Focus on the Global South Position Paper on Climate Change

Focus on the Global South, November 25, 2012

The Link between Emission Cuts, Right to Development and Transformation of Capitalist System

Humanity is running out of time. If there are no deep and real cuts in the next five years the impacts of climate change will lead to a situation ten times worse than what we have seen with hurricane Sandy and other climate change related events in India, Russia, Philippines and Africa in this past year.

That’s what happens with 0.8ºC of global warming, and the current climate negotiations are leading us to a 4ºC to 8ºC scenario.

More than two-thirds of coal, oil and gas should be left under the soil

Different studies say that to limit the increase in temperature to 2ºC, all countries can only emit 565 gigatons of CO2 between 2010 and 2050[1]. At the current rate of 31 gigatons of global CO2 emissions per year, we are going to expend that budget in 15 years.

According to the International Energy Agency, two-thirds of the known reserves of the world’s coal, oil and gas should remain underground to have 50 percent chance of staying below the 2ºC limit.[2] If we want 75 percent chance, we have to leave 80 percent of these reserves under the soil.[3]

To not surpass the limit of 565 gigatons of CO2 until 2050, less than 200 gigatons of CO2 can be sent to the atmosphere from 2010 until 2020. Given this calculation, it is unacceptable and illogical to have a “new” agreement that will only be implemented in 2020, while during this decade, when deep cuts are needed, there will be a “laissez faire” situation in emission reductions with a Kyoto Protocol that is much weaker and has shrunk. Continue lendo


A deepening systemic crisis and rising social response

Pablo Solon, ESSF, October 11, 2012

In the third quarter of 2012, several climate records were broken, in the US, India, the Arctic and many other parts of the world. The economic crisis has gotten worse in Europe and has begun to knock on the doors of the emerging economies. A global food crisis is on its way because of the droughts, the floods, the diversion of crops to biofuels, and the speculation on food commodities in the financial markets.

The difference though with the previous crisis is that this time the capitalist system has touched the boundaries of the planet Earth and the financial speculation has spiraled out of control as it has overtaken the real economy and become the main driver of profit. Continue lendo

Why are climate negotiations locked in a stalemate?

Pablo Solon, The Bangkok Post, September 4, 2012

The Bangkok intersessional meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is about to end, with no progress among countries to commit to increasing the level of emission reductions for this decade. Why are the climate talks stalemated and what should be done to break the deadlock?

Alarming developments
Over the last year alone, the Greenland ice sheet has virtually vanished. This July was the hottest July in the US ever since they started keeping records. A normally dry Beijing had the worst flooding since 1951. Long-delayed monsoon rains in India resulted in the second drought in four years. The ensuing bad harvest and the worst power outages in the country’s history could cause a 5% decrease in GDP growth. Last month, a protracted “rainstorm with no name”, as many Filipinos termed it, persisted for over a week in the Philippines and plunged Manila into a watery disaster that is probably the worst in recent history. And of course Thailand itself was a water world for over a month last year due to floods. Continue lendo

The European “desmadre”: Uniting the struggles against the system

Pablo Solón, July 26, 2012

The overuse of a word can sometimes devalue it and make it lose its impact. The word “crisis”[1]no longer evokes fear or worry. Now, it is a word you hear almost everyday, and it has lost its significance. So today, when people hear about the crisis in Europe, there isn’t really an appreciation of the gravity of the situation. Things have been so bad for so long and everything seems to be in one way or another, in crisis, that people have been desensitized.

But the situation in Europe is, in the truest meaning of it, a crisis. And so as to convey the message that things are indeed dire, we will use a different word to refer to the European crisis. “Desmadre” in Mexico, is a particular, unique word to refer to a situation where everything is going wrong and falling apart. And in the case of Europe, desmadre is exactly the term to use. Continue lendo

At the crossroads between green economy and rights of nature

Pablo Solón, Focus on the Global South, 7 de jullio de 2012

Almost one thousand dolphins are lying dead on the beach. Another five thousand pelicans have also been found dead. What is the cause of this massacre? There are different explanations. Some argue that it was the offshore oil exploration while others say that these birds are dying because anchovy, their main food, has disappeared as a result of the sudden heating of coastal waters due to climate change. Whatever the explanation, the fact is that during the past months, the coasts off Peru have become the silent witness of what the capitalist system is doing to Nature.

In the period from 1970 to 2008, the Earth System has lost 30% of its biodiversity. In tropical areas, the loss has even been as high as 60%. This is not happening by accident. This is the result of an economic system that treats nature as a thing, as just a source of resources. For capitalists, nature is mainly an object to posses, exploit, transform and most specially profit out of it. Continue lendo

El Paquete de Durban: dejar hacer, dejar pasar

Pablo Solon,, 14 de deciembre de 2011

La Conferencia de Cambio Climático terminó dos días después de lo previsto aprobando un conjunto de decisiones que recién se conocieron horas antes de su adopción. Algunas decisiones no estaban completas el momento de su consideración. Les faltaban párrafos y algunas delegaciones ni siquiera tenían el texto de las mismas. El Paquete de decisiones fue puesto por la Presidencia Sudafricana con el ultimátum de “Tómalo o déjalo”. Sólo a la Unión Europea se le aceptó modificaciones de último momento en plenaria.

Varias delegaciones hicieron duras criticas a los documentos y manifestaron su oposición. Sin embargo, ninguna delegación objeto de manera explicita y consecuente la adopción de estas decisiones. Al final el paquete entero se adoptó por consenso sin la objeción de ninguna delegación. Continue lendo

Pablo Solon: Climate Negotiators Are ‘Committing Ecocide’

Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the UN , interviewed during the December 3 day of action in Durban, during the COP17 climate negotiations

Pablo Solon at the UN Climate Talks in Durban: Occupy Movement Is a Source of Hope

A un año de Cancún y días de Durban: Más de 4º C:

Balance y perspectivas de las negociaciones de cambio climático

Pablo Solón, ALAI, 17/11 de noviembre de 2011

Ha pasado casi un año desde que los resultados de las negociaciones de cambio climático en Cancún se impusieran con la sola objeción de Bolivia. Ha llegado la hora de hacer un balance y ver donde estamos.

En Cancún los países desarrollados listaron sus promesas de reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero para el periodo 2012-2020.
Estados Unidos y Canadá dijeron que iban a reducir sus emisiones en un 3% tomando en cuenta los niveles de 1990. La Unión Europea entre un 20% y un 30%. Japón un 25%. Rusia entre un 15% y un 25%[1]. Sumando todas las promesas la reducción de los países desarrollados la reducción de emisiones hasta el 2020 sería de un 13% a un 17%[2] tomando como referencia sus emisiones de 1990. Continue lendo

UN Document Would Give ‘Mother Earth’ Same Rights as Humans

Vancouver Sun, April 13, 2011

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

Bolivia is planning to table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans. (Photograph by: NASA) The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened. The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January. Continue lendo

Controversias sobre la justicia climática

Joan Martínez Alier, La Jornada, 18 de dezembro de 2010

La energía no puede reciclarse y, por tanto, incluso una economía que no creciera y que use combustibles fósiles, necesitaría suministros frescos que vengan de las fronteras de la extracción. Lo mismo se aplica a los materiales que en la práctica se reciclan solamente en parte (como el cobre, el aluminio, el acero, el papel), no más de 40 o 60 por ciento. Si la economía crece, la búsqueda de fuentes de energía y materiales es aún mayor. Hay una acumulación de beneficios y de capital por la desposesión (como dijo David Harvey en 2003) o una raubwirtschaft (una expresión de geógrafos de hace 100 años) y hay también acumulación mediante la contaminación con lo que queremos decir que los beneficios capitalistas aumentan por la posibilidad de echar a la atmósfera, al agua o a los suelos, sin pagar nada o pagando poco, los residuos producidos. Que el precio de la contaminación sea bajo o nulo no indica un fallo del mercado sino un éxito (provisional) en transferir los costos sociales a la gente pobre y a las futuras generaciones. Eso es evidente en el caso de los gases con efecto invernadero. Por eso hay protestas bajo el nombre de justicia climática. Continue lendo

Discurso del Embajador Pablo Solon del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

COP 16, Cancun, Mexico, 10 de diciembre de 2010

Muchas Gracias señora presidenta.

Queremos claramente resaltar la posición del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia sobre este texto que se nos ha presentado, éste no es un texto que refleje la convergencia de todas las partes, incluyendo las posiciones de nuestro Estado.

A diferencia de lo que señala la caratula de este documento, éste no ha sido preparado en respuesta al pedido de las partes hacia la presidenta de la COP. El Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia nunca expreso, ni mandato para la elaboración de este documento. El documento que se ha venido trabajando es el texto de negociación con todas las posiciones de las partes. Esta es la primera consideración desde el punto de vista procedimental. Continue lendo

Bolivia: Ambassador Pablo Solon on why thousands will attend World People’s Climate Summit

Pablo Solon, part 1. Parts 2 and 3 below.

April 11, 2010 — World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth via Climate and Capitalism.

More than 10,000 individuals and 50 governments have already registered to participate in the historic World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on April 19-22, 2010. Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, at a press conference during UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn on April 10 condemned continued attempts by some developed countries to impose a deeply flawed Copenhagen Accord as the basis for future negotiations:

The only way to get negotiations back on track not just for Bolivia or other countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our Mother Earth is to put civil society back into the process.

Solon explained it was this belief that motivated Bolivia to host an historic World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, to which more than 15,000 people and up to 70 governments are expected to attend.

“The central aim of any climate summit is not to save itself and accept any outcome, but to come to an agreement that will save humanity.” Solon said that the Copenhagen Accord sadly marked a “backwards step” so could never be acceptable as a basis for further negotiations. Solon pointed out that the European Union’s own analysis of the Copenhagen Accord admitted that it would lead to an increase of temperatures of up to four or five degrees Celsius.

This is no kind of solution. Yet at these talks [in Bonn] we never hear developed nations admitting concern over this. Instead the US claims this is the best agreement we have had. Are we really willing to say that allowing temperatures to rise to four or five degrees is a good goal?

Solon reiterated the demands of many developing nations by calling on industrialised nations to rebuild trust. “You cannot rebuild trust by legalizing the same methods that led to the failure in Copenhagen.” Solon called for talks to be returned to the full UNFCCC process, and to develop on what had been agreed in COP15.

Solon commenting on news that the US and Denmark were withdrawing aid from countries like Bolivia for their opposition to the Copenhagen Accord said, “This in their right, but unfair and clearly an attempt to punish Bolivia. What kind of negotiation is it where you lose money if you disagree?”

Solon said that Bolivia would not back down due to such threats. “We are a country with dignity and sovereignty and will maintain our position.”

Por un nuevo amanecer para la Madre Tierra

Edição especial da revista América Latina em Movimento, ALAI, 13 de abril de 2010

Tras el fracaso de las negociaciones en la ciudad de Copenhague para encontrar una solución al Cambio Climático, el Presidente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma convocó a la Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra (Cochabamba, 20-22 de abril de 2010) para analizar las causas estructurales y sistémicas que provocan el cambio climático y proponer medidas de fondo que posibiliten el bienestar de toda la humanidad en armonía con la naturaleza, y discutir y acordar el proyecto de Declaración Universal de Derechos de la Madre Tierra, entre otros propósitos. Esta convocatoria ha logrado desencadenar una multiplicidad de actividades previas en los diversos países del planeta, para consensuar posiciones que serán canalizadas por sus respectivas delegaciones a dicha Conferencia. Con la finalidad de contribuir a este amplio y profundo intercambio, la entrega Nº 454 de la revista América Latina en Movimiento, esta vez coeditada por la Agencia Latinoamericana de Información (ALAI) y la Fundación Solón, presenta un conjunto de reflexiones y análisis que abogan “Por un nuevo amanecer para la Madre Tierra”. Su contenido es el siguiente:

Sobre las causas estructurales de la crisis climática y la crisis global
Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán

Derechos de la Tierra en la agenda de la ONU
Pablo Solón y Cormac Cullinan

Hacia la Declaración Universal de los Derechos de la Naturaleza
Alberto Acosta

La Justicia Climática como reto social y político
Tom Kucharz

Hacia un Tribunal de Justicia Climática
Elizabeth Peredo
José Elosegui

La deuda climática como una estrategia política subversiva
Nicola Bullard

Armonía con la naturaleza para Vivir Bien
Pre conferencia de los Pueblos Indígenas Originario Campesinos y Organizaciones Sociales de Bolivia

Tecnologías para apropiarse del clima
Silvia Ribeiro

Expulsados de sus hogares por el cambio climático
Sarah Wilson

Necesitamos financiamiento justo y equilibrado
Fundación Solón

Copenhague y después
Martin Khor

Portada, páginas centrales e ilustraciones Walter Solón Romero

Edición digital (descargar en pdf):

Sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra

Pablo Solon, Seminario 10 anos depois, 5 de janeiro de 2010

Después de los sucesos de Copenhagen, el Presidente Evo Morales, ha convocado a la Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra del 19 al 22 de abril del 2010 en Bolivia. Creo que esta convocatoria debería ser tema de reflexión para el seminario 10 años del Foro Social Mundial.

Al evento de abril están convocados los pueblos y movimientos sociales del mundo, redes de ambientalistas y defensores de la madre tierra, científicos, académicos, juristas y gobiernos comprometidos con sus pueblos.

La Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra busca analizar las causas estructurales y sistémicas que provocan el calentamiento global, y proponer alternativas que posibiliten el bienestar de toda la humanidad en armonía con la naturaleza. Continue lendo