The Kyoto Protocol is so far the only binding regulation of carbon dioxide emissions. But since the protocol was adopted in 1997 the worldwide emissions have been increased by 40 per cent. At the same time there are not even expections for a continuation of the Kyoto protocol at the 18th UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar. "Copenhagen, Durban, all of those demonstrate that until we can break the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry on the national governments, that there is not really that much to be done internationally", says Bill McKibben. Every year governments around the world pay close to one trillion dollars taxpayer money to big coal and oil corporations. These subesedies are insulting, they have to stop, says McKibben.
Bill McKibben: Environmental Journalist and Activist, Founder of the grassroots global warming movement 350.org, Author of "The End of Nature", Middlebury, USA
David Goessmann: You went to the Rio Plus 20 Earth summit and walked off the conference. The fossil fuel industry right now blocks any initiative to reduce the almost one trillion dollars of subsidies for this industry. Your response to this.
Bill McKibben: Look, the fossil fuel industry is the most powerful and richest industry on earth. Exxon made more money than any company in the history of money. And that buys you a lot. One of the things it buys you, ironically, is the right to get presents from the government. Our senator here in Vermont, Bernie Sanders, one of the great dissidents in all the United States has introduced a bill that would take away 113 billion dollars in subsidies from the fossil fuel industry. Money that the Federal Government pays them. Well, even if these guys weren't wrecking the planet, that would be gross. They're the richest industry on earth they don't need more money. But the fact that it comes as a performance bonus for destroying the climate that makes it all the more insulting. It's very hard to match their power, but we're gonna keep trying.
David Goessmann: Is the international climate change process dead, looking at Copenhagen or Durban?
Bill McKibben: Copenhagen, Durban, all of those demonstrate that until we can break the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry on the national governments, that there is not really that much to be done internationally. It's good that some people are trying to keep some kind of process alive, because some day we'll need that international architecture, but Copenhagen should have disabused anyone of the thought that this would actually gonna solve the problem. The problem will be solved if we stand up to the power of this industry.