Eric Mann on the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015

And the Struggle with Obama, Biden, and Kerry Today

Voices from the Frontlines Episode cover for November 24, 2020. At the top is the Voices logo in white, which says "Voices from the Frontlines, your national movement building show." In yellow text, the title "Eric Mann on the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, The Struggle with Obama, Biden, and Kerry today." There is a picture of the sun rising over the earth, with logos from CounterPunch magazinne, The Black Commentator, and the Huffington post featured.

A letter from Eric Mann on this episode:

Voices Readers,

As Joe Biden appoints John Kerry as “special envoy for climate” I urge you to read my article, written 5 years ago at the end of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, that I attended, “The Paris Climate Talks: A Victory for President Obama, a Defeat for the Planet and a Challenge to the Climate Justice Movement”.

Here is the preface I wrote to the Movement that is even more relevant today:

“To be clear, in my view, President Barack Obama and at the time, Secretary of State John Kerry were the hatchet men in Paris, working to destroy any enforceable regulations to protect the U.S. and Barack Obama from any clear agreements against which to be evaluated. I will read from my article today that we will soon publish in pamphlet form along with my other 4 articles from Paris.”

Great appreciation to Manuel Criollo, Barbara Lott-Holland, and Channing Martinez with whom I worked and who were my support system in the writing and struggling for this point of view.

Best,

Eric

Continue reading for our demands and how you can join and support the movement.

Friends in the Climate Justice Movement,

Millions of people all over the world worked to push the world’s governments to radically restrict Green House Gas emissions. There were also people in every government in the world who shared that goal and each of them pushed history are far as they could.  I do not believe Paris was a  failure or a fraud or sham. It was a great historical workshop, a  reflection of the actual balance of forces in the world, and again a reflection of the powerful and destructive role of the United States as the greatest danger to Mother Earth.  We at the Labor/Community Strategy Center (including Manuel Criollo, Barbara Lott-Holland, Channing Martinez, Ashley Franklin and myself who worked in Paris for weeks)  plan to come back to the U.S. to build a national and international conference—What Are We Going to Do About the United States—to continue this fight and continue to bring demands on President Obama and the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates

U.S. to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 50% of 1990 Levels by 2025,

U.S. Contribute $10 Billion a year into the U.N. Green Climate Fund and additional funds for climate reparations,

U.S. and President Obama to Immediately and Effectively Grant the Right of Return Back to New Orleans for 100,000 Black Internally Displaced People Since Hurricane Katrina

U.S. and President Obama to End the Department of Defense 1033 Program that gives military grade weapons including tanks to city and state police forces to suppress  protests over racism, poverty, and climate catastrophe.

I hope you would take the time to read this sum-up of UNFCCC and the broader struggles in the world around it. It is an effort to put forth a very specific political perspective to generate discussion and debate inside the Environmental and Climate Justice Movements. I hope it contributes to  the fledgling Climate Justice Movement to offer a more encouraging view of our achievements and a sober sense of our own limitations, weaknesses, and errors (as we try to bring to bear on all of our work) in order to make that work stronger and more effective.

And for some, a little less self-righteousness would be helpful.  Life is not a morality play and no, we are not always right and everybody else is wrong.  I think some of those attitudes prevented the level of unity needed to make more demands on the world’s governments and make them more forcefully and clearly. This is a great learning experience for all of us—and for those of us who invested in trying to impact the COP 21 UNFCCC a great workshop of history with many important lessons still to be learned.  As I state in this article,

“The Climate Justice Movement is trying to become a more effective movement—and is composed of many good people doing good work and trying, like we are, to make a difference. But until there is some real agreement on demands, tactics, political perspective and real forms of organization to carry them out we are all running uphill with lead weights on.”

Let’s continue this conversation–the battle continues! I welcome your “reply all” comments.

Best regards,
Eric Mann

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