September 15, 2019
The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series has been written in two volumes.
Unlocking Finance – the Growth Story of the Century
“Therein lies the failure of the environmental movement in its pragmatic neoliberalism. That the mainstream media is obsessed by framing its reportage in terms of financial and economic consequences is hardly a secret (see Chalmers, 2012). What is less readily admitted is the extent to which ENGOs have done likewise and so lost their connection to the non-human world that environmentalism aimed to represent in the first place. In the appeasement of presumed state and corporate economic interests, the language of environmental values is commonly reformulated to actually deny the existence of value in nature, non-human to non-human value and even the importance of human to non-human relationships. There is only the human-to-human relationship and associated values, and clearly some humans are more equal than others.”
— Environmentalism and Democracy in the Age of Nationalism & Corporate Capitalism, Clive Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, December 14, 2017
Above: [Left to right] Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States, Chairman, The Climate Reality Project; and Christiana Figueres, the Mission2020 Convenor. Photo Credits: Max Thabiso Edkins/Connect4Climate [Source]
In 2017, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a panel discussion titled “Unlocking Financing for Climate Action“. The June 9, 2017 article, “Invest4Climate Inspiration to Unlock Financing for Climate Action” published on the Connect4Climate website outlines the imperative to mobilize trillions of dollars in private and public investment. Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme from 2016 to 2018, would remark “there is every reason to be a global optimist” while Christiana Figueres made clear that the discussion was about “unlocking financing for economic growth that, by the way, has climate benefits…This is the story of growth of this century.”  [Source] Today, Solheim serves as executive director for the New Plastics Economy.
Connect4Climate is a global partnership program under the Communication for Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank Group. The 2018 COP24 Stepping Up Climate Action campaign was initiated by the United Nations (UN) with Connect4Climate. As touched upon in ACT II of the Manufacturing Consent series [“The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-optation“], the “global leaders, thinkers, activists and influencers” serving as spokespeople for the campaign included Greta Thunberg.
“Global Optimism, Ltd., a purpose-driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change”, was launched in January 2019. [Source]
The Global Optimism Twitter account was created in October 2017 and would become active on April 4, 2019.
Above: It’s Going to be Tremendous, Source: Twitter
On January 24, 2019, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled “Davos, This is Outrageous”, authored by Christiana Figueres and Greta Thunberg:
“The two of us are from different generations, yet we stand together in Davos, hoping to be joined by more people of all ages and from all places. We are going to do everything we can to put an end to dirty fuels and dirty air so we can improve the prospects of people everywhere. The future is going to be tremendous.” [Emphasis added]
It’s Going to be Tremendous – by Global Optimism
“What’s more, the decisions we take over the next two to three years are crucial for the unprecedented structural changes needed to safeguard our climate and clean up our air. Now is the time: the world is expected to invest about US$90trn on infrastructure in the period up to 2030, and much of this will be allocated in the next few years.”
— Christiana Figueres, The Power Behind Climate Action, The Economist Intelligence Unit, March 15, 2019
Global Optimism – “a purpose driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change” [Source] – was founded by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. The initial funding for Global Optimism was provided by We Mean Business.
The Global Optimism YouTube channel was created on May 28, 2018. “It’s Going to be Tremendous” is a pilot series of podcasts produced by Global Optimism:
“It’s Going to be Tremendous, a new podcast about living with optimism in a time of change, has just completed its pilot mini series. Co-hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson, the episodes explored issues such as the progress on climate change since the Paris Agreement, the role of student protests, and the rise of electric vehicles in cities. Guests were Jane Goodall, President Carloa Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica, Nigel Topping and Greta Thunberg.” [Source] [Emphasis added]
The United Nations Global Goals promoted a video trailer for the podcast on February 11, 2019. After airing the short pilot season in April 2019, “It’s Going to be Tremendous” was rebranded to “Outrage and Optimism“.
On May 21, 2019, “Outrage & Optimism” released a bonus podcast featuring Greta Thunberg. In this podcast, Rivett-Carnac disclosed that he, and his co-hosts (Paul Dickinson and Figueres), shared living arrangements with Thunberg and her father while attending the January 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos. [“A few months ago in Davos, at the World Economic Forum, we shared an apartment with Greta and her dad Svante, and had the opportunity to get to know them.”] According to Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, Greta is assisted by various climate organizations. This includes “Every Breath Matters”, a campaign co-founded by Figueres, that arranged for Greta’s presence in Davos. (This is further explored in Volume II of this series.)
The new episodes of “Outrage & Optimism” consist of thirteen separate podcasts (as of July 18, 2019), including a recent episode titled “Everyone is Needed” with 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, and two “bonus” podcasts featuring Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall. Other guests include David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former UK Foreign Secretary, United Nations Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador and WWF Ambassador Ellie Goulding, and English broadcaster David Attenborough. Both Goulding and Attenborough are prestigious influencers for the “New Deal For Nature” (the financialization of nature under the guise of protecting biodiversity) and the UN.
Rion magazine, January 25, 2019: “Global music star, UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador and WWF Ambassador, Ellie Goulding [centre] woke up the World Economic Forum at Davos to climate change.” Standing left of Goulding is Christiana Figueres.
Publicly disclosed Global Optimism “strategic engagements” include The World Bank, DeepMind (artificial intelligence), Stanford (the financialization of nature), the Under2 Coalition (The Climate Group), Eni (oil and gas), the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (“smart cities”), Richard Branson’s B Team (co-founder of We Mean Business), ClimateWorks Foundation, Conservation International (board members include representatives of Northrup, Walmart, Generation Investment), Leaders’ Quest, Acciona (infrastructure at scale), and FIA (Formula E Championship).
Co-founder Tom Rivett-Carnac is the managing partner of Global Optimism. He serves as Senior Advisor to both the board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and to the Climate Leaders of the President of the World Bank Group. Rivett-Carnac is the former President and CEO of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) North America. Prior to these positions, he served as senior advisor to then executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, Christiana Figueres. Rivett-Carnac also serves as chief strategist to Mission 2020 unveiled in 2016.  [Full bio]
Outrage & Optimism co-host Paul Dickinson co-founded the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in the year 2000. CDP is “an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies.” Currently, more than 7,000 corporations work with CDP. The organization launched a North American program as a sponsored project within the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2007. CDP is also a founding partner of We Mean Business launched in 2014. A more recent venture is Dickinson’s agency “Beautiful Corporations” inspired by a book he authored which was published by the Financial Times in 2000.
Profiles of Paris
From the Profiles of Paris website:
“Please explore the remarkable stories of the people who created the Paris Agreement, and what it means for the future.” [Emphasis added]
Before we continue to explore “the remarkable stories” of those behind the creation of the Paris Agreement and what “it means for the future”, including Bill Gates Mission Innovation’s partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors, which will bring us “smart cities”, it is essential that we first explore the profiles of the Figueres family dynasty.
“Collectively we are writing a business plan for the world. The feasibility study phase has finished… it is high time to execute.” – Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC at Climate Week NYC, September 2014, [Source]
Above: Costa Rican postage stamp honouring Christiana Figueres [Source]
The privileged background of Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 2010 to 2016, may not be well known by those outside of the elite establishment. On her personal website, Figueres informs us that “in the natural world, a newly discovered tropical moth (Struthoscelis christianafigueresae), a wasp (Pseudapanteles christianafigueresae) and an orchid (Vanilla karen-christianae) have been named after her,” and that Costa Rica has recently issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honour.
After serving as a member of the Costa Rican climate negotiating team from 1995 to 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCC, Figueres formally joined the Secretariat in 2010.
Figueres, an anthropologist, economist and analyst having studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Georgetown University, presided over the UN climate negotiations that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with “forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy”. With almost four decades of experience in multilateral negotiations, high-level national and international policy, coupled with extensive involvement in the corporate/private sector, in 2016, TIME magazine named Figueres one of the 100 most influential people in the world. As a side note, on May 16, 2019, Greta Thunberg was included in TIME’s 2019 list of 100 most influential people, as well as one of 10 “Next Generation Leaders” of 2019, as well as gracing the TIME magazine cover.
Today, Figueres serves as vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ClimateWorks Board Member, World Bank Climate Leader, B Team leader, leader of Mission2020, and board member of both the World Resources Institute and Unilever.
“Collectively we are writing a business plan for the world. The feasibility study phase is finished… it is high time to execute.”
— Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Climate Week NYC, 2014
Christiana Figures video. Climate Week NYC, 2014 [Running time: 3m:17s]:
Outrage and Optimism video. Christiana Figueres in support of Extinction Rebellion, [Running time: 1:05]:
Figueres is also identified as a “distinguished member” of Conservation International. [Other “distinguished members” of Conservation International include those such as Wes Bush chairman, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Mark Ferguson, founding partner, Generation Investment Management (with Al Gore and Goldman Sachs’s David Blood), and Rob Walton, chairman of the board (retired), Walmart, who all serve on the board of directors.][Source]
While studying at the LSE, Figueres met and later married Konrad von Ritter, former head of the World Bank’s sustainable development unit. Von Ritter founded the Global WEnergy corporation in Singapore. His work with the World Bank spans two decades. [Bio]
Although meticulous in detail, Figueres biography on her personal website neglects to disclose her royal connection to Costa Rica. On Figueres’ lengthy Wikipedia entry, it is disclosed, in a single sentence, that her father, José Figueres Ferrer , served as President of Costa Rica on three separate occasions. In August 1953, the Guatemalan Communist paper, Octubre, characterized the new president of Costa Rica, José “Don Pepe” Figueres, as an “unconditional servant of American imperialism” and the latest “United Fruit Company President.” Both pro-American and anti-communist, José Figueres supported the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état overthrowing Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954.  [Further reading: Resistance and Accommodation: The United States and the Nationalism of José Figueres, 1953–1957.]
Figueres’ mother, Karen Olsen Beck, served as Costa Rican Ambassador to Israel in 1982 and was a member of the Costa Rica Legislative Assembly.
Figueres’ brother José María Figueres also served as President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. In 2013, he co-founded the Global Ocean Commission, an initiative funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Adessium Foundation in the Netherlands, and U.S. philanthropic group Oceans 5. Former Greenpeace adviser Simon Reddy would serve as the commission’s executive secretary. [Source] María Figueres serves as chair to the Global Ocean Commission (since rebranded to Mission Ocean) with David Miliband (recently featured on the Global Optimism podcast series), and Trevor Manuel (one of South Africa’s longest serving Ministers of Finance, now Minister in the Presidency and head of the National Planning Commission). The original members of the Global Ocean Commission remain unchanged in 2019 with one member having deceased. Members include John Podesta (chair of the Center for American Progress and a former White House chief of staff and member of the ClimateWorks board of directors), Sri Mulyani Indrawati (managing director and chief operating officer of the World Bank Group), Pascal Lamy (former director-general of the World Trade Organisation) and other high profile individuals. María Figueres is also the co-founder of Ocean Unite. This is important, as the oceans are set to be privatized under the “New Deal For Nature” scheme.
Other key roles held by José Figueres include serving as president for the Carbon War Room (founded by Richard Branson, which has since merged with The Rocky Mountain Institute). José Figueres has occupied an instrumental role in the leading institutions disclosed and explored in the 2019 Manufacturing for Consent series [ACT VI]. He has served as director for the World Wildlife Fund, the World Resources Institute, and the Stockholm Environment Institute. [Source] He served as the first CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2003, and later served as CEO of Concordia 21 (a global convener, campaigner, and innovation incubator with over 50 heads of state, 600 corporate executives and 300 press. Over 20 trillion USD in private sector assets are represented with a key focus on privatization in Latin America).
- Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016
- Vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, [June 22, 2016 European Commission press release; partnered with the World Bank on December 12, 2017]
- B Team Leader [Source]
- Climate Leader for the World Bank [Source]
- Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International [Source]
- Board member of Climate Works
- Board member of the World Resources Institute
- Board member of Unilever
- Member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health
- Fellow of DeepMind: “DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.” DeepMind was acquired by Google in 2014, its largest European acquisition to date, and is now part of the Alphabet group.
- Member of the commission on the Global Consequences of Renewable Energy Transformation [Source]
- Ambassador of the Under 2 Coalition (The Climate Group)
- Advisory Board member of ENI (An Italian multinational oil and gas corporation identified as one of the “global supermajors”, it has operations in 79 countries. It is the world’s 11th largest industrial corporation.)
- Board member of ACCIONA (a Spanish conglomerate founded on the development and management of infrastructure (construction, water, industrial and services) and renewable energy.
- Co-chair of the Advisory Committee for Formula E, electric vehicle racing (one might wonder why car racing for sport/entertainment would be maintained in the face of the climate emergency declared by the ruling classes.)
- Chair of the Lancet Countdown High Level Advisory Board
- Parliament of the World’s Religion member
- UN Climate Action Summit 2019, Youth & Mobilization steering committee
To further define “the new discipline of planetary health” The Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health was established on June 1, 2017 at the Oxford Martin School. The Rockefeller Foundation directed a 15 million USD grant toward establishing the pillars of a new planetary health discipline. The concept of planetary health is directly aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are planned to be achieved by 2030.
Chaired by former president of Mexico and current director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Ernesto Zedillo, other members of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health include Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the WHO, Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Nicholas Stern, international advisor for the Global CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) Institute and vice-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commissioner serving Energy Transitions, Indraprasad Gordhanbhai (I.G.) Patel, professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics and member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Mark Tercek, former president and CEO, The Nature Conservancy, Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group and Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, co-chair of the New Climate Economy, vice-chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, founding member of The B Team, board member to the UN Global Compact, former chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and founder of the recently launched foundation and corporation called Imagine. [Full list]
Above: January 24, 2019, WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp. William Pfeiffer (left), executive chairman and co-founder of Globalgate Entertainment, senior advisor to Lionsgate, Bono (right) Source: Twitter
Future Stewards is a coalition of three partners: Leaders’ Quest, Global Optimism and We Mean Business. Their stated aim “over the next five to 10 years is to unlock the collective will – across business, government and civil society – to achieve a regenerative future. To realise this goal, “Future Stewards creates experiential programmes that equip teams, organisations and partnerships to work with major influencers to accelerate transformation.” [Source]
Past participants include Zia Kahn, The Rockefeller Foundation, Asholk Vaswani, Barclays UK, Jamie Henn, 350.org, Peter Wheeler, The Nature Conservancy, Jim Hagemann, World Economic Forum, and Virginie Helias, Procter & Gamble. [Source] The next high-profile quest takes place at the Arctic Basecamp, at the 2020 World Economic Forum:
“Arctic Basecamp, Leaders’ Quest, Global Optimism and We Mean Business are pleased to announce Basecamp Quest 2020… The 1.5-day glacier-based programme will take place immediately before the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, January 2020… We’ll travel from Davos to a nearby ice field and stay overnight… The programme will include: Deep dive discussions on how free markets can respond — and the role of leaders in reimagining capitalism… The programme is open to senior leaders from all sectors.”
— Leaders’ Quest Website [Full description] [Emphasis added]
2019 Arctic Basecamp guests included the aforementioned Ellie Goulding, Greta Thunberg, Christiana Figueres, Deb Duggan (Redd), and many others of elite and celebrity status. Bono, also in attendance, also has his hand in the climate strikes. Luisa Neubauer, “youth ambassador” to ONE (founded by Bono) is the highly groomed young Thunberg’s shadow. Wherever Greta appears, ONE’s Neubauer is not too far away. Serving as the figurehead/spokesperson for “Fridays for Future” (climate strikes) Neubauer is often referred to as “the German Greta”. Neubauer’s CV already reads as prestigious with references to Greenpeace, Right Livelihood Award Foundation and 350.org.
Deborah Dugan, CEO of RED (the sister organization of ONE founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver) until May 2019, was also present at the WEF Arctic Basecamp. Prior to RED, Dugan was President of Disney Publishing Worldwide, a $2 billion retail division of the Walt Disney Company.
January 24, 2019: WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp, Greta Thunberg (left) with Christiana Figueres (right) Source: Twitter
January 24, 2019: WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp, Jane Goodall (left), Greta Thunberg (centre), Deborah Dugan (right) Source: Twitter
Clients at Leaders’ Quest include Actis, Bain & Company, Barclays, British Airways, Daimler, DMGT, Oxfam, Procter & Gamble, Rockefeller Foundation, Russell Reynolds Associates, SAP, and UBM. [Source]
“We came up with a tremendous amount of energy, many fresh connections, and new thinking that will be really helpful to us at the Rockefeller Foundation.”
— Zia Khan, Vice President for Strategy & Evaluation, The Rockefeller Foundation [Source]
“…the world is expected to invest around $90 trillion in infrastructure over the next 15 years. The next two to three years are crucial in securing a fundamental shift of direction for this to happen.”
– Nigel Topping, December 8, 2016, Leaders’ Quest Website
“To paraphrase former French president Jacques Chirac in 2002, our house is indeed burning down, only now we stare, uncritically, at philanthropists.”
– The Failure of Climate Philanthropy by Edouard Morena, November 12, 2018 [Source]
The question never asked is this: What does 90 trillion USD of growth equate to in CO2 emissions and pollution? What does 90 trillion USD in new growth look like in depleted resources? Considering we are already inflicted severe devastation on the planet up to this point, hence our multiple ecological crises, the idea that we grind up even more of our natural world and turn it into capital – is truly staggering. The climate “movement” demands we plunder what remains of the exhausted planet – in order the save the climate.
On June 1, 2019, We Mean Business via social media put forward the question: “What if one of the biggest things stopping us from saving the ocean was money? What if it didn’t have to be?”
It’s not money that will save the oceans. It’s not for lack of financing that we cannot restore health to the oceans. Rather, the very thing destroying the oceans is the pursuit of money. Earth’s natural resources are extracted, pulverized and reduced into commodities. The faster the rate of destruction and exploitation – the faster the financial gains (profits) are realized. The greater the intensity of destruction and exploitation – the higher the profits.
Herding its audience to the predetermined answer (“@nature_org presents 4 innovative solutions for #WorldOceansDay“) we find The Nature Conservancy’s promotional video “How Do We Pay For Healthy Oceans?“. This falls under the jurisdiction of Nature Conservancy’s “Blue Growth” strategy, one of eight areas of focus highlighted in the “Global Insights” division. The Nature Conservancy, a co-founder of Nature4Climate with We Mean Business, is a leader in the financialization of nature scheme (the “New Deal For Nature” that no NGO, climate “leader” or “movement” opposes). The “How Do We Pay For Healthy Oceans” advertisement asks four questions:
- “What if – restructuring debt for island and coastal nations protected 15% more oceans in just five years?” [Answer: Colonization, coercion, theft, ocean grabbing]
- “What if – investors put the fastest-growing form of food production on a sustainable path?” [Answer: Industrial fish farming, infectious pathogens, virulent diseases]
- “What if – carbon markets helped pay to restore coastal wetlands?” [Answer: Already proven not to work.]
- “What if – a coral reef had its own insurance policy?” [Answer: Sounds similar to Walmart taking out life insurance policies on employees who have a terminal illness.]
“It’s no longer what if. Nature – The investment of our lifetime” — The Nature Conservancy
The latest colour on the greenwash palette is turquoise blue.
Mitigation/species banking (also referred to as “biodiversity offsets”) has created new markets. This is a fairly new instrument for corporations, industry and entrepreneurs to create faux wetlands (“replacement wetland”) for massive financial gain (sold as credits to developers) – that simultaneously – provide a legal instrument for developers to pave over and destroy vital wetlands that have slowly evolved in nature. As an example of how ridiculous it is to compare an impromptu wetland created by humans, to wetlands having evolved naturally in nature, consider sedge meadows have taken millennia to establish themselves. To expect species wiped out in the wetlands – being paved over at breakneck speed – and magically find and thrive in manufactured wetlands – is magical thinking that deliberately ignores and disregards sacred biological processes that can never be replicated by man. To be clear – in order for a developer to be permitted to destroy a wetland – it only needs purchase a credit/credits in a newly created/faux wetland.
For a crash course in how a mitigation bank actually assists and propels ecosystem destruction at breakneck speed – one need look no further than what has unfolded in Madison, USA. The wetland credits not only offset and negated any/all responsibility to protect or restore natural habitat – they created the legal means to destroy them completely.
In the same article encompassing the aforementioned quote by We Mean Business CEO Nigel Topping, Topping reflects on “the need to create a just transition to ensure Schumpeterian creative destruction does not leave a trail of unemployed, angry voters in its wake.” This is vital to explore, as it demonstrates the ideology of those at the helm of the “new climate economy” required to rescue capitalism. The term “creative destruction” is a concept in economics. Joseph Schumpeter derived the concept from the work of Karl Marx, concluding that creative-destructive forces unleashed by capitalism would eventually lead to its demise as a system. Despite this conclusion, the theory of “creative destruction” was reframed and popularized as a theory of economic innovation and natural business cycle. In essence, a co-optation of theory and rebranding exercise. Alongside neoliberalism, the term became popular to describe/justify corporate decisions such as downsizing in order to increase corporate profits under the guise of efficiency, boldness, and dynamism.
In The Communist Manifesto of 1848, Marx and Friedrich Engels elaborate on the crisis tendency of capitalism in terms of “the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces”:
“And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.” [p. 17]
Written in 1848, one can easily envision this passage featured on the first page of the New Climate Economy handbook.
David Harvey sums up the differences between Marx’s usage of these concepts and Schumpeter’s: “Both Karl Marx and Joseph Schumpeter wrote at length on the ‘creative-destructive’ tendencies inherent in capitalism. While Marx clearly admired capitalism’s creativity he […] strongly emphasised its self-destructiveness. The Schumpeterians have all along gloried in capitalism’s endless creativity while treating the destructiveness as mostly a matter of the normal costs of doing business”. [The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism, 2010]
Current Nightmares – The Corporate Capture of the UN
“Prompted by the uncertainties about the stability of globalisation, in 2009 the World Economic Forum (WEF) convened an international expert group to formulate a new system of global governance. This project was led by the three most senior leaders of the World Economic Forum (WEF) – Klaus Schwab, its Executive Chairman; Mark Malloch-Brown, then its Vice-Chairman; and Richard Samans, its Managing Director… What is ingenious and disturbing is that the WEF multi-stakeholder governance proposal does not require approval or disapproval by any intergovernmental body.”
— Multi-stakeholderism: A Corporate Push for a New Form of Global Governance, The Transnational Institute, January 19, 2019
As touched upon in the Manufacturing Consent series, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is at the helm of the global transition to a fourth industrial revolution. The interlocking directorate between those that steer the WEF ship and those that lead the most powerful institutions, corporations, states and NGOs – is what could be termed a 21st century matrix of global hegemony.
13 June 2019: UN and WEF Sign MOU on Strategic Partnership Framework for 2030 Agenda. “Secretary-General António Guterres (centre right) and Klaus Schwab (centre left), Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum on the Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (right) and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.” United Nations, New York, Photo # 811012, UN Website
A July 2, 2019 article sheds light on a new development: “How the United Nations is quietly being turned into a public-private partnership – A new agreement with the World Economic Forum gives multinational corporations influence over matters of global governance.” From the article:
“A new corporate and government marriage quietly took place last week when the leadership of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner with each other. While this MOU is proudly displayed on the WEF website, it is nowhere to be found on the UN website. The only indication on the UN website of this important new development is a picture of the pen used to sign the agreement, and two pictures of the signing ceremony…
Now the new WEF-UN agreement creates a second special place for multinational corporations inside the UN. There is no similar institutional home in the UN system for civil society, for academics, for religious leaders, or for youth…
The agreement announces new multistakeholder partnerships to deliver public goods in the fields of education, women, financing, climate change, and health.” [Emphasis added]
As pointed out in the article, the WEF-UN agreement circumvented the intergovernmental review process by 193 member states. It is doubtful that sovereign states such as Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Syria, Iran, etc. would have agreed to hand the world’s most egregious corporations the planet on a plate.
The author observes, “[I]t is hard to imagine a national government signing a similar formal partnership with one of its business organizations.” This is true, and yet such partnerships are happening behind closed doors with virtually no public oversight. Consider Bill Gates’ Mission Innovation: “Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union).” Together, these member states seek to double public investment in clean energy RD&D on behalf of the private sector. [Source] Other groups with the same/similar model include Under 2 Coalition, a Western-led coalition of 220 states led by The Climate Group, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Global CCS Institute, and C40 cities, to name just a few. All represent coalitions created in order to propel economic growth in the private sector.
“Our Members are setting the course for the future of CCS. They include the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia, and multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Toshiba, Kawasaki and BHP.”
— Global CCS Institute website
Akin to “sanctions (and trade blockades) and currency devaluation [as] weapons of mass destruction, often applied prior to economic restructuring or military obliteration, just as “winning hearts and minds” is a weapon of economic occupation”  the “Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda” must be considered the weapon of choice for the renewed colonization of the Global South under the guise of a climate emergency. A “winning hearts and minds” behavioural change project, as method of soft power for a planetary economic occupation and destruction.
“At the same time, it [the agreement] avoids any commitment to reduce global inequality, to make energy affordable, to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights violations, or even to rein in the behavior of the WEF’s firms that act inconsistently to the re-defined goals set out in the agreement.”
— How the United Nations is quietly being turned into a public-private partnership, Open Democracy, July 2, 2019
In essence, this partnership represents a coup d’état of the United Nations. A United Nations which has long been bending to corporate power and influence has finally succumbed.
With governments bypassed and media silent, this coup represents the strengthening of the global corporatocracy that now dominates the world. They are accountable to no one.
“The UN-WEF partnership document indicates the UN’s structural subserviency to the western hegemony. It’s an expression of the global capitalist hierarchy manifesting in the shape of international institution. Lying to people is a fundamental building block of the empire.”
— Hiroyuki Hamada, artist
At the same time, efforts towards global tax co-operation continue to advance. The Platform for Collaboration on Tax continues to gain momentum and is being positioned on centre stage, yet makes zero mention in the media or news outlets. Under the guise of a “growing importance of taxation in the debate to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) initiative reduces the UN to one of four players (alongside the World Bank, IMF and OECD) and is not accountable for SDG implementation.” [Source]
As Al Gore siphons one quarter of a Kenyan’s yearly salary for a solar television and light kit, the World Bank et al. are preparing to tax the most vulnerable populations in the developing and emerging states, under the pretense of mitigating an ecological crisis created by the rich.
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Mission Innovation, “Smart Cities”
“(…) the politicians actually, behind the scenes, including this current government, are telling us they need a social movement like ours to give them the social permission to do the necessary.”
— Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook, April 18, 2019
Above: December 13, 2018, Global Covenant of Mayors promoting Greta Thunberg for climate action. Source: Twitter
As we peel back the layers of an orchestrated movement that serves to protect the ruling classes and the suicidal capitalist system itself, we need to look at Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (Global Covenant of Mayors).
The Global Covenant of Mayors is partnered with both the World Bank [December 12, 2017] and Bill Gates’ Mission Innovation [May 28, 2019]. Mission Innovation is (thus far) partnered with 24 states and the European Commission  – on behalf of the European Union. [“These 25 members have committed to seek to double public investment in clean energy RD&D and are engaging with the private sector, fostering international collaboration and celebrating innovators.’] Because we cannot expect billionaires such as Bill Gates to pay for their own research, development and deployment (RD&D) that will further enslave us, the money must come from the peasants (i.e. tax dollars and pension funds).
The Compact of Mayors officially merged with the Covenant of Mayors in 2016. The Global Covenant of Mayors unites more than 9,209 cities (already committed) in 132 countries across six continents. This represents the world’s largest coalition. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the European Union’s Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors. [Source]
The Global Covenant of Mayors board is co-chaired by former European Commission vice-president Maroš Šef?ovi? and former New York City Mayor and the U.N. Secretary-General’s special envoy for climate action, Michael Bloomberg. As of March 2019, Bloomberg, who, like Al Gore, has publicly feigned concern on economic inequality and the growing gap between rich and poor, was ranked as the 9th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $57.1 billion. Bloomberg is heavily invested in both fracking and natural gas.
Christiana Figueres serves as vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors. Tasked with her role as a “World Bank Climate Leader”, the leader of Mission2020 (“exponential transformation” focusing on six sectors that will play a key role in municipal governments and “Green New Deals”), board member of the World Resources Institute, ClimateWorks, Unilever, etc. – her role in the implementation of the fourth industrial revolution, in all of its realms, cannot be understated.
Current UNFCCC executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa, serves an advisor and observer to the Global Covenant of Mayors board.
[The Global Covenant of Mayors Founders Council comprises groups and institutions including C40 Cities, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the European Commission. 
Smart cities are identified as the “backbone of climate action”. For the maxed-out West, “climate emergency” means in large part, smart cities. As emphasized in this series, for the largely untapped Global South, “climate emergency” means continued, even renewed colonization, under the guise of green.
The Exponential Climate Action Roadmap (Global Climate Action Summit, September, 2018) reports that, “[T]he next technologies down the ramp are artificial intelligence, 5G networks, digital fabrication, smart sensors, the large-scale deployment of the internet of things and drones.” [p. 91, Source]
Consider the recent launch of Partnership on AI (Artificial Intelligence). Partners include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, PayPal, Sony, UNDP, Carnegie, BSR (co-founder of We Mean Business), and NGOs in servitude to imperialism such as Access Now (Avaaz), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Witness. [Full partner list] There are no partners from either Latin America or Africa.
“The Partnership [on AI] was formally established in late 2016, led by a group of AI researchers representing six of the world’s largest technology companies: Apple, Amazon, DeepMind and Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. In 2017 the addition of six not-for-profit Board members expanded the Partnership into a multi-stakeholder organization – which now represents a community of 50+ member organizations.” [Source]
On January 23, 2019, the World Economic Forum announced its own “Artificial Intelligence Council”. The membership of the AI Council includes political figures such as the now former British Prime Minister Theresa May with many “iconic business figures” at the helm. [Source]
Here, it is critical to pay heed to the dire warning by Dr. Martin Pall to the National Institutes of Health.
Video: Dr. Martin Pall to the Health in Buildings Roundtable, “The 5G Rollout Is Absolutely Insane.” [Running Time: 9:08]:
A key partner in the race toward “smart cities” is Google, also co-founder of the aforementioned “The Partnership on AI”. More and more, we are collectively and deliberately being alienated from the natural world. The more technology, the more entrenched and enslaved in the suicidal system we become. An epidemic in depression in the West is just an example of the collateral damage.
The “Smart City Expo World Congress 2018, Digital Transformation” can still be found on the Smart City Expo website. Supporting institutions included the European Commission, C40 Cities, ICLEI, the World Bank, CDP, and the Covenant of Mayors. The Smart City Expo World Congress 2019, Cities Made of Dreams, will take place in Barcelona from November 19-21, 2019.
The reporting and data partners of the Global Covenant of Mayors include many of the same entities explored in the 2019 Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg series: The Climate Group, World Resources Institute, WWF, the World Bank, the UN, and the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project).
As “smart trees” are installed to fight air pollution in “smart cities”, real trees will be churned into biofuel under the guise of the branded terms “clean energy” (already happening at scale) and “net zero”. This is not protection of biodiversity, this is a future as envisioned by psychopaths.
This is what “sustainability” looks like through the lens of a capitalist. Source: Twitter
Former UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres, Global Covenant of Mayors vice-chair. Source: Twitter
The technologies desired for the “fourth industrial revolution”, the “climate emergency” declarations and adjacent legislation required to unlock the funding required in order to save the capitalist economic system, this is all happening very quickly by design in said response to the global mobilizations demanding action on climate change. Each municipality declaring a climate emergency is presented as a victory for the people and the planet. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Future is CCS and Nuclear
And while the masses in the West are hypnotized by elite financed/manufactured global climate mobilizations – in the real world, Bill Gates Mission Innovation, Christiana Figueres and Michael Bloomberg’s Global Covenant of Mayors (partnered with the World Bank) et al. were scaling up their efforts at the CEM10/MI-4 [The 10th Clean Energy Ministerial and 4th Mission Innovation Ministerial] held in Vancouver, Canada from May 27–May 29, 2019. During this event, hosting the ministers of 25 governments, Mission Innovation and the Global Covenant of Mayors entered into a formal collaboration.
Here too, youth were being primed to embrace the “fourth industrial revolution”:
“For the first time, CEM10/MI-4 will feature a Youth Program…70 youth clean energy leaders from over 25 countries will join us in Vancouver to be agents of change for our energy future. In addition, through a partnership with Student Energy, over 50,000 youth in over 130 countries will be engaged through social media, promotional videos and livestreaming of select events at CEM10/MI-4.” [Source] [CEM and MI Youth Leaders Forum]
Bill Gates addressed the opening plenary session in Vancouver, highlighting the new partnerships between Breakthrough Energy and Canada (May 27, 2019), and Breakthrough Energy and the European Commission (Breakthrough Energy Europe, October 17, 2018):
“The “Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future” (NICE Future) is an international collaboration under CEM that envisions a world in which nuclear energy innovation plays a key role and advances clean energy goals. At CEM10, the NICE Future initiative will be releasing a book, Breakthroughs: Nuclear Innovation in a Clean Energy System, that tells the stories of the people and the solutions that are driving near-term innovation in nuclear energy. Its goal is to generate excitement and create ideas about what nuclear energy’s role can be in clean energy systems of the future.”
In servitude to capital by design, NGOs are called upon to facilitate the transition to the fourth industrial revolution. Trillions of dollars are funneled from corporations, Annex 1 states, hedge funds, into foundations, into the NGOS comprising the non-profit industrial complex. The funds, made politically correct by utilizing language via the term “grants” are, in reality, investments. These tax-free investments enable billionaires to have the world shaped and designed in their image.
At the helm of the climate mobilizations being orchestrated at scale, are the same NGOs who co-founded the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA/TckTckTck) – tasked with “herding the cats” since 2009. The purpose is to give the citizenry a sense of inclusion and ownership in critical decision making. The illusion that we, the citizenry, are in the driver’s seat. The accelerated servitude, oppression and exploitation will not be forced upon us. Rather, we will have demanded it.
The “fourth industrial revolution” will be a “smart industrial revolution”. The “climate emergency” will amount to, when put into practice, the further destruction of the natural world. This global campaign has nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with saving capitalism. This is the maintaining and expansion of current power structures.
A fully “smart city” is on the way for those in the West. Simultaneously, the financialization of nature, not the true protection of biodiversity, is the shared goal. The two will coalesce to form a “smart” dystopian hell.
Further, those that comprise the World Economic Forum have been handed the keys to the planet.
No, it’s not “going to be tremendous”. It’s going to be a nightmare.
 “During the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the panel discussion “Unlocking Financing for Climate Action” sent an inspirational message. The question was how to mobilize the trillions of dollars in private and public investment needed to ensure that the world meets the Paris Climate Change Agreement’s aim of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The high level-panel featured the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, the Former Vice President of the United States and Chairman, Al Gore, the Mission2020 Convenor, Christiana Figueres, the Founder and Chairman of Skoll Foundation, Jeff Skoll, the Minister of Finance of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, the UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim, and it was moderated by the journalist Ghida Fakhry. To a capacity audience at the World Bank headquarters the overall message was one of optimism, that it is possible to tackle climate change by raising the necessary finances….
Al Gore emphasized that he is optimistic with regards to dealing with climate change: “There is no doubt in my mind that we will solve the climate crisis.” Pointing to the importance of a sustainable revolution, the Former Vice President of the United States made sure to highlight the importance of urgency: “How quickly we win this” is determined by how much finance can be leveraged.
The inspiration throughout the discussion was noticeable, as expressed by Erik Solheim: “There is every reason to be a global optimist.” Christiana Figueres underlined that the discussion is actually about “unlocking financing for economic growth that, by the way, has climate benefits…This is the story of growth of this century.” [Emphasis in original]
 Tom Rivett-Carnac:
- Serves as senior advisor to the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (a network of more than 7,500 cities), and to the Climate Leaders of the president of the World Bank Group.
- Founder and chief strategist of Mission 2020.
- Managing partner of Global Optimism
- Former senior advisor to the executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, Christiana Figueres. (“From this position he was responsible for political strategy and for the integration of non state actors into the international negotiation process. Leading an independent strategy team inside the Office of the Executive Secretary, he held this position up to and during the successful negotiations in Lima (COP 20) and Paris (COP 21), which resulted in the historic Paris Accords.”)
- Former President and CEO of CDP North America (“an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies.” Currently more than 7,000 corporations work with CDP
- Research fellow at Stanford University, home of “natural capital” research (the financialization of nature).
- Has held, or continues to hold, Advisory positions at the Clinton Global Initiative, NY Stock Exchange, Leaders’ Quest and the Global Impact Investment Network. [Source] [Source]
 “Contrary to dogmatic Marxist formulas, Figueres had the support of the country’s oligarchs that felt threatened by Calderon’s reforms. In 1948, after Calderon lost the election to a candidate backed by Figueres, the legislature dominated by Calderon’s party overturned the results—thus leading to a civil war that cost the lives of 2,000 Costa Ricans. Fighting on Calderon’s side was the Communist Party, while Figueres’s forces were composed mostly of students and professionals funded by sectors of the bourgeoisie. Figueres sought not only to topple Calderon but to foment revolutions against the big three oligarchs in the region: Batista, Somoza and Trujillo. As should be obvious, attempts to pigeonhole Costa Rican history are doomed.
After taking power, Figueres vowed to continue with Calderon’s social programs and to deepen them under the new Social Democratic party he founded. From that point on, Costa Rica became the bête noire of American imperialism and its allies in the region. Despite the threat they posed, Figueres believed a regular army was not only unnecessary but an institution that could easily transform Costa Rica into just another oligarchy. Instead, he urged the creation of a citizens militia but only during a national emergency—an approach not that different from that of the founding fathers of the USA.
The last twenty minutes or so of the film deal with the enormous pressures being put on Costa Rica to “get with the program”, which meant agreeing to free trade deals and even backing Bush’s invasion of Iraq as part of the “coalition of the willing”. Costa Rica went along with the first demand but rejected the second. As a willing partner in the Washington Consensus, Costa Rica is being transformed into a poster child for neoliberalism with Walmart stores replacing locally-owned small stores and five star hotels springing up everywhere to lure tourists.” [Source]
 Guzmán was instrumental in the ten-year Guatemalan Revolution, which represented some of the few years of representative democracy in Guatemalan history. Code-named Operation PBSUCCESS, it installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, the first in a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian rulers in Guatemala.
The 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état was a covert operation carried out by the CIA that deposed the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz and ended the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944–1954. Code-named Operation PBSUCCESS, it installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, the first in a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian rulers in Guatemala. backed by a heavy campaign of psychological warfare. Castillo Armas quickly assumed dictatorial powers, banning opposition parties, imprisoning and torturing political opponents, and reversing the social reforms of the revolution. Nearly four decades of civil war followed, as leftist guerrillas fought a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes whose brutalities included a genocide of the Maya peoples.
 “Geo-Economics and Geo-Politics Drive Successive Eras of Predatory Globalization and Social Engineering: Historical emergence of climate change, gender equity, and anti-racism as State doctrines”, by Denis G. Rancourt, Ontario Civil Liberties Association, OCLA Report 2019-1, April 2019, http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/OCLA_Report_2019-1.pdf.
 The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. [Source]