Climate change, militarism and war

Film length: 36:38

The Cop21 climate talks at Paris are being acclaimed as an “historic agreement” on climate change, and a huge step forward. While it’s true that a 1.5 degrees centrigade limit has been agreed on global warming, when you look at the targets agreed by individual countries we are looking at a rise of between 3.5 and 4 degrees – which spells disaster for the planet.

Meanwhile, outside the talks, activists from all over the world gathered to build a new global climate movement led by frontline working-class, indigenous and peasant communities who are most impacted by fossi fuel extraction projects. In particular activists make the connections between climate change, militarism, war, austerity and the refugee crisis. The military has a huge carbon “bootprint” but is under no obligation to publicise its carbon emissions, let alone reduce them. Wars to secure fossil fuels are creating more refugees and giving more money to arms manufacturers who are also building the security fences to stop refugees fleeing. Extreme weather events are exarcebated by cuts to public services, and are only being dealt with on the ground by mass collective action.

The situation is clear – if we want to stop climate change, we have to stop wars, and have a collective, planned response rather than leaving it to the market.