago. He justified this with the social protests that have been rocking the Latin American country for months. Madrid jumped in.
"We will mobilize to prevent the implementation of the dangerous policies negotiated at COP25," Kucharz says. The more than 500 organizations involved in the counter-summit "call for the organization of numerous peaceful actions of civil disobedience." The protests of "Ende Gelande for the closure of coal mines" should serve as a model, according to the final communique.