By Owen McCormack
The elaborate conference was supposed to force national governments to live up to and improve on pledges made in Paris two year ago.
The problem for international capitalism and for all of us is that even these pledges would see the Earth warm up by over 3 degrees celsius in the coming decades.
Nothing at Paris or Bonn confronts the causes of climate change and the dangerous upward trajectory of Co2 emissions.
The fossil fuel corporations at the heart of capitalism continue to pursue their profits regardless of the consequences for humanity and the earth.
The Trump presidency has been the focus of much of the coverage of Bonn.
While Trump is elevating climate deniers to positions of real power in various government agencies, the problem is much wider than Trump or simply climate change denial.
This year is likely to be the warmest on record and also see a sharp rise in Co2 emissions from industry globally and in the levels of Co2 in the atmosphere (already above 400ppm; a level not seen in a million years).
Scientists are now agreed that this means catastrophic climate change and massive weather disasters affecting the lives of billions of people. but this has been known for several decades.
The system’s response has been “market mechanisms” such as carbon trading and off- sets.
None of these have worked but have allowed fossil fuel corporations – especially the giant oil and gas companies like ExxonMobile, BP and Shell to continue using oil, coal and gas.
A radical alternative is needed that challenges the power of those corporations.
People before Profit TD Brid Smith attended the conference.
She says, “There was little talk about the elephant in the room, the giant oil and gas companies profiting from climate change.
“We need to stop them and the vast subsidies they get. A start would be to stop them exploring for new sources of oil and gas, given that we know 80% of proved reserves need to remain in the ground”.
Brid has proposed a new law that will be debated in January in the Dail that would ban the issuing of any new licences for exploration of oil and gas in Ireland and Irish waters.
But we can probably guess how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will vote on this.
The Irish political establishment and the global ruling class are literally fiddling while the planet burns.