(New York, 18 January 2010) In response to US climate envoy Jonathan Pershing’s attempts to blame countries of the Latin American ALBA block for the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks and the US decision to therefore sideline the UN in future climate talks, Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN said the following:

“The US’ deliberate attempts to sideline both democracy and justice in the climate policy debate is holding humanity hostage – and will be viewed as both reckless and immoral by future generations.”“It is time the US read the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s own reports, which in the Fourth Assessment clearly noted that ‘Adaptive capacity is intimately connected to social and economic development, but it is not evenly distributed across and within societies.’ Furthermore it states: ‘Vulnerability to climate change can be exacerbated by …poverty, unequal access to resources, food insecurity, trends in economic globalization, conflict and incidence of diseases such as HIV/AIDS.’”

“The only solution to climate change is one based on justice otherwise we are making a decision to sacrifice more than half of humanity. Climate Justice will mean radical reduction of emissions in industrialized countries and the transfer of resources and technology to developing countries. If the US and other governments can so easily find money for endless wars, bank bailouts and bonanza bonuses for the rich, they clearly have the resources to help save lives and protect future generations.”

Solon added: “The US admission that it wants to exclude the vast majority of the planet from decisions about climate change is deeply offensive, when the climate crisis will fall first on those who are most vulnerable. The earthquake in Haiti has shown very clearly how vulnerable impoverished countries will be to environmental crises. The US decision to ignore our voices is the attitude of a colonial ruler. It is certainly not change we can believe in.”

“The US climate envoy Pershing must be very deaf if he thinks that only a small minority of countries opposed the Copenhagen Accord. The agreement was roundly condemned in almost every quarter of the world, because it patently fails to tackle the climate crisis. The leaders of the world’s largest polluting nations have failed us. That is why Bolivia is organizing a Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change in April to put forward effective proposals for saving humanity from climate chaos. We invite all people committed to saving our planet to join us.”

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Nick Buxton – Email nicholasbuxton@gmail.com or ring +1 530 902 3772

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Notes:

1. Jonathan Pershing said: “Who were they? Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba. These are countries that are part of the ALBA group, a group that sees this process not so much as a solution to climate change, but in fact as a mechanism to redistribute global wealth. And they don’t like the fact that this did not do that. It didn’t do that, and they objected to that fact. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, the rest of the world doesn’t want to do it that way. But they couldn’t get an agreement, because this group, this narrow group, was blocking it.” Pershing says future talks should center around the world’s largest polluters instead of trying to go through the UN process. He said, “It is…impossible to imagine a negotiation of enormous complexity where you have a table of 192 countries involved in all the detail.”

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/14/headlines

2. The Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights will take place 19-22 April 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia (For more information http://cmpcc.org/)