CLICK HERE to watch the press conference given by Ambassador Pablo Solón of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations at the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bonn on August 6, 2010.
Highlight: “From the perspective of the proposals of the World People’s Conference and Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, we want to express that the vast majority of those proposals have been included in the negotiating text.”
We have come here to express our view in relation to this new round of negotiations here in Bonn. After five days, we feel that this is now beginning to be a party-driven process, and at the end of this week, we have a text that is a party-driven text. We have taken a step forward because now from a facilitating text, we have a negotiating text and all 192 parties recognize as its text. It has a lot of brackets… it has more pages, but now we can say that the vast majority of proposals of the countries are on the negotiating table. In China, we will begin a negotiation line by line, paragraph by paragraph.
From the perspective of the proposals of the World People’s Conference and Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, we want to express that the vast majority of those proposals have been included in the negotiating text.
For example, the reduction of 50% of greenhouse gas emissions for the second period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013-2017, the limit on the increase in temperature to 1 degree Celsius and 300ppm. Now in the new text, we have a reference not only to temperature but to parts per million of Co2.
Another very important improvement is to guarantee an equitable distribution of the atmospheric space taking into account climate debt, and to take into account also an equitable distribution of the remaining budget in relation to the population of developed and developing countries.
There is a clear proposal now to respect human rights in the operative part of the text, not in the preambular part only, and clear paragraphs in relation to Indigenous People’s rights and climate migrants’ rights. There is also the proposal in the text to recognize and defend Mother Earth’s rights in order to promote to harmony with nature.
Also the proposal of the development of a climate court of justice has been included in different parts of the text.
In relation to the proposal to not promote market mechanisms that develop offsets from developing countries in favor of developed countries – that also has been included.
There is now a clear reference in what is called REDD, which we think should be called Forest Related Actions. There are two options – one option is supported by those that want to have market mechanisms, and the other is the one expressed by Bolivia and the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which is to move on without these kind of market mechanisms.
When it comes to financing, the proposal of Bolivia has also been included. We have said that it is necessary to use 6% of the GDP of developed countries to address climate change-related issues, and that has also been included.
When it comes to forests, the position of the World People’s Conference in regard that this should be done in an environmentally integrative way fully respectful of the rights of Indigenous Peoples is also there, and of course defending what we call real forests, and not trying to change forests into plantations.
So the main proposals of the World People’s Conference that took place from April 20 to 22nd in Bolivia are now in the text of negotiation. I am open to any questions you may have.
John Vidal (Guardian): We’ve heard the Americans, we’ve heard the European Union, we’ve heard others saying that the text is now so big that it’s going to be very difficult to negotiate it, and that there are unrealistic things put into the text, and I think they’re probably referring to some these things you mentioned. How would you respond to that, that what you’re doing is you’re proposing things that cannot be conceivably got through?
Ambassador Solon: From our point of view, the proposals that we have made are proposals to really save the planet and save humanity. When we say that there should be 6% of the budget for climate change issues, we are not speaking about a figure that is outside any imagination. Just four days ago in a conference, Pachauri, the president of the IPCC, said that if the world doesn’t expend 3% of the worldwide domestic product, we can suffer severe consequences in the near future. So these figures are based on real assessments and studies of different sectors and scientists. And when we ask for a climate court of justice, we are saying: if what is in place is something that can really mean the disappearance of 30, 40% of biodiversity and millions of people are going to be affected, then we need to have a compliance mechanism that is much stronger than what we have now. So those are our proposals, and we think that if we don’t discuss seriously real commitments, in the end, we’re not going to solve the problem of climate change.
John McGarrity (Point Carbon): I just need to confirm some details that some of the other negotiators were talking about in their press conferences. This issue of MRV. It appears that the row between China and the US that was papered over in the Copenhagen Accord could be opening up again. Just wondering what your views are on that and whether this issue will cause fireworks at the meeting in China and be a major problem in getting China and the US to agree on other issues.
Pablo Solon: The problem is that… the US thinks that the Copenhagen Accord is already the basis for agreement. And other countries that have associated with the Copenhagen Accord have a more open view… it’s mainly a declaration but the paragraphs that are there need further interpretation, and they interpret those paragraphs in a different way from what the US thinks is the interpretation. You have pointed out one of the issues. It’s not the only one, but it’s one.
John McGarrity (Point Carbon): Is it fair to say that when countries get down to negotiating paragraph by paragraph and negotiate in detail that the divergence become even more apparent? The idea of the devil-in-the-details, that countries when they are faced with proposals in black and white on a negotiating text, that they would balk at the proposals put forth by other blocks of countries?
Ambassador Solon: What we have expressed in different meetings here is that we now expect that, in China, we will negotiate paragraph by paragraph. There is a lot of text that can be very easily agreed on, it’s just a problem of wording. But there are parts of course where you have substantive brackets. If we have few substantive brackets at the end of China and we clear up the majority of the text, then we will be in a position to say: in Cancun we can come to an agreement. Because then we will focus on those specific substantive brackets that remain. I would say that now we are beginning to be on track. If during the six days of negotiation in China – and we have agreed that we are going to begin to negotiate on the first day – if we are able to do this, and to have two or three readings of the text… I work at the UN. We are going to have a text that is shorter, cleaner. It will still have brackets on some of the paragraphs, but then will come the time when countries will have to make a decision. Becuase from China to Cancun, there will be a text where governments have to say, I’m willing to accept this option, I’m willing to make a trade-off, I’m willing to do this, and in that sense we’re going to be able to have a comprehensive agreement in Cancun.
John McGarrity (Point Carbon): If I can just follow up once more, Do you think that this week we’ve seen an unravelling of the Copenhagen Accord to some degree, that countries that have associated with it are not backing up that association with
Ambassador Solon: I just want to say that I feel that this week we have moved forward because it has become a party-driven process. A negotiation is a negotiation of parties. And whatever you do, you can’t contain that, you can’t avoid having a negotiation between parties. I think that those who tried to find a way to come to an outcome without having a negotiation of parties were just dreaming. he only way to come up with an outcome in the UN is through a negotiation, and through negotiations like this. We should have begun this process in the previous meeting in Bonn, we would have had more time. But this is the reality. Now we have to move forward.
John Vidal (Guardian): Has there been, to your knowledge, enormous pressure on the Chair or on the UNFCCC people to take a different line? You say this is a party-driven process, which is clearly to your advantage, and that you feel that this is a good thing. Is there a sort of battle going on between the Chair and some of the different countries, and can you give us an idea of some of the backstage?
Ambassador Solon: Always in a negotiation there are those kind of problems. We were very disappointed, as I said in a press conference at the last meeting here in Bonn. But I would say that because there were a lot of countries that expressed… You remember that last meeting in Bonn. You’re going to see a very big difference between the 11th of July and now. There’s going to be a very big difference. You had more than, I don’t remember, 30 to 40 speeches expressing that they were really very disappointed with the texts that were presented by the Chair of the Ad-hoc working group and LCA. Now I can tell you that that situation won’t happen. Of course, nobody is absolutely satisfied. Nobody. But I would say that the spirit is that things have begun to move in a party-driven process.
John Vidal (Guardian): Are you saying that the balance is swinging back toward developing countries rather more than it had before?
Ambassador Solon: It’s moving toward developing countries and all parties. Because this is a negotiation between states. And we were negotiating before through a facilitator. And when states begin to negotiate directly, sometimes it’s a little bit more difficult, but it’s the only way to negotiate.
(Unidentified): I just wanted to ask you about market issues because there seems to be an increasing sense, and I heard the EU refer to it just now, new market mechanisms and so-forth being discussed. And I feel concerned about Mexico that some of this may come forward Do you feel like making some sort of comment on the force of markets increasing in the run-up to Mexico?
Ambassador Solon: Yes, but as I said at the beginning of my presentation, the proposals of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth have been included, and now there is the other option. That is the option that says we don’t want to promote more new market mechanisms, we don’t want to have forest-related actions that are so-called REDD through this kind of offset and market mechanism. So I would say that it was more unbalanced before. Now at least in the text you will see that there are two options. But that doesn’t deny what you are seeing, that there is a big pressure to promote and to try to have these market mechanisms no matter what in Cancun and this is beginning to be even more important than the issue of limiting the increase in temperature or raising the emission reduction commitments. And so, as we have said before, we cannot make business with the tragedy of humanity and our Mother Earth. Thank you.