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Patrick Bond Criticises the Qingdao Presentation at the BRICS Ministerial Conference in Durban

Politics of Climate JusticeIn an article for Pambazuka News, Patrick Bond commented on the BRICS Ministerial Conference in Durban, held last month. A delegation from Qingdao, one of China’s largest cities was there to give a presentation on building productive and sustainable urban economies.

Bond points to the explosion in Qingdao just days before due to an oil pipeline leak. “In that presentation, the Qingdao elites failed to concede that China’s cities epitomize unsustainability, what with massive real estate speculation, extreme pollution, a migrant labour system akin to Apartheid’s, and prolific social protests,” he writes. “If we take advice from Qingdao on sustainable urbanisation, well then why not ask Russia for help with nuclear technology post-Chernobyl.”

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance called for the walk-out, and I hope if conditions don’t improve between now and the next summit, in Peru a year from now, they take even stronger leadership to denounce the very presence of climate saboteurs from Washington and the other major polluting powers.

Moreover, after last week’s Durban ministerial summit of local-government politicians, officials and experts from the increasingly desperate Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) economies, unsustainability appears to be rampant in the South. For that we can thank both irresponsible multinational corporates and home grown firms that abuse the environment and societies, with nods of approval from corrupted, subimperialist local rulers.

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