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COP26 and False Solutions to Climate Change

COP26 and False Solutions to Climate Change

navdanya, food systems

Climate changeWithout acknowledging the central role played by the, the physical consequences of these actions cannot be addressed. industrial, globalised food systemBoth in its perpetuation and contribution to the climate crisis as well as in the creation of vulnerable agrifood systems around the globe. The use of hybrid or commercial crops is a hallmark of the industrial agricultural system. GMOMonocultures are grown from seeds using chemical products. fossil fuelsIntensive animal breeding,Changes in land use can also cause problems like large-scale flooding. deforestation.

The industrial agricultural system produces food that then goes into the global processing and transportation markets. This creates huge quantities of Food waste. Fossil fuels are used at nearly every stage of the food chain. Chemicals made of fossil-based materialsIn the form of pesticidesSynthetic fertilisers, as well as fuel-consuming agricultural equipment and the massive global packaging, transportation, and processing system.

navdanya, food systems
Food systems should not worsen climate change by generating emissions © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Agrobiodiversity at risk

These ecologically harmful practices are responsible for between 44% and 57% of total greenhouse gases emissions. Global warming is a major factor in the global food systemEnvironmental degradation. The Climate crisisThis is the result of indifference, and an inability to understand Earth’s ecosystems,Profit-oriented mentality can cause incapacities. This same mentality has allowed Agribusiness to invade forests, and other vital ecosystems, making them responsible for 70-90 per cent of global deforestationFor the displacement of indigenous populations.

Agrobiodiversity has been one of the most devastating effects of the new agricultural paradigm. Today, about 80 per cent of the world’s arable land is organised in Monocultures of identical or genetically identical crops. This has led to unprecedented extinctions in both agrobiodiversity as well as wild. BiodiversityThis makes ecosystems and food security more vulnerable to climate change. The evidence is mounting that this is the case. artificial fertilisersThese chemicals have decreased soil fertility and crop yields, and thus contributed to droughtification, water scarcity, and, therefore, to global warming. Chemical fertilisers can cause soil to lose its ability to hold water. This makes these areas more susceptible to flooding or drought. They also make it more difficult to obtain water and chemicals to replenish nutrient depletion. This has a detrimental effect on ecosystems, as the use nitrogen fertilisers can also lead to soil degradation, desertification, and pollution of water sources.

Canale prosciugato dalla siccità a Valencia
One of the most significant aspects of climate changes is the possible change in water availability. The decrease in rainfall can affect the water resources of countries with a Mediterranean climate, which are based on winter rainfall © Ingimage

The False Solutions of the COP26

World leaders met in Glasgow to discuss the climate emergency and the need for action. United Nations Climate Conference, COP26From October 31 to November 12, to develop an action plan to address the crisis. The summit’s main objective was to increase technology funding. This would help increase climate resilience, and reduce global greenhouse gases emissions. It also aimed to keep global average temperatures below 1.5 degrees by 2025. COP26 was already hailed as the most exclusive climate conference and was accessible only to a select few. Criticisms from activists and civil-rights groupsIts legitimacy was questioned by many. More than 100,000 people protested COP26, causing more than 300 demonstrations around worldThey condemned false solutions and demanded more participation in climate justice.

The events were mostly held behind closed doors. They featured talks by world leaders who recited the same tired speeches about climate finance, greenhouse gas reduction, and climate finance. Instead of marginalised communities and civil rights groups, philanthropists were the main focus. This is a perfect example of the COP26 position: a commitment towards technological solutions Instead of Solutions that are regenerative and biodiversity-centric.

COP26 was a success. Another failed attemptto hold polluting corporations accountable for their actions and conform to the false solutions to global warming that they promote. The conference was a corporate conference. Greenwashing arena, a place where you can reframe big tech and industrial agricultural players as heroes providing solutions for climate change instead of wrongly identifying them with the culprits. Instead of reversing current trends all seems to lead to further digitization of agriculture, more climate resistant GMO crops, artificial and laboratory-grown foods, carbon credit, and other. False solutionsThey do not address the root causes of global climate change.

COP26 solutions
World leaders gathered at COP26 in Glasgow © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Fake Promise of “Natural” Solutions

The solutions proposed by these “climate lords” consist of expensive, inadequately tested, and often dangerous technological innovations, such as food produced artificially in laboratories, gene editing, CO2 capturing, carbon credits and geoengineering. They all aim to replace natural processes and ignore the power of nature. They are supported by big-tech investors and multinationals, who promote them as the best solution to the climate crisis. False solutions and biotechnology Political power is shifting from organic farmers and local communities towards biotech companies, large investors, and vice versa.They don’t take into account local, native knowledge or different food cultures that have evolved with local ecosystems over the years.

CO2 Capturing and net-zero

The concept behind “net-zero” is to balance greenhouse gas emissions with their capture and removal from the atmosphere. To reach zero, the amount emitted CO2 must be equal to the amount taken out over the same time period. This equation is problematic as it suggests that companies could reach net-zero if they invest in CO2 offset schemes. However, Net-zero won’t lead to actual emission cutsThis is for several reasons. This approach does not take into account the cumulative nature CO2 and focuses only upon emission streams. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that stays in the atmosphere for hundreds to even thousands of years, unless it’s stored elsewhere. This means that all past, present and future carbon dioxide emissions are a cumulative impactBoth global warming and ocean acidification. Secondly, offsets don’t actually lower atmospheric CO2 levels. The alarming rise in carbon dioxide levels will continue if they aren’t absorbed by soils/oceans at an effective rate.

In reality net-zero is nothing but an elaborate industrial greenwashing scheme allowing polluting firms to expand and continue polluting while also capturing CO2 elsewhere. Companies will continue to trigger by offsetting their emissions by planting monoculture tree plantations. Land grabbingand the displacement and abuse of communities, as well as water scarcity and further biodiversity loss. These so-called nature-based solutions distract from the root causes for the climate crisis and health crisis. This is dangerous. A tactic to delay radical interventionMultinationals, governments, and financial institutions can continue to function as usual, while not addressing the root causes of the problem. These ‘nature-based’ solutions exploit nature through the transactional logic of market mechanisms and externalise ecological destruction through compensation projects.

Human actions, including deforestation, habitat destruction, intensification of agriculture, and accelerating climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limits © Ingimage

Geoengineering: The Illusory Solution

The idea behind geoengineering is to employ a range of technologies to deliberately intervene in the earth’s climate system and alter it. Harvard University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are working together to finance a In order to block sunlight, it is planned to introduce sulfate airsols to the atmosphere. The use of these chemicals to block sunlight could reduce global warming. This would allow us to have more control over our climate. However, carbon dioxide’s warming effect on the atmosphere can last up to ten thousands of years. The atmosphere is thought to be free of particles capable of attenuating sun’s effects after one year.This technology is only effective if the atmosphere is continuously purged with chemical aerosols.

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Geoengineering is a process that alters the planet’s systems, such as the carbon cycle or the water cycle. However, it does not address the root causes. The solutions shown so far are the result of a Mechanistic world viewThis view of nature is that it is inert, dead matter that can be engineered and controlled to meet our needs and favor the interests and advantage of large corporations. By putting technological innovations on a pedestal and presenting them as the only viable option to solve the world’s many crises, large multinationals are setting their own priorities and further cementing their control. This reluctance in addressing systemic issues is not coincidental. Rather, it’s a deliberate attempt by multinationals to maintain control by perpetuating the same power structures that created the current crisis, without taking any responsibility for large scale pollution and environmental degradation. This is not the right transition. It is not enough to capture CO2, but rather to improve the environment. Overall health of our ecosystems, and peopleThis includes the creation of equity, justice, and healthy livelihoods. We must preserve our forests, protect biodiversity, and ensure climate resilience and health.

The Role of Agroecological Systems and Biodiversity

True solutions to climate change are not based on manipulating the planet or engineering it, as is often claimed by billionaire investors and multinational corporations. They should, on the contrary, work alongside nature to restore biodiversity and regenerate natural cycles. These solutions exist alreadyLocal food communities around the globe are pursuing these goals, showing that it is possible to live in harmony and harmony with nature. The key to ensuring stability and balance is biodiversity of animals, plants and microorganismsTo create resilient agroecosystems, and to combat climate change, it is essential. These same food and agricultural systems, which conserve and regenerate biodiversity, also contribute to global warming mitigation and better livelihoods through living or regenerative economies.

rete europea delle città bio
Organic farming is a cultivation method that fights climate change, protects biodiversity, and offers healthy products © Ingimage

Agroecology has many principles. It aims to work in harmony with the natural world, regenerating biodiversity using living seeds and soils, supporting local food groups, and avoiding chemicals derived from fossil fuels. Agroecological system are designed to mimic natural processes, regenerate biodiversity, and provide ecological services like natural pest control and nutrient cycling. By focusing on local agriculture, and moving production away form globalised supply chains. These systems can replace fossil fuel-intensive methodsRegenerative systems that are low-input and regenerative, which strengthen the soil and add carbon back to it. Agroecosystems are therefore able to maintain their climate regulation functions, and are capable of mitigating the effects from climate change.

Regenerative agriculture, agroecology and regenerative agriculture can help increase food resilience by working with nature. This involves taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and putting it back in the soil through photosynthesis. A key part of mitigating climate-related issues is increasing CO2 capture in soils. Agroecological strategies are a shift away from the industrial food chain and embrace a new view of the food production system. They are based in a systemic approach, deep understanding of the Earth’s life cycles, and require changes at all levels of society, political, and economic. The agroecological transition is Incompatible with industrial agriculture paradigmThis is because it requires a complete abandonment of the hyper-centralised industrial agricultural system run by multinationals. Any compromise, such a resort to ecological techniques and practices that don’t change the monoculture model for industrial agriculture, will only temporarily mitigate negative impacts and contribute to future climate crises. Only a transition towards agroecological food system can lead to true transformation.

Additional Resources
Bill Gates & His Fake Solutions to Climate Change, Navdanya International, 2021.
Gates Ag One: Recolonization Of Agriculture, Navdanya International 2020
The Law of the Seed, International Commission for the Future of Food and Agriculture Navdanya International 2013,
Pact for the Earth, Navdanya International 2015
Plants, Planet & People – The Living Earth and Climate Change, Dr Vandana Shiva, Navdanya, October 2021
Shroff, R., Cortés, C.R. The Biodiversity Paradigm – Building resilience for human and environmental health. Development 63, 172–180 (2020)



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