Is capitalism driving climate change?

Scientists say the world is in the midst of a “climate emergency”. According to NASA, February smashed global temperature records. And, with this year on track to become the hottest year on record, has the world failed on climate change?

In this special episode of UpFront, we speak to renowned author and activist Naomi Klein about why she sees a link between capitalism and climate change.

In the Reality Check, we look at who fuels the climate change denial machine. And in the Arena, we ask UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres if the Paris agreement is too little, too late when it comes to addressing the man-made global phenomenon.

Headliner – Naomi Klein: ‘To avoid climate change, we need system change’

Naomi Klein is known as one of the world’s best critics of big corporations and uncontrolled capitalism. In her most recent book, This Changes Everything, the activist and author says one cannot take on climate change without also addressing capitalism.

In this week’s Headliner, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Klein about why she sees a link between capitalism and climate change.

“The idea that we can deal with climate change within the confines of our current system is exactly what we’ve been trying for two decades, and it’s failed miserably,” Klein says.  “If we want to avoid climate change, we need system change,” the author adds.

Klein also calls last year’s Paris deal, in which nearly 200 countries agreed to address climate change, a “potluck approach”.

“There are things that are really important in the Paris deal,” she says, but the “UN didn’t want to tell governments what they were going to do, they just said, ‘OK, everybody go home and make your best effort, and fingers crossed when we add it all up it’ll match up with our stated goal.’”

Reality Check: Why you shouldn’t trust climate change deniers

As the list of scientists who agree man-made climate change is real continues to grow, there’s still a small, but vocal group who deny the phenomenon.

Among the loudest of the deniers are those within the US Republican Party, many of whom have deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. Even some of the scientists used to bolster the denial line have received funds from climate-denying groups and corporations.

In the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan highlights the ties between climate denial and the fossil fuel industry.

Arena – UN climate deal: Too little, too late?

Many across the world applauded last year when nearly 200 countries adopted the first ever agreement to address climate change.

Proponents of the Paris agreement say the deal signals a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, but critics call it “worthless”, “weak” and “not strong enough”.

So is the Paris agreement a historic victory or a dangerous distraction?

In the Arena, Mehdi Hasan asks UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres if the Paris agreement is too little, too late.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Max March 24, 2016 2:50 pm 

    Very good interview, article and important subject matter. In my opinion, Capitalism has no ethics or morals. I’d like to see some citizen based decision making about the economy and environment and state implemented actions.

Leave a comment