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The landslide victory of Evo Morales in the Bolivian elections, the official negotiations of the COP 15 to the UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen and the role of social movements here, were some of the issues mentioned by Bolivian ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon, in an exclusive interview with Real World Radio.
Solon is one of the heads of the Bolivian delegation at the COP negotiations that are taking place in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Bolivia is a member of the G77 plus China, a group which actually comprises 136 developing countries and China. This is the main opposition bloc to the developed countries (Annex 1 under the Kyoto Protocol).
Bolivia has gained importance within this group as a result of its progressive positions, the concept of climate debt, which it just included in the negotiations, demanding the developed countries to repay their debt, and the imbalance between human beings and “Mother Earth”.
Real World Radio first asked Solon about his first impressions of Evo Morales victory on Sunday’s elections, with 63% of the votes. He said “This is a new democratic victory of a deep revolution that Bolivia is experiencing. There surely had never been in the history of Bolivia a movement and a leader who had won so many elections and referenda as the ones we won in these past four years”.
Solon said Evo Morales’ landlslide victory “shows that undoubtedly the Bolivian people has said enough of the neoliberal model, no more oligarchic power groups, let’s begin a process of change”, which grants the benefits of the richness of Bolivia to the poorest.
“They want to do away with the footprints of the climate debt”
About the COP 15 negotiations on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Solon said “there is an attempt for this negotiation process we’ve been working on for over two years, to be suddenly replaced with a document written by a few countries, that will appear on the last days of the COP”.
The document basically seeks “to kill the Kyoto Protocol, where developed countries are the ones who have to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions”. The developed countries are pushing for a new deal that will force countries like China, India, Mexico and Brazil, which are part of the G77, to reduce their emissions.
Solon was more specific on this: “There are rumours of there being a document prepared by Denmark that talks about a possible outcome, with which most G77 countries disagree because it fails to contemplate their concerns”. Anyway, the chief negotiator of the Bolivian delegation said “these are not the formal negotiations and we want a transparent negotiating process, where all the member countries are reflected and without last minute agreements”.
The G77 is aware of the developed countries’ attempt and will seek to oppose by all means. It is to be expected that the negotiations might be delayed one day more, until December 19th or even 20th. In fact, the registration cards are valid until December 19th, even if the COP ends on 18th.
“Bolivia thinks the developed countries want to erase the footprints of the climate debt they owe to the developing countries, to the humanity as a whole, and to Mother Earth. For this reason they want to erase the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, said Solon.
The developed countries host 20% of the world’s population, however they are responsible for 75% of the historical greenhouse gas emissions.
“We shall firmly oppose any attempt to avoid or eliminate the historical responsibility that they (the developed countries) have”, he claimed.
Balance between Mother Earth and human beings. The role of the social movements
Solon said that “Bolivia brings a key issue to the COP 15. If we want to solve the issue of climate change here, we have to reestablish a harmonic relation of the human beings with nature, which has been broken by the capitalist system. Unless we manage to change the capitalist system, we will not be able to reestablish the balance between human beings and nature, hence the causes that lead to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems in the world, will continue”.
He said the climate debt proposal has gained more repercussion, even among some governments of the G77 plus China.
Solon said the social movements play a key role in Copenhagen. “Unless there is pressure, there is mobilization of the social movements, the risk of a last-minute agreement, smuggled in, is very big”. He finally said: “If social movements keep the pressure and the eye on the governments and the delegations, and if they are watching them with proposals, there are more chances of reaaching an agreement that puts the interests of humanity and the interests of Mother Earth first”.
But he was not very optimistic about the chances of reaching a good deal in Copenhagen that will hold the developed nations accountable.
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“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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