(Pablo Solon) Many thanks Ms. President. For us it is of great importance to report on the results of the First World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia between April 20th and 22nd. 35,352 people took part in this Conference, of which 9,254 came from 140 countries outside Bolivia. Also at this conference, we received the visit of official delegations from the governments of 56 countries. The discussions were organized into 17 working groups that started their virtual sessions many months before the event, and the conclusions of these 17 working groups were condensed into a text that is known as the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba and a Project of Declaration Rights of Mother Earth. Based on these documents, the Plurinational State of Bolivia presented a submission on April 26th to be taken into account in the framework of the present process of negotiations that we are having in the ad-hoc working group over which you preside.
The main proposals of the World People’s Conference can be summarized as follows:
First, the need for developed countries to assume commitments for a 50% emissions reduction, taking into account the basic level of 1990, in a domestic manner and without market mechanisms.
Second, the need for significant financing to attend to the consequences of climate change, financing that must be similar in size to the budget designated to war and world defense. This budget must be around 6% of GDP from developed countries if we want to give the same importance to issues of climate change as arms and international security.
The conference also questioned mechanisms such as REDD that promote the carbon market and do not respect the rights of indigenous peoples. It urged a rejection of market mechanisms and “offsets,” as well as others regarding forests that fail to respect the sovereignty of States. Instead, it emphasized the need to respect the environmental integrity of forests, recognizing them not only as plantations, but also as homes for those peoples who inhabit them, and habitats that contain a lot of diversity that is fundamental for the life of our planet. Regarding agriculture, the conference also expressed that is necessary to address this issue from a broad perspective recognizing the need to promote food sovereignty and adopting a policy of precaution against new technologies such as the geo-engineering, which can cause serious damage in the future.
The conference expressed that is fundamental to guarantee human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples and all populations in the politics of adaption and mitigation regarding climate change. A fundamental aspect of the conference was discussion about how to achieve the commitments and agreements that have been adopted at the international level, for there was great concern among the delegations who came to Bolivia regarding the existence of international agreements and the simultaneous lack of mechanisms to guarantee compliance with these agreements. That is why it was proposed that discussions of the Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal move forward. Likewise, it was suggested that, if this situation continues, it will be necessary to consider broader forms of democratic participation such as a Global Referendum on Climate Change.
Finally, the conference proposed that is necessary to see the issue of climate change from a more global perspective. The rupture of harmony with nature is caused by a failure to recognize that we, as human beings, are part of an inter-dependent system in which the other parts also have rights. To guarantee human rights in the Twenty-first Century, it is necessary also to guarantee the rights of Mother Earth. In this sense, the conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, developed and proposed a draft of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
To conclude, I must point out that the conference considered it fundamental to promote the analysis of the structural causes of global warming, for we are facing the great dilemma stated in the conference text: to save capitalism or to save the planet and humanity.
Thank you very much.