Bolivia: 'People's Summit' to challenge rich nations on climate

February 20, 2010

Bolivia's foreign minister David Choquehuanca said on February 8 that Bolivia is very concerned about the inadequacy of the greenhouse gas reduction commitments made by developed countries in the Copenhagen Accord at the United Nations climate summit in December, said.

Speaking alongside representatives from campesino (peasant) and indigenous organisations, Choquehuanca said: "The commitments, of the developed states, related to greenhouse gas emission reductions will result in more than three degrees increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels.

"Some experts even say that the temperature could rise as high as four degrees above pre-industrial levels. The situation is serious.

"An increase of temperature of more than one degree above pre-industrial levels would result in the disappearance of our glaciers in the Andes, and the flooding of various islands and coastal zones."

Choquehuanca said Bolivia's demand at the Copenhagen conference was that the greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 40% or more below 1990 levels by 2020. But the emissions reduction targets in the Copenhagen Accord of the countries that have been historically responsible for global warming only amount to 12% to 18 % by 2020.

He said what happened at Copenhagen reinforced the need for the People's World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights, which is being organised by the Bolivian government in Cochabamba over April 19-22.

"This conference will be a transparent and inclusive event, in which no one will be marginalised. The conference will be attended by citizens, social movements, scientists.

"We have also been inviting all the governments and the organisations within the United Nations to participate as delegates and experts to discuss along with the peoples how to address the crisis that affects us all."

Announcing the objectives of the summit, Bolivian President Evo Morales, the first president from Bolivia's indigenous majority, said it was clear the so-called developed countries of the world have usurped the bounties of Mother Earth at the expense of the world's poorest people, a February article on Bolivia Rising reported.

Morales said: "Those most affected by climate change will be the poorest in the world who will see their homes and their sources of survival destroyed, and who will be forced to migrate and seek refuge."

He pointed out that 75% of historic emissions of greenhouse gases came from "the countries of the North that followed a path of irrational industrialisation".

He said the Copenhagen conference showed the failure of the industrialised countries to recognise their climate debt.

Morales said: "Climate change is a product of the capitalist system."

The aims of the People's Conference include: to discuss and agree on the Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights; develop proposals for new international agreements; to develop a plan for the holding of an international Climate Justice Tribunal; and define strategies and plans for action and mobilisations for action on climate change.

Bolivia Rising said parliamentarians from the European United Left and the Nordic United Left proposed a resolution in European parliament that "welcomes the initiative" taken by Morales in calling the conference.

It urged "the Commission, the Member states, the European Parliament and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to send representatives to this important event".

The Bolivian government expects around 5000 people from around the world to go to Cochabamba and take part in the conference, Associated Press said on February 8.

[For more details on the conference, visit .]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.