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Environmental Activists Put ExxonMobil On Mock Trial For ‘Climate Crimes’

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In the suburb of Montreuil in Paris, a mirror summit to the one taking place in Le Bourget was formed. This summit, taking place in the artistic suburb, was created by activist groups and featured numerous events and statements, including a mock trial of Exxon Mobil for its crimes against the environment.

According to The Irish Times, this summit was not to be viewed as an alternative to the COP21 talks on climate change, but rather as a direct challenge to them. The COP21 talks, the gist of the argument have a serious flaw. “The problem with Le Bourget,” says London-born Alexis Rowell of Coalition Climate 21, “is it is governments sitting around coming up with pledges. There is no binding treaty or no verification or no way of penalizing anyone who won’t do what say they will do.”

The event contained a climate forum for the discussion of issues, a peasant’s market, and a village that tries to collect all possible ideas as to how global warming might be avoided, stopped, and/or reversed.

The event contained a climate forum for the discussion of issues, a peasant’s market, and a village that tries to collect all possible ideas as to how global warming might be avoided, stopped, and/or reversed.

The trial was one of the centerpieces of the event. According to Ahram Online, the trial consists of Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben prosecuting Exxon, and calling on a series of star witnesses, including former Philippines climate negotiator Yeb Saño, former lead NASA climate scientist Dr James Hansen, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation representative Eriel Deranger, and many more.

The trial, and to a greater degree the event as a whole, are representations of an attitude that the COP21 talks will be nothing but a disappointment. As Kate McNeely, an activist from New York, said, “I believe civil society will make that change. I believe gatherings like this village in Montreuil are the way forward.”

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