Skip to main content

Police standoff with OccupyCOP17 protestors and members of numerous climate justice movements and ngos as they convene in Dec. 3. Durban for Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. Photo from OccupyCOP17

The fight for survival is heating up at the UN Climate Talks in Durban. Today, the ambassadors of Grenada, Seychelles, and Nauru joined a big crowd outside the official negotiations to call for bold and immediate action to cut emissions and safeguard the survival of people across the planet.  Jamie Henn reporting on Dec. 2 for from #OccupyCOP17 from Durban, SA

Tens of thousands of climate justice advocates are expected to rally tomorrow outside the official COP17 meeting following Friday's exceptionally huge turnout of climate justice advocates representing diverse sectors of civil society. Members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), who joined the marchers yesterday, said their ability to survive is compromised by climate change. One representation said, "You are our conscious, and we will be your voice."

Reporting on the Friday march, OccupyCOP17 noted:

... hundreds of people from the Rural Womens Assembly arrived at Speakers Corner for a rally. They were then joined by hundreds more from One Million Climate Jobs, and then everyone took to the streets, signing, dancing and chanting for climate justice.

This was a taster for what will happen here tomorrow, when the Global Day of Action march takes place in Durban and around the world. 20,000 people will make their voices heard, going right past the ICC where delegates will not be able to ignore the calls of the people. OccupyCOP17

“World leaders are discussing the fate of our planet but they are far from reaching a solution to climate change," said C17 Global Day of Actioncommittee convenor Desmond D’sa. "If they fail to make progress we will see drought and hunger blight our country and continent even further. We call on all South African’s to march with us this Saturday and remind our leaders they must come to a fair climate change deal that avoids runaway climate change.”  

The merging of numerous climate justice networks with Occupy COP17 signals yet another example of global unrest over social injustice; this time rallying groups and individuals represent the peoples, cultures and countries most seriously disenfranchised in the UNFCCC negotiating process. Talk prior to onset of negotiations regarding a decision by a group of developed countries (including the US and Canada) to reboot the climate negotiations with a 2020 treaty date has further outraged and incentivized the climate justice movement.

Yet the first signs of the huge significance of  tomorrow's global day of action were first apparent last winter.

With the Arab Spring in its infancy, attendees at last February's World Social Forum in Senegal recognized the urgency of tapping into the awakening of a global consciousness to address the battle for climate justice, and it was at these meetings that the rallying call for a Climate Justice Protocol began to gain momentum. Reporting for Pambazuka News (and cross-posted here at Kos),  Vishwas Satgar discussed the Battle for COP17.

The expressions of people’s power in these revolutions defied inherited formulaic understandings of 20th century revolutions. Instead of vanguards and armed uprisings, these revolutions organised without organisation through social media and the unstoppable mass surge of discontent. Egypt and Tunisia also fired an imagination for more: Could people’s power be harnessed to end the tenuous grip of neoliberal ideology on a world scale? Could the struggles in Latin America, the Maghreb, the Arab world, global climate change negotiations and beyond be connected to frame a new horizon for global transformation?


Progressive civil society was divided at Cancun. NGO technocrats, donor-driven agendas, big egos, celebrity intellectuals and hard-lined social movement agendas prevented a common voice and united agenda to prevail outside the negotiations in the streets.

A serious and ethical conversation of honest assessment, above petty nationalisms and narrow agendas, reveals a climate change process that is increasingly being led by an agenda that favours utilising the ecological crisis as a new outlet and fix for capitalist accumulation. Within the Cancun framework carbon trading, geo-engineering and adaptation are just some of the elements of a new green neoliberalism. The future of the delicate ecological web will be determined by financial returns, speculation and risky technologies. For the World Bank, finance and investment in climate change are the new horizon for green capitalism, a dangerous and false solution.


Currently, the United Nations has a democracy deficit. It is actually not the embodiment of global democracy and the liberal internationalism through which it claims its legitimacy is in crisis due to the weakening of national liberal democracies in the context of global capitalist restructuring. Most states sitting at the climate change negotiations table are there due to weaknesses in national democracies. In most instances, representative democracy has been hollowed out as states have been transnationalised as part of reproducing

Tomorrow's march begins with a rally at 9:00 am (1 AM EST, 10PM PST) with short speeches by Bishop Geoff Davies, Bandile Mdlalose, and C17’s Desmond D’sa, representing  South Africa and international community.

The march passes the ICC, (site of UNFCCC negotiations) for a 1PM rally where participants will hand over statements to Christiana  Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Speakers representing labour, youth, women, faith communities and Africa will address participants.

As the first week of the official talks concluded, Figueres, expressed hope that negotiators may yet succeed in clarifying a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol by the end of COP17 next Friday. Additionally, she believes progress is being made in work towards design and implementation of the Green Climate Fund, created to provide the most vulnerable and poorest developing countries access to global warming adaption tools and techniques.

Expectations are that an agreement on the second commitment to Kyoto, with "certain conditions" might be reached by Tuesday. The EU, which proposed new amendments, claims the changes will inspire the developed countries to tackle more ambitious plans to reduce global greenhouse gases (GHGs). UNFCCC gives thumbs up after week one of COP17Terraviva, Dec. 2

Climate Justice Activists outside COP17 December 2.

HotLinks For Coverage of Global Day of Action for Climate Justice
Civil Society Committee for COP17
Occupy COP17

Photos from OccupyCOP17
Occupy COP17 (Twitter)


A handful of wealthy countries – including notably the United States – are now seeking to move the goalposts. They want to dismantle the rules for developed countries’ emissions reductions, shift the burden to developing countries and renege on the Bali Roadmap. In the process, they are trying to end the Kyoto Protocol, and even the Convention, and replace it with a weak, ineffective ‘pledge and review’ system that may take years to negotiate.
Coverage @ Kos

Visit Earthship Copernica Week l for archives, news, features and primers on the Climate Negotiations.

Kelly Rigg. GCCA. Darwin Comes to Durban: Overcoming "Survival of the Fittest" Mentality at UN Climate Talks
:Franke James
eCOP: Why would Canada censor artist, Franke James? See “Banned on the Hill”
WarrenS: Drowning Songs, Drying Songs, Dying Songs
beach-babe-in-fl: Macca's Meatless Monday...Come Together in Durban
citisven: eCOP: HOT STUFF! From Durban to Rio - Introducing International Ecocity Framework & Standards
Sierra Club International:  Durban's Dirty Energy Week
enviro writer:eCOP: Building US Leadership from the Inside
Janet Redman Institute for Policy Studies: 1000 Durbans: Occupy the COP!
Arctic Enters a New State
99% Take On Conference of Polluters

Throughout the talks, Daily Kos Eco writers are also re-posting relevant diaries at The Durban Daily.

Visit the intro Earthship for pre-launch highlights.

Live and Interactive from COP17

Join OneClimate. for live coverage @ COP17  (3pm Durban, 1PM, London 8AM New York).

Watch the UNFCCC Talks LIVE

4:54 PM PT: 10PM PST Global Action March for Climate Justice begins in Durban .. looking for livestream...

Originally posted to The Durban Daily on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 01:24 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site