“We need to put civil society back into the process”
Press Release, The Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, 12 April 2010
At a press conference during UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn on 10 April, Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, 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 on 19-22 April 2010 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.
“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 industrialized 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 is within their rights, but unfair and clearly an attempt to punish Bolivia. What kind of negotiation is it where you lose money if you disagree?” 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.”
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BACKGROUND ON CONFERENCE
The Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth 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 conference 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.
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.
Amongst the confirmed speakers are NASA scientist Jim Hansen, Bill McKibben, environmental journalist and leader of 350.org, Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, best-selling author Naomi Klein, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, Miguel D’Escoto, former President of UN General Assembly, Lumumba Di-Aping, lead negotiator for the G77 at Copenhagen, American actor, director and activist Danny Glover along with leaders from leading environmental organizations and communities at the frontline of climate change.
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
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