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Bolivian civil society COP18 statement

Written By Krishna on Monday, December 03, 2012 | 8:30 PM

Bolivian civil society COP18 statement

With the knowledge that we face a global climate emergency - and as the 18th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change meets in Doha, Qatar - Bolivian civil society organisations notes:
·         Our deep concern at the absence of a binding global agreement that will stabilise the temperature - and give hope for the continuation of conditions for life and human dignity on the planet.
·         The lack of progress achieved in the negotiations over the last few years. The talks are currently at a standstill and are going backwards. They will clearly lead to an increase of over 4 º centigrade by the end of the century with devastating consequences that we have already seen with an increase of just 0.87º.
·         The negotiations are very exclusionary and do not have sufficient civil society participation. No country is willing to give up their positions for the common good of the planet. These talks are dominated by the interests of states, business, institutions and even individuals. The prevailing view is that development is linked to “sustained economic growth” where it is more important to save the diplomatic process than the climate.
·         Virtually ignoring irrefutable scientific evidence, the negotiations have not secured commitments or clear targets to drastically reduce emissions that the planet requires. They have not even managed to establish clear commitments to transfer sufficient financial and technological resources – without conditionality - to countries in the south and the poorest peoples who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
·         While developed countries are given increased flexibility, “developing” countries are forced to accept false solutions that do not resolve the structural causes of climate change and are based on the logic of carbon markets.
·         The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is on the verge of becoming a historic failure that doesn’t justify the funds and carbon footprint it uses up each year to reach outcomes that are obviously ineffective.

Based on this analysis of the current situation Bolivian civil society declares:
We call on Parties to the Convention to assume their historic responsibility to life. They must recognise the urgency of the climate crisis requires a global commitment and target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 50% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. There should be a maximum 1ºC increase in the temperature and a concentration of GHG at 300ppm.
We strongly condemn the cynicism and failure of Annex 1 countries - Canada, Japan, Russia, New Zealand and in particular the United States – who have stated they will not commit themselves to a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period.
Together developed countries must make deep changes to their economies, consumption patterns and the unsustainable use of resources and energy by their extractive industries - all of which are based on free trade and economic growth.
The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) must be fully respected based on the recognition of the historical debt, justice, equality and respect for human rights. However, this should not be used as an excuse by emerging economies and developing countries. They should take up the challenge to transition to other development paths. They should take on differentiated emissions reductions commitments that are dependent on the transfer of reliable, adequate and unconditional finance and technology.
Efforts to reduce poverty should not repeat the mistakes of development models - such as the unsustainable use of resources and energy - that have caused the current climate crisis. The logic of competing over a section of the carbon budget risks pushing us over the edge and making climate change irreversible.  
We are deeply concerned by the lack of political will shown by the international community to implement measures to regulate multinationals and states that are planning large investments in fossil fuel energies. We now know the planet can only consume 1/3 of proven fossil fuel reserves. This energy should be used for a transition to a global environmentally sustainable energy matrix that respects human rights and justice.
We reject false solutions such as carbon markets, REDD, the Clean Development Mechanism, carbon capture and storage, and biofuels. These false solutions have shown that instead of resolving the climate crisis they exacerbate it. They lead to more inequalities, violations of collective and indigenous people’s rights, and impact on food security and sovereignty.  
Our analysis should be reflected in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the Long-term group of Cooperative Action and in the future agreement negotiated under the Durban Platform.
It is also clear there must be work towards a renewal of the Convention by bringing together the great progress made to date. However, the talks should change their focus so that they attack the structural causes of the climate crisis. There should be more efficient and inclusionary mechanisms for civil society participation and that can respond to warnings from climate science.
We affirm our commitment to continue fighting for a more just world - a world not dominated by profit and where wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few. We will continue developing alternatives that make power structures more democratic and other visions of “development” that re-establish harmony with Mother Earth.
We believe the way to deal with the climate crisis is through deep changes in development paradigms and practices to delink wellbeing from economic growth. Therefore we call on governments to attack climate change’s structural causes to make deep transformations: to how economies are organised, the global energy matrix and to break the power of business.
As civil society we support the proposals for climate justice put forward in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement as the basis to move towards a more just world based on respect for life.

La Paz, 19 November 2012

Centro de Mujeres Candelaria
Fundación Jubileo
Fundación Solón
Pastoral Social CARITAS Bolivia
Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático
Red de Comunicaciones Apachita
Reacción Climática
Universidad Franz Tamayo
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