CLICK HERE to watch the full press briefing given by Pablo Solon, Ambassador of the Plurinational State Bolivia to the United Nations, on June 2nd, 2010, in Bonn, Germany (via UNFCCC website).
(transcript) Good morning, thank you everybody for coming to the press conference of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Let me introduce myself. I am Ambassador Pablo Solón, I am the chief of the delegation for the climate change negotiations here in Bonn, and I am the Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the UN in New York.
The purpose of this press conference is to first share with the media that we have introduced a new submission last Monday that reiterates in a very short way our main proposals that were not taken into account in the new text that was presented by the chair of the other working group of the LCA 10 days ago.
As you all know, Bolivia called for a World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth that took place between 20 to 22 of April. In this conference, 17 working groups developed a lot of proposals that were presented in the submission by the Plurinational State of Bolivia the 26 of April. That was the deadline to introduce new submissions that were going to be taken into account by the new text of the chair of the other working group on long cooperative action.
We were very disappointed to see that the new text that was presented by the chair even though it mentions in its scenario note that this conference took place now, but I didn’t take into account any main proposals of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change. That is why we, as Bolivia, and many other delegations, think and consider that this text is very unbalanced, is a text that has a several exclusions and that in order to have and more balanced text we need to introduced the positions of the different parties.
What we see now is that we have a text that reflects main the Copenhagen Accord even thought it not was adopted. The text of the Copenhagen Accord has been introduced in the new text of the chair, but proposals from other parties have not been taken into account. We have distributed to all of you this summary submission, where you can see the different points and I am not going to go to all of them, and I just going to headlight some of them.
First, the issue of the first 50% domestic emission reduction, with no market mechanisms and offset mechanism that is the proposal of Bolivia the World People’s Conference. Why? In the first place, because yesterday you have seen Guatemala made a statement announcing how many people died because of an issue of climate in Guatemala, and that is was is going to happen everywhere if we don’t take measures, and we don’t reduce in a very substantive way the emission from Annex I countries.
The problem that we have is that in the other working group on KP, are discussing already some mechanism to avoid this emission reduction. They are called new flexibilities, and in reality they are saying that no matter what is the figure we arrive at, 30% is going to be done through market mechanisms and the other 30% is going to be done through a new accounting way of taking land use and land deforestation. So, in reality, what we see is that the real reduction will not be the 30% that the European Union is announcing, it is going to be 10%. So that is why that we insisted very much that the figure that we agree on must be a real figure, that developed countries if they commit to 30, 40 must be 30 domestically inside their countries not with offsets, because that in reality is not a reduction of them its a reduction of us. So that is the heart of our proposal, and we are asking for reduction of 50%, that wasn’t taken into account.
The other issue that wasn’t taken into account has to do with finance. We only see in the text the proposal of the Copenhagen Accord that is 100 billion dollars by 2020 and 30 billion dollars for the next 3 years. But our other proposals… there is a proposal on the percentage of GNP of the developed countries. We as Bolivia have asked for 6% of GNP, others have asked for 1% or 3%. We questioned why those different options are not in the text of the chair. Why do we have to discuss only around the option of the Copenhagen Accord? For us, the figure of 100 billion dollars looks huge, very big, but if you divided 100 billion dollars between the populations of the developing countries – something around 5000 million persons – that means 20 dollars per year per person to solve climate change issues.
We think that, if we considered that we are going to solve climate change issues with 20 dollars per person per year, we are really lying to ourselves. That is not to be serious around this issue, and for us this is even worse, because actually from military bases and defense and security, developed countries are spending 1.7 trillion dollars. And the situation is even worse because they don’t assure even the one hundred billion dollars. They affirmed that at least 50% of those 100 billon dollars are going to come from market mechanisms. Who knows what’s going to happen with the market in the coming years. Can you imagine to say that the military budget of any country is going to depend on any kind of market mechanisms? Not at all. But why does humanity, future generations, on climate change have to depend on that kind of market mechanisms that are going to develop a business, but that are not going to solve the issues of climate change.
Another position that was presented by Bolivia has to do with forests. We are really worried in relation to forests. Really very worried. If you have heard, yesterday we began to hear that in Cancun there is not going to be any agreement on the main issue of emissions reduction, but there are going to be other decisions, decisions that have to do with a fast start with the 10 million dollars, MRB for mitigation for developing countries, and REDD, and that they are going to postpone the heart of the negotiations for South Africa.
What’s going to happened with forests? Why are we so worried? Because REDD is going to develop a new market, not to really promote conservation, to stop degradation and deforestation, but to promote a huge market, a new business. We clearly said we agree that forests must be protected not only as plantations, not only as sinks for carbon, but as the home of biodiversity and of indigenous peoples and local communities, and that this should be done respecting the sovereignty of the States through their national policies and without any kind of market mechanisms and offset mechanism. Because to use REDD in order to not comply with your commitments in order to reduce your emission is something that is really to cheat in the negotiations of climate change.
The fourth issue that hasn’t been take into account – and is this is very important for us – has to do with compliance. The Bolivian proposal is one of the proposals that says if there is not a compliance of mechanics, is doesn’t matter what we agree. We can say 50%, we can say 1 trillion dollars for finance, we can say this and that, but if there is no compliance, nothing happens to the parties that have agreed on that, and especially developed countries. So that is why we say we must develop those mechanisms inside the UNFCCC in order to create a Climate Justice Tribunal. We know that the discussion on a Climate Justice Tribunal is something that will go beyond the Cancun. But we must begin now… We need to recognize that we not only human have rights, but also nature has rights. This is now happening is because human activity has gone far beyond on the limits the borders of the rights of our planet of our systems. For us this is key, and this is one of the great challenge that we have in this century. This not a technical issue. This is a climate change issue that can only be resolved if we assume that we humans are part of the system and that we must respect the other parties of this system.
We have many other proposals… Right now, we have a document that only has one option: the Copenhagen Accord, which think is absolutely unbalanced, unfair, and not the outcome that everybody wants in Cancun.