More than 10,000 individuals and 50
governments have already registered to participate in the historic World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the
Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on April 19-22, 2010. Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, at a press conference
during UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn on April 10 condemned continued
attempts by some developed countries to impose a deeply flawed
Copenhagen Accord as the basis for future negotiations:
The only way to get negotiations back on track not just
for Bolivia or other countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our
Mother Earth is to put civil society back into the process.
Solon explained it was this belief that motivated Bolivia to host an
historic World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Mother
Earth, to which more than 15,000 people and up to 70
governments are expected to attend.
“The central aim of any climate summit is not to save itself and
accept any outcome, but to come to an agreement that will save
humanity.” Solon said that the Copenhagen Accord sadly marked a
“backwards step” so could never be acceptable as a basis for further
negotiations. Solon pointed out that the European Union’s own analysis
of the Copenhagen Accord admitted that it would lead to an increase of
temperatures of up to four or five degrees Celsius.
This is no kind of solution. Yet at these talks [in
Bonn] we never hear developed nations admitting concern over this.
Instead the US claims this is the best agreement we have had. Are we
really willing to say that allowing temperatures to rise to four or five
degrees is a good goal?
Solon reiterated the demands of many developing nations by calling on
industrialised nations to rebuild trust. “You cannot rebuild trust by
legalizing the same methods that led to the failure in Copenhagen.”
Solon called for talks to be returned to the full UNFCCC process, and to
develop on what had been agreed in COP15.
Solon commenting on news that the US and Denmark were withdrawing aid
from countries like Bolivia for their opposition to the Copenhagen
Accord said, “This in their right, but unfair and clearly an attempt to
punish Bolivia. What kind of negotiation is it where you lose money if
Solon said that Bolivia would not back down due to such
threats. “We are a country with dignity and sovereignty and will
maintain our position.”
Australian climate activists to attend summit
By Simon Butler
April 10, 2010 -- Australian climate activists will join
thousands of other people at the World People's Conference on Climate
Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia over April
19-22. Billed as a people's alternative to the corporate-dominated Copenhagen
climate summit in December, the Bolivian conference has the support of
more than 240 radical climate action groups and organisations worldwide.
Up to 15,000 people are expected to take part in the 17 different
issue-based working groups held during the conference. The working
groups include: outlining the structural causes of climate change; the
dangers of carbon markets; sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty;
and developing climate action strategies.
Conference attendees will also be asked to discuss and endorse proposals
for a world referendum on climate change, a “universal declaration on
the rights of Mother Earth” and the formation of an International
Climate Justice Tribunal.
Gemma Weedall, an Adelaide-based climate activist with the Climate
Emergency Action Network (SA), told Green Left Weekly she was
going to Cochabamba "because I recognise that we are facing a climate
emergency. I think the current economic model that we are working under
is incompatible with addressing the climate problem. So I think this is a really important alternative conference. I'm
really interested to learn about the problem from the perspective of the
Weedall intends to take part in two conference working groups — the
climate migrants stream, introduced by The Shock Doctrine
author Naomi Klein, and the climate debt stream, introduced by renowned
Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.
She also said she supported the Bolivian government's call for developed
countries to aim for a maximum average warming of 1° Celsius. “I'd vote
for that [in a referendum]. I think 1°C is much more appropriate than
the 2°C target set at Copenhagen. Having a target of 2°C threatens the
existence of low-lying islands."
Another conference attendee, Ben Courtice, told GLW he also
thought 1°C of warming was a good target. But he stressed "targets of
how much warming we can accept are only one part of it. We also need a
strategy to draw carbon down out of the atmosphere, otherwise the carbon
already released will drive warming well above 1°C.”
Courtice, an activist with Melbourne's Climate Emergency Network and the
Socialist Alliance, said the conference "is our first opportunity to
resurrect something useful out of the ashes of Copenhagen. [Out of it]
something better can be put forward to the world to stop climate
He also endorsed Bolivia's President Evo Morales' condemnation of
capitalism at the Copenhagen climate summit. "I think it's essential
that the international climate movement develops a critique of
capitalism. This is important not only to deal with climate change but
[also to achieve] social justice."
Rising Tide Newcastle activist Steve Denshire told GLW: “The
position of the Bolivian government gives a new hope for people that
have been so disappointed in the outcome in Copenhagen.”
He will take a slideshow presentation the conference "of some of the
direct action protests we've been part of [in Australia] in the past few
years. The aim is to show people in the global South that they have
support — that the attitude of the Australian government [on climate
change] isn’t necessarily the attitude of the Australian people.”
Denshire said he intends to meet climate activists from countries that
import Australian coal to discuss joint campaigns.
“We want to bring back some inspiration for movement building”, he said.
“Campaigners in the global South have had strong successes in the past.
We want to learn more about this and inject it into the movement here.”
Naomi Hogan, an activist with Climate Action Newtown, said she hoped to
gain a "fresh perspective and greater insights about what is happening
with activists and indigenous people around the world who are
campaigning against climate change. The conference will give people a good opportunity to make links with
other people — we are all affected by climate change so we all need to
work together and build connections.”
Hogan also said the conference's call for an International Climate
Justice Tribunal was important.
"Climate justice is something that is left off the radar in many climate
change discussions. The idea of having a climate justice tribunal is to
put a spotlight on the issue that people's rights are being taken away
from them all over the world."
what is becoming the hippest environment meeting of the year, presidents,
politicians, intellectuals, scientists and Hollywood stars will join more than
15,000 indigenous people and thousands of grass roots groups from more than 100
countries to debateclimate changein one of the world's poorest
will use the meeting to announce the world's largest referendum, with up to 2
billion people being asked to vote on ways out of the climate crisis. Bolivia  also wants to create a UN charter of
rights and to draft an action plan to set up an international climate justice
only way to get climate negotiations back on track not just for Bolivia or other
countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our Mother Earth is to put civil
society back into the process. The only thing that can save mankind from a
[climate] tragedy is the exercise of global democracy," said Bolivia's United
Nations Ambassador Pablo Solon in Bonn, at the end of the latest UN talks .
will be no secret discussions behind closed doors. The debate and the proposals
will be led by communities on the frontlines of climate change and by
organisations and individuals from civil society dedicated to tackling the
climate crisis," he said.
than 90 governments are sending delegations to Cochabamba, Bolivia's third
largest city. Also expected to attend are scientists such as James Hansen, James
Cameron, the director of Avatar , the linguist Noam Chomsky, author Naomi Klein
of Canada, anti-globalisation activist José Bové of France, and actors Danny
Glover, Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon are expected.
meeting will coincide with celebrations of the Cochabamba "water war"  of 2000 when a revolt against the
privatisation of water in the city acted as an inspiration for social movements
across Latin America and indirectly to the election of Morales as Bolivia's
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," said