Bolivia says: 'To solve climate change we must abolish capitalism'

Bolivians rally in support of a Bolivian government law passed last year that grants rights to Mother Earth.

The Bolivian government's national contribution to the COP 21 climate talks scheduled to start in Paris on November 30 contains a series of radical proposals for safeguarding the future health of the planet, Euractiv.com said on October 14.

Bolivia's contribution insists that capitalism is responsible for “consumerism, warmongering and [...] the destruction of Mother Earth”.

Euractiv.com said 122 countries had shared their national contributions to the Paris summit, where countries will attempt to reach an agreement that will limit the global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial times.

The various texts contain many different proposals for cutting carbon emissions, financing climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and transferring technologies to developing countries.

But the South American country, led by left-wing President Evo Morales, organised a counter World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life last month, which drew thousands of people from around the world to develop alternative proposals.

Bolivia, whose constitution guarantees the respect of Mother Earth, holds “the failed capitalist system” responsible for climate change. Euractiv.com said its contribution says: “For a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.”

The Bolivian text offers 10 structural solutions to the climate crisis. These include guaranteed protection for the rights of Mother Earth, recognising the right to water and eliminating technology patents in favour of a human right to science.

A key Bolivian proposal is to establish an “International Court of Justice for the Climate and Mother Earth”, which would ensure that all countries fulfil their climate obligations.

The Bolivian text expands on the idea of climate justice and proposes a system for sharing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Using the estimate made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that 650 gigatons of CO2 emissions would lead to a temperature rise of 1.5°C by 2050, Bolivia proposed a carbon budget for each country, limiting its right to pollute.

This budget would apply to both developed and developing countries and be based on a “climate justice index: defined by a country's level of development, its historic responsibility for climate change, its ecological footprint and its technological capacity.

This would allow a right to future carbon emissions to be shared out fairly among developed countries – largely responsible for climate change – and developing nations, which are its biggest victims.

Eruactiv.com said: “According to Bolivia's calculations, this system would assign 11% of the remaining carbon budget to developed countries and 89% to developing countries.”

Developed countries currently account for about 20% of the global population. But these countries emit four times more greenhouse gases per inhabitant than developing countries.

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