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Bolivia creates a new opportunity for climate talks that failed at Copenhagen

 

By Pablo Solón Romero

March 19, 2010 -- http://pwccc.wordpress.com/ -- In the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate conference, those who defended the widely condemned outcome tended to talk about it as a “step in the right direction”. This was always a tendentious argument, given that tackling climate change cannot be addressed by half measures. We can’t make compromises with nature.

Bolivia, however, believed that Copenhagen marked a backwards step, undoing the work built on since the climate talks in Kyoto. That is why, against strong pressure from industrialised countries, we and other developing nations refused to sign the Copenhagen Accord and why we are hosting an international meeting on climate change in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from April 19 to 22, 2010. In the words of the Tuvalu negotiator, we were not prepared to “betray our people for 30 pieces of silver”.

Our position was strongly criticised by several industrialised countries, who did their brazen best to blame the victims of climate change for their own unwillingness to act. However, recent communications by the European Commission have confirmed why we were right to oppose the Copenhagen accord.

In a report called International climate policy post-Copenhagen, the commission confirmed that the pledges by developed countries are equal to between 13.2% and 17.8% in emissions reductions by 2020 – far below the required 40%-plus reductions needed to keep global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees celsius.

The situation is even worse once you take into account what are called “banking of surplus emission budgets” and “accounting rules for land use, land use change and forestry”. The Copenhagen Accord would actually allow for an increase in developed country emissions of 2.6% above 1990 levels. This is hardly a forward step.

This is not just about gravely inadequate commitments, it is also about process. Whereas before, under the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries were legally bound to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage, now countries can submit whatever targets they want without a binding commitment.

This dangerous approach to climate negotiations is like building a dam where everyone contributes as many bricks as they want regardless of whether it stops the river.

The Copenhagen Accord opens the dam and condemns millions. Various estimates suggest that the commitments made under the accord would lead to increases of between three to four degrees celsius – a level that many scientists consider disastrous for human life and our ecosystems.

For Bolivia, the disastrous outcome of Copenhagen was further proof that climate change is not the central issue in negotiations. For rich countries, the key issues in negotiations were finance, carbon markets, competitiveness of countries and corporations, business opportunities along with discussions about the political makeup of the US Senate. There was surprisingly little focus on effective solutions for reducing carbon emissions.

President Evo Morales of Bolivia observed that the best way to put climate change solutions at the heart of the talks was to involve the people. In contrast to much of the official talks, the hundreds of civil society organisations, communities, scientists and faith leaders present in Copenhagen clearly prioritised the search for effective, just solutions to climate change against narrow economic interests.

To advance an agenda based on effective just solutions, Bolivia is therefore hosting a Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 19-22, and inviting everyone to participate. Unlike Copenhagen, there will be no secret discussions behind closed doors. Moreover the debate and proposals will be led by communities on the frontlines of climate change and by organisations and individuals dedicated to tackling the climate crisis. All 192 governments in the UN have also been invited to attend and encouraged to listen to the voices of civil society and together develop common proposals.

We hope that this unique format will help shift power back to the people, which is where it needs to be on this critical issue for all humanity. We don’t expect agreement on everything, but at least we can start to discuss openly and sincerely in a way that didn’t happen in Copenhagen.

[Pablo Solón is ambassador to the UN for the Plurinational State of Bolivia. He is a sociologist and economist, was active in Bolivia’s social movements before entering government, and is an expert on issues of trade, integration, natural resources and water. This article first appeared in the British Guardian. Vist http://pwccc.wordpress.com for more details of the Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.]

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Favor difundir amplamente / Please, disseminate widely / S'il vous plaît de diffuser largement

(English below; Français ci-dessous)

Convocatoria Asamblea de los Movimientos Sociales

Cochabamba, Bolivia, 19 de abril de 2010, 10 h

 

Nosotras y nosotros activistas de diferentes movimientos sociales, caracterizamos el momento actual por la prepotencia de Estados Unidos, Unión Europea y las transnacionales, que se expresó en Copenhague cuando muy pocos países intentaron imponer un resultado, que no fue acordado en la COP 15, de no hacer nada para detener el incremento de la temperatura del Planeta y el daño climático.

El incremento de la presencia militar y bases militares en diversas partes del mundo, invasiones y ocupaciones “humanitarias” indican que la guerra, la ocupación de mercados y territorios, la presencia militar para el control de recursos energéticos, el agua y la biodiversidad son parte de las estrategias de salida a la crisis civilizatoria del capitalismo y su lógica sacrificial, depredadora, racista y patriarcal que se disfraza en negociaciones ilegitimas en nombre de la crisis climática.

Nuestra respuesta está en lucha por el derecho de los pueblos a vivir bien en los territorios, contra las falsas soluciones a las crisis, contra la militarización como respuesta a la misma, contra las acciones de transnacionales que con la connivencia o apoyo de gobiernos o instituciones multilaterales como el Banco Mundial acaparan territorios para el monocultivo y para la privatización del aire y la creación de mercados especulativos de los llamados “créditos de carbono”.

En este sentido estaremos presentes en la Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra. Cochabamba donde organizaremos una Asamblea de los Movimientos Sociales en seguimiento a nuestros esfuerzos y articulaciones en la lucha, con una dupla tarea:

- debatir y organizar nuestro apoyo a las propuestas y iniciativas de los gobiernos comprometidos con los derechos de los pueblos y de la naturaleza;

- debatir y organizar nuestra agenda como movimientos sociales para potencializar nuestras alternativas y resistencias a la expansión de las relaciones de mercado a todos los dominios de la relación entre las personas y de ellas con la naturaleza, la ofensiva de las transnacionales y de la militarización.

 

Alianza Social Continental
ATALC (Amigos de la Tierra América Latina)
Cebrapaz
Central Sindical de las Américas
Climate Justice Now!
CLOC
COMPA
Fdim
Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
Oclae
Red CADTM AYNA
Via Campesina 

Invitation to the Assembly of Social Movements

Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 19, 2010, 10 am

 

We, activists of many diverse social movements, characterize this current moment as one of arrogance and authoritarianism on the part of the United States, the European Union and transnational corporations. This was demonstrated in Copenhagen when very few countries tried to create an outcome that was in disagreement with the COP 15, and did nothing to stop global warming and the climate crisis.

The increase of military presence and military bases in various parts of the world, “humanitarian” invasions and occupations which indicate war, the occupation of markets and territories, and the military presence to control energy resources, water, and natural biodiversity are all tactics derived from civilization’s crisis of capitalism and the logics of exploitation, racism, and patriarchy. These tactics also work to disguise the climate crisis in illegitimate negotiations.

Our response is to fight for the right of all people to live decent lives in their communities, against false solutions to crises, against militarization as a solution, and against the actions of transnational corporations. These transnationals, with the support of governments or multilateral institutions like the World Bank, undermine national borders for the production of monocultures and for the privatization of air and the creation of speculative markets called “carbon credits.”

It is in this context that we present to the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. In Cochabamba we have organized an Assembly of Social Movements, a continuation of our efforts and articulations in the fight, with two goals:

-To discuss and organize our support of the proposals and initiatives of governments committed to the rights of people and the environment;

-To discuss and organize our agenda as social movements to promote our alternatives and our resistence to the marketization of the relationship between people and between people and their environment—the offense of transnationals and militarization.

 

Alianza Social Continental
ATALC (Amigos de la Tierra América Latina)
Cebrapaz
Central Sindical de las Américas
Climate Justice Now!
CLOC
COMPA
Fdim
Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
Oclae
Red CADTM AYNA
Via Campesina 

Convocation à l’Assemblée des Mouvements sociaux

Cochabamba, Bolivia, le 19 avril 2010, 10 h

 

Nous, militants et militantes de divers mouvements sociaux, pensons que l’époque actuelle est marquée par la toute-puissance des Etats-Unis, la Union Européenne et des multinationales. Ceci a été flagrant à Copenhague où très peu de pays ont essayé d’imposer un résultat en désaccord avec la COP 15 et rien n’a été fait pour arrêter le réchauffement climatique et la crise climatique.

L’augmentation de la présence militaire et des bases militaires dans différentes parties du monde, les invasions et les occupations ”humanitaires” indiquent bien que la guerre, l’occupation des marchés et des terres, la présence militaire pour contrôler les ressources énergétiques, l’eau, la biodiversité sont des stratégies de sortie de la crise de civilisation du capitalisme et de sa logique déprédatrice, raciste et patriarcale. Ces stratégies invoquent la crise climatique pour mener des négociations illégitimes.

Nous répondons en luttant pour le droit des peuples à bien vivre sur leur terre, contre les fausses solutions à la crise, contre la militarisation en tant que réponse à la crise, et contre les actions des multinationales. Ces multinationales, avec l’appui des gouvernements ou des institutions multilatérales comme la Banque mondiale, accaparent des terres pour la monoculture, privatisent l’air et créent des marchés spéculatifs appelés “crédits compensatoires du carbone”.

Voilà pourquoi nous, les mouvements sociaux, serons présents à la Conférence mondiale des Peuples sur le Changement climatique et les Droits de la Terre-Mère, à Cochabamba où, dans la logique de nos travaux, nous organiserons une Assemblée des Mouvements sociaux sur deux axes:

- débat et organisation de notre soutien aux propositions et initiatives des gouvernements engagés dans la protection des droits des peuples et de la nature;

- débat et organisation de notre programme en tant que mouvements sociaux

pour renforcer nos alternatives et notre résistance à l’expansion de la marchandisation des personne et de la nature, à l’offensive des multinationales et à la militarisation.

Alianza Social Continental
ATALC (Amigos de la Tierra América Latina)
Cebrapaz
Central Sindical de las Américas
Climate Justice Now!
CLOC
COMPA
Fdim
Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
Oclae
Red CADTM AYNA
Via Campesina

 

Comments

50 governments and 10,000 people expected at climate conf.

People’s World Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, 19-22 April 2010

Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia

March 29, 2010 -- The Plurinational State of Bolivia will host an historic conference on climate change in April with an expected attendance of more than 10,000 people along with government  representatives from more than 50 countries. Many more people are expected to participate via the Internet and in campaign actions on the final day of the conference, 22 April which marks UN Mother Earth Day.Amongst the confirmed speakers are NASA scientist Jim Hansen, Bill McKibben, environmental journalist and leader of 350.org, Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, Miguel D’Escoto, former President of UN General Assembly, American actor, director and activist Danny Glover along with leaders from leading environmental organizations and communities at the frontline of climate change.

Bolivia has invited all 192 governments in the UN to attend the conference and is working closely with the United Nations Development Program to bring representatives from nearly all the 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), whose populations will be most vulnerable to climate change. Spain, Russia and France have also indicated that they will send representatives and others are still confirming.

The conference was announced by President Evo Morales of Bolivia in the aftermath of the widely denounced outcomes of the Copenhagen UNFCCC conference in December 2009. The aim of the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change is to advance an agenda led by civil society organizations and in dialogue with proactive governments dedicated to preventing climate change. The conference aims to analyze the structural causes of climate change, and develop specific proposals and actions for addressing it.

All media and journalists are warmly encouraged to come to Bolivia to cover this event. Registration is free and can be done at the conference website at http://cmpcc.org (Spanish) or http://pwccc.wordpress.com (English)

For more information, please contact:
Gadir Lavadenz – media@cmpcc.org  or ring (+591 2) 2 113161 or (+591) 706 91367
Nick Buxton – media@cmpcc.org or ring +530 902 3772

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