End Imperialist plunder and war to build a better environment for our future
The current unprecedented rise in greenhouse gas production and the resulting changes in the planet’s climate system is causing massive destruction and suffering to the peoples of the world. Tragedies on the scale of Katrina, Yolanda, Patricia, and other extreme weather events are fast becoming daily struggles of our communities in many parts of the world.
Numerous studies warn that the unsustainable rise in surface temperatures would submerge land currently occupied by several hundreds of million people and cause widespread changes in biodiversity, forests, water avail-ability, agriculture, fisheries and health.
We have already experienced the hottest year on record in 2014 and there are indications that 2015 is on its way to break that record. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and the global warming that results causes an untenable situation for the world’s peoples, especially vulnerable communi-ties in the global South.
Class, race and gender oppression are made even worse by the additional burden of hazards related to global warming. It is the poor who bear the brunt of the impacts that global warming has caused. They are the same ones who also face daily the impoverishment that imperialism and local reaction have caused.
The people made vulnerable by imperialist plunder and war are the same people facing these increased hazards due to climate change. Intensified plun-der and exploitation of their natural resources under the banner of neoliberal globalisation makes them victims of imperialism twice over due to global warming.
Imperialism has made underdeveloped countries major dumping grounds for the waste and harmful technologies of industrial countries. It continues to avoid addressing the problem of overproduction for profit which is the root cause of the climate crisis. It invests even more in destructive technolo-gies in the face of intense competition among monopoly capitalists even as it denies development to poor countries by imposing intellectual property claims and patent regimes under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other so-called free trade agreement (FTA) regimes such as the Trans-Pacific Part-nership (TPP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
The renewed push for manufacturing by the US and big capitalist powers such as China and Russia drive them to seek new resources and markets. They try to bring more countries within their economic orbit through direct aggression, neo-colonialism and multi-lateral and bilateral agreements such as the TPP, the New Silk Road, and regional formations such as the ASEAN and APEC. This will worsen the already precarious state of the environment and worsen the vulnerability of the same communities that are ravaged by monopoly capital’s plunder of the world.
This race for resources intensifies mining and plunders in Africa, Asia Pa-cific and Latin America, resulting in the displacement of communities, espe-cially indigenous peoples and peasants, pastoralists and fisherfolk. Forests are rapidly vanishing due to intense logging and land conversion while coasts are threatened by reclamation activities and industrial wastes.
Peasants, workers, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk – women and men – have courageously stood against the invasion of their lands, environmental de-struction and imperialist plunder. They have achieved great victories, but still face great threats. These include militarization and human rights viola-tions such as extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and forced evacuation.
When these industrial powers led by the US cannot get what they want through negotiation and agreements, they force their way in through direct aggres-sion and invasion. They are orchestrating regime change, bombing campaigns and the invasion of Syria in order to secure pipelines, markets and resources much like what they did in Yugoslavia, in Iraq and Iran, Afghanistan and their Pivot to Asia. The US military has even made climate disasters as an excuse to deploy troops on the ground in the guise of humanitarian service such as in Haiti and in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan.
Imperialist war destroys the environment not only in the direct destruction made by weapons but in every phase of carrying out aggression throughout the world. Their boats and submarines destroy reefs in protected areas such as the Tubbataha reef grounding by the USS Guardian. China’s aggressive territorial policy in the West Philippine Sea destroyed the fish breeding grounds in Scarborough shoal. The US bases being built in Jeju island and the relocation of Futenma airbase to Henoko Bay in Okinawa are just ex-amples of the impunity of US imperialism doing damage to the environment. The problem of toxic wastes in their current and former overseas military bases remain un-addressed and continue to wreak ecological havoc in the surrounding areas.
Military exercises in different parts of the world pollute the environment and contribute to the destruction of natural habitats and endanger the people. US military joint exercises bring with them not only direct US military aggres-sion but the dangerous weapons and waste from these activities. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction remain a threat as the US, Russia, the UK, France, China and other nuclear countries keep these in their active weapons inventory.
Privatization of energy resources hands over the control of power generation from nations to a few energy companies. This is also true for alternative energy technologies in hydro, solar and wind whose control is limited to some industrialized countries while putting ecosystems at risk such as the mega dams in the Philippines and Malaysia.
Large tracts of forests have been lost in places such as Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Congo due to conversion of forests to monoculture planta-tions causing not only loss of forest cover and biodiversity but is a direct contributory to haze pollution, which is now a threat to Southeast Asia.
On November 30 to December 12, 2015, countries are going to meet in Paris to supposedly lay down another climate agreement aimed at addressing the issue of climate change and global warming. The gulf between the advanced industrialized and developing third world countries, and between the sci-ence and what imperialist countries are willing to yield is still immense and there is little hope that the people’s needs would determine the final climate deal.
Any climate deal that disregards the historical responsibility of the advanced industrialized countries for dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will fail. Any climate deal that shifts the burden of mitigation to underdevel-oped countries will fail. Any climate deal that refuses to address overproduction for profit will fail to curb emissions. Any climate deal that perpetu-ates monopoly capital is bound to worsen the effects of global warming es-pecially in impoverished and vulnerable countries. Despite projected com-mitments of Annex 1 countries to curb carbon emissions accompanied with the conditional reductions among developing countries, we are still on the dangerous track to 3.7ºC while global community is demanding 1.5ºC or less.
Monopoly capital ruins the environment through imperialist plunder and war whose effects— the increased vulnerability of our communities and the de-struction of our lives— are aggravated by global warming which is ultimately caused by the same economic system that puts profit over everything else. To arrest global warming, we need to put an end to monopoly capital’s domi-nance and replace it with a socially just, equitable, and environmentally sound social system that puts people’s needs and the judicious use of resources at the heart of production.
To this end, we resolve to:
1. Continue and deepen our stand on the side of the masses of peasants, workers, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk – women and men – who have courageously stood against invasion of their lands, environmental destruc-tion and imperialist plunder.
2. Launch a sustained grassroots education and propaganda campaign in our chapters, countries and communities in order to deepen our people’s un-derstanding on the inter-relationship of environmental destruction, cli-mate change and monopoly capital.
3. Strengthen movements and launch campaigns to protect human rights and sovereignty on land, minerals, forests, biodiversity and water resources against corporate control and plunder. Mobilize to demand corporate and state accountability and maximize available tools especially multimedia technology, internet and other social media tools.
4. Beef up programs to increase people’s capacities to minimize risk and vulnerabilities to disasters. Expose imperialist military intervention and capitalist profit-seeking ventures in the guise of disaster rehabilitation and rescue.
5. Strengthen awareness building, outreach and mobilization of scientists, technologists, information and communications technology profession-als, medical professionals and environmentalists to fight imperialist plunder and war and work and use their talent and expertise in the service of the people.
6. In particular, we:
I. Will launch and participate in internationally coordinated actions and campaigns:
a. Participate under the banner of ILPS during the Peoples Climate March on Dec 12/13 with a theme ‘Address Climate Crisis, Resist Imperial-ism’.
b. Against Palm Oil Plantations
c. Against OceanaGold
d. Anti-mega dam campaign on the International Day of Rivers (March 14)
e. Campaign on the “blue economy” and the plunder of marine resources on World Fisheries Day (Nov 21)
f. In defense of environmental defenders (Sept 1)
g. In remembrance of anti-mining martyrs (Sept)
h. Tactical campaign vs TPP during 1Q 2016 / TPP Day of Action
i. International lobbying on the issue of climate change and climate jus-tice
j. Maximize networking and alliances with Church organizations in the conduct of environmental campaigns
II. Issue solidarity statements on:
a. BHP-Vale dam spill in Brazil
b. Attack on civilians and communities (France, Lebanon, Syria etc)
c. Climate, justice and COP 21
d. In support of campaign for Dr. Romy Quijano
e. Campaign against Jalaur Mega Dam and in support of the Tumanduk National Assembly
f. Campaign against Glencore Xstrata
III. Issue position papers and analyses on:
a. Climate and war
b. Oil palm plantation, agro-ecology, corporate land grabbing
d. TPP, science and environment
e. Deep sea and coastal mining
f. Environmental Impact System (EIS) regimes in different countries