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It is necessary to pay the environmental and climate debt. Instead, we should undertake a fully sustainable transition, based on clean, safe and renewable resources and energy conservation
There are solutions to the climate crisis. What the peoples and the planet need is a just and sustainable transition of our societies to a model that guarantees the right to life and dignity of all people, and delivers a more fertile planet and fuller lives to present generations and future.
We, the peoples, the communities and all the organizations participating in Klimaforum09 in Copenhagen, call on all individuals, organizations, governments and institutions, including the United Nations, to contribute to this necessary transition. It will be difficult work. The current crisis has economic, social, environmental, geopolitical and ideological aspects that affect and strengthen each other, and that enhance the climate crisis. For this reason we call for urgent action on climate:
* Completely abandon fossil fuels in the next 30 years, which should include specific milestones for each five-year period. We demand an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries of at least 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2020.
* Recognize, pay and compensate the climate debt for the excessive consumption of atmospheric space and the negative effects of climate change on the affected peoples and populations.
* Reject the false and dangerous market-oriented and technology-centric solutions proposed by many transnational companies. These include nuclear energy, agrofuels, carbon capture and storage, Clean Development Mechanisms, biochar, “climate ready” transgenic crops, geoengineering, and reducing emissions through deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) defined in the UNFCCC, which aggravate social and environmental conflicts.
* Real solutions to the climate crisis based on the safe, clean, renewable and sustainable use of natural resources, and the transition to food and energy sovereignty, over land and water.
Therefore we demand that CDP15 reach an agreement that begins the recovery of the environmental, social and economic balance of the planet with means that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and egalitarian, and that finally culminates in a legally binding treaty.
The negative impacts of man-made climate change produce serious human rights violations. Nations have an obligation to cooperate in the international arena to ensure respect for human rights throughout the world, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Any specific agreement on climate change must be understood in the broader context of achieving a sustainable transition of our societies.
We, the peoples and organizations that participate in Klimaforum09, commit ourselves to continue with our full and active commitment to this transition, which requires fundamentally changing social, political and economic structures, and correcting inequalities and injustices based on gender, class, race, generation or ethnic group.
This requires restoring the democratic sovereignty of our local communities, as a basic social, political and economic unit. The ownership, control and local and democratic access of natural resources forms the basis for meaningful and sustainable development of communities, while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Stronger regional and international cooperative arrangements are also needed to manage common and shared resources, and a stronger and more democratic UN.
We call on all those affected, people, social movements, cultural, political and economic organizations to join us in building a strong and global movement of movements that promotes the visions and demands of the peoples at all levels of the society. Together, we can enable a global transition to a sustainable future.
Let's change the system, not the weather
Declaration of the peoples in Klimaforum09
There are solutions to the climate crisis. What the peoples and the planet need is a just and sustainable transition of our societies to a model that guarantees the right to life and dignity of all people, and delivers a more fertile planet and fuller lives to present generations and future. A transition based on the democratic principles of solidarity, in particular with the most vulnerable, non-discrimination, gender equality, equity and sustainability; that recognizes that we are part of nature, which we love and respect. To solve the climate crisis, however, it is necessary to raise awareness and adopt decisive measures according to principles that respect rights. Nations have an obligation to cooperate in the international arena to ensure respect for human rights throughout the world, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
We, the peoples, the communities and all the organizations participating in Klimaforum09 in Copenhagen, call on all individuals, organizations, governments and institutions, including the United Nations, to contribute to this necessary transition. This crossroads of climate, energy, financial, food and water crisis, among others, pushes us to unite and transform the dominant social and economic system and global governance, which prevents finding the solutions required by the climate crisis. For this reason, a grassroots movement is needed to act urgently.
It is necessary to pay the environmental and climate debt. Instead, we should carry out a fully sustainable transition, based on clean, safe and renewable resources and energy conservation. We celebrate alliances between social movements and diverse sectors, representing all age groups, genders, ethnic origins, beliefs, communities and nationalities. We want to shape our future by building a strong grassroots movement made up of youth, women, men, workers, farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, people of color, and urban and rural social groups that is capable of acting at all levels of society to alleviate environmental degradation and climate change. We urge a new international economic order and we support a strong and democratic United Nations, as opposed to the G8, the G20 or other closed groups of powerful countries.
2. The challenge, from our point of view:
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has already reached such high levels that the climate system has become unbalanced. The concentration of CO2 and the temperature of the world have increased rapidly in the last 50 years and will rise even faster in the coming decades. This is in addition to a multitude of ecological imbalances, the impact of which endangers the lives and livelihoods of the world's peoples, and in particular the disadvantaged and other vulnerable groups.
The imbalance of the climate system gives rise to more severe and frequent extreme episodes of heat and rain, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, floods and intense droughts, loss of biodiversity, landslides, rise in sea levels, scarcity of drinking water, shorter vegetative periods, lower yield, deterioration or loss of agricultural land, lower agricultural production, loss of livestock, extinction of ecosystems and depletion of fishing grounds, among others. These phenomena lead to food crises, famine, disease, death and displacement, as well as the disappearance of sustainable ways of life. Added to this is the introduction of GMOs, monocultures and the industrialization of agriculture, strongly promoted by companies that pose a serious threat to the stability and diversity of ecosystems. Furthermore, this leads to the marginalization and impoverishment of small farmers and undermines their food sovereignty. Industrial agriculture is aimed at responding to global demand arising from excessive consumption, particularly in northern countries, and not to basic local needs. The same can be said for modern fishing industries, intensive forestry and mining, which destroy ecosystems, diminish biodiversity and ruin the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
These consequences of climate change, along with growing social inequality and the serious repercussions on our common environment, are already devastating the lives of millions of people and local communities. Now, we the peoples are not willing to accept that this is our destiny. That is why popular movements are rapidly emerging that are determined to defend their livelihoods and to fight against those forces and the causes that have led us down this suicidal path of environmental destruction.
In Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, and Central and South America, as well as the periphery of North America and Europe, popular movements are emerging to fight against the exploitation of their lands by foreign interests and to regain control of their lands. own resources. A new form of activism has revitalized environmental movements and has led to a wide variety of protests and actions against mining, large dams, deforestation, coal-fired power plants, air navigation and the construction of new roads, among others. There is growing awareness of the need to profoundly change the current economic paradigm. Alternative ways of life are proliferating in the various movements. At the same time, public opinion has realized that current policy makers are unwilling to confront the threat of climate change and environmental degradation. The so-called green growth or sustainable growth strategy has turned out to be an excuse to perpetuate the same basic model of economic development, which is one of the root causes of environmental destruction and the climate crisis.
3. The causes, from our point of view:
The immediate and main cause of man-made climate change is an unprecedented emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, caused by the increase in the consumption of fossil fuels for industry, commerce, transport and military purposes. to mention just a few significant sources. Other important drivers of climate change are deforestation, extractive industries, forest degradation (with the exception of sustainable shifting cultivation by indigenous peoples), interruption of the water cycle, land theft to extend industrial agriculture, increased of industrial meat production and other types of unsustainable use of natural resources.
Unequal control and ownership of resources
These immediate causes are the result of an unsustainable global economic system built on unequal access and control over the planet's limited resources and the benefits derived from their use. This system is based on the appropriation of local, national and global communal lands by local and global elites. It is the much-lauded advances in technology, production and human progress that have actually produced local and global development disasters. Even so, a privileged world elite continues to be bent on excessive consumption and irresponsible production that seeks only profit, while a large percentage of humanity is plunged into poverty and consumes only what is necessary for subsistence and survival, or even less. This is the situation not only in the countries of the South, but also in the North. The world's largest transnational corporations, headquartered mainly in northern countries and in tax havens, but with operations around the world, have long been at the forefront of these excesses.
Competition between transnational corporations and rich countries for resources and for greater market shares, as well as trade agreements and treaties, have led to a neocolonial oppression of the peoples of the South, who have been denied ownership and legitimate control of your resources. The World Trade Organization, international financial institutions, as well as the European Union and the United States, through bilateral agreements, are increasing the privatization and commodification of public resources while intensifying the theft of natural resources from underdeveloped countries and impose conditions on them that increase their dependency.
Prevailing and alternative currents of thought
The development model promoted by these institutions is not just a matter of “economy”. The prevailing economic paradigm is directly related to a system of thought that is based on an image of the human being as “economic being”. This ideology is supported by the mainstream media and marketing companies that promote selfishness, competition, material consumption and the unlimited accumulation of personal wealth without paying attention to the social and ecological consequences of such behavior. This system of thought is intimately linked to the currents of patriarchy and paternalism.
If we really want to deal with this crisis, we need to understand that the human species is part of both nature and society, and that it cannot exist without them. Therefore, if we want humanity to survive, we have to respect the integrity of Mother Earth and we have to strive for harmony with nature and peace within and between cultures. We are, at the same time, citizens of different countries and of a single world. We all share responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and of all other living beings. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all forms of life is reinforced if we live according to the principle of “One among many”.
4. A just and sustainable transition
It is clear that solving the climate crisis requires far-reaching transformations, which are currently excluded from the agenda of policy makers in governments and multilateral institutions. The peoples are calling for a change in the system, not "the same old thing", or the indiscriminate use of technological and commercial devices with which the great interests have established and limited the climate agenda.
Popular movements do not lack alternative visions for society or concrete steps that must be taken to move closer to a sustainable future while addressing the climate, water, economic and food crises. Such a sustainable transition will start with many different initiatives. Some of the steps towards a sustainable transition are:
- Food sovereignty and organic farming: Defend the right of peoples, communities and countries to establish their own production systems, including policies for agriculture, fisheries, food, forests and territory that are appropriate for their circumstances from an ecological point of view , social, economic and cultural. Access for people, especially women, to control productive resources such as land, seeds and water must be respected and guaranteed. Agricultural production should be based primarily on local knowledge, appropriate technologies and ecologically sustainable techniques that absorb CO2, maintain it in the different native plantation systems, capture and maintain water, and return more nutrients to the soil than is required. were extracted. Agricultural and food production should primarily focus on meeting local needs, fostering self-sufficiency and promoting the local labor market, as well as reducing resource use, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the process.
- Democratic appropriation and control of the economy: The reorganization of the production assets of society towards more democratic forms of appropriation and management, in order to satisfy the basic needs of people, such as job creation, access to water, housing, land, health and education systems, food sovereignty and ecological sustainability. Public policies must ensure that financial systems favor public interests and channel resources for the sustainable transformation of industry, agriculture and services.
- Energy sovereignty: A radical reduction in energy consumption, especially in unfairly enriched countries, combined with a new focus on public and renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, wave energy and mini-hydroelectric plants, as well as the development of self-sufficient electrical distribution systems to guarantee the supply of energy to the communities, and public ownership of the electrical network.
Ecological planning of urban and rural areas: The objective is to radically reduce the consumption of energy and resources, and the amount of waste and pollution, while promoting the basic needs of citizens with local means. Urban and rural planning based on the principles of social justice that offers equal service to everyone and reduces the need for transport. Promote public transportation systems, such as high-speed and light rail systems and cycle lanes, to reduce the need for private motor vehicles and decongest roads, while improving public health and reducing traffic energy consumption.
- Educational, scientific and cultural institutions: Reorient public research and education to meet the needs of the population and the environment, instead of the current trend that is limited to developing private and lucrative technologies. Research and development should be, first and foremost, an open and collaborative effort for the common good of humanity. Patents on ideas and technology should be eliminated. A fair exchange of appropriate technologies, traditional knowledge and innovative indigenous practices, as well as the exchange of ideas between countries, should be encouraged.
- Put an end to militarism and wars: The current development model based on fossil fuels leads us to violence, war and armed conflicts for the control of energy, land, water and other natural resources. This is evident in the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the worldwide militarization of those regions that possess fossil fuels and other natural resources. Peasants and indigenous communities are being violently evicted from their lands to make way for agrofuel plantations. Trillions of dollars have been spent on the arms industry, squandering vast human and material resources that should be dedicated to making a sustainable transition.
Taking steps forward we are learning. These steps will help us convince the vast majority of people that a sustainable transition brings the promise of a better and fuller life. The social, political, economic and environmental fields are intimately interrelated. Therefore, a coherent strategy should cover them all: this is the central idea of the concept of sustainable transition.
One aspect of this concept is the re-establishment of local communities instead of the global market as a basic social, political and economic unit. Social cohesion, democratic participation, economic accountability and ecological responsibility can only be achieved by ensuring that every decision is made at the most basic level that is appropriate. This is a basic lesson that we have learned from ethnic cultures and local communities.
A community approach, therefore, does not contradict the need for extensive international cooperation. Rather, it will require stronger alliances within and across borders between direct producers in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and industry. Alliances strengthened for gender equality and for the recognition and elimination of unjust power relations at all levels. It also includes the need for stronger regional and international cooperative arrangements to manage common and shared resources, such as transboundary water resources. In addition, international cooperation will promote the complete exchange of ideas, technologies and knowledge across all borders, in addition to entering into an open dialogue, based on mutual respect between different cultures.
5. Pathways of transition
Many people are working to create more sustainable industry, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as in the renewable energy sector. These initiatives within the system have further developed alliances with other sectors of society, unions, consumers, the urban population, teachers and researchers; they all strive for more sustainable ways of life.
United Nations and the Conference of the Parties
We must influence the negotiations on Climate Change and the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The lessons learned from previous rounds of negotiations are not very promising. Despite the high-level plans for concerted action initiated in the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Framework Convention on Climate Change, and later in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the results are scarce and the problems have not been solved. In fact, the situation has worsened, as there has been very little progress on the principles, objectives and deadlines of the Convention and the Protocol.
The very interests of big business, which are largely responsible for the climate crisis, appear to have immense influence on climate policies on a national and global scale. We strongly oppose this undemocratic influence of the lobbyists in the current CDP negotiations. On the contrary, we ask states to put in place evaluation mechanisms for all policies and political instruments under the UNFCCC, to ensure inclusive and multilateral deliberative processes that repair existing inequalities, be they gender, color, age, disability or other. forms of discrimination in CDP negotiations. We demand that CDP15 reach an agreement that begins the recovery of the planet's environmental, social and economic balance with means that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and egalitarian, and that it finally culminates in a legally binding treaty.
We raise our voice before the leaders of the UNFCCC to propose the demands and alternatives of the people.
1. Phasing out fossil fuels: We call for a clear strategy to dismantle the era of fossil fuels in the next 30 years, which must include specific milestones for each five-year period. We demand an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries of at least 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2020.
2. Reparations and compensation for climate debt and environmental crimes: We demand full reparations for the countries of the South and those impoverished by the states of the North, transnational corporations and tax haven institutions. In this way, we partially confront the historical injustices associated with uneven industrialization and climate change, originated in the genocide of indigenous nations, the transatlantic slave trade, the colonial era and invasions. This must be accompanied by an equally clear strategy for those who have gotten rich to compensate poor people for climate debt, and more broadly for ecological debt. A global and democratic fund should be established to give direct support to the victims of climate change. Developed countries must provide new, mandatory, adequate, reliably funded, and patent-free technologies to better adapt to adverse climate impacts and to achieve emission reductions. This would allow developing countries to play a role in containing climate change, while also meeting the needs and aspirations of their populations. International financial institutions, donor agencies and trade mechanisms should have no part in the reparations.
3. An immediate global ban on the deforestation of primary forests and the parallel initiation of an ambitious global tree-planting program based on native species of various kinds in partnership with indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities. Similarly, a ban on large-scale industrial fishing methods and a return to primarily local and sustainable fishing practices. Finally, a prohibition on the appropriation of land by foreign interests and the full acceptance of popular sovereignty over natural resources.
4. We radically oppose the false and dangerous market-oriented and technology-focused solutions proposed by many transnational companies. These include nuclear energy, agrofuels, carbon capture and storage, Clean Development Mechanisms, biochar, “climate ready” transgenic crops, geoengineering, and reducing emissions through deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) defined in the UNFCCC. All of them do nothing more than produce new environmental threats and do not solve the climate crisis. Carbon offsets and trading are also false and unfair instruments because they treat a common global resource, such as the atmosphere, as a commodity that can be owned and traded. So far the system has shown no advantage and, by allowing rich countries to offset the reduction in their obligations, it has kept this system unfair and unsustainable.
5. A fair tax on carbon emissions: We demand a fair tax on carbon emissions instead of the tradable carbon quota scheme. The revenues obtained through such a tax should be returned to the people in an equitable way and a part of it should be used to compensate and to help finance adaptation and mitigation. However, this is not a substitute for repairing the already accumulated climate debt. Such compensation and financing must be unconditional and remain outside the market mechanisms and financial institutions. Emissions reduction should be encouraged through a transparent and strongly progressive carbon tax, and through specific regulations that phase out the use of fossil fuels while promoting safe, clean and renewable energy.
6. Multilateral institutions and transnational corporations: International economic and financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks, donor institutions and trade agreements are unfair, unsustainable and They are not accountable and should be replaced by equitable and democratic institutions that function within the framework of the United Nations Charter, that respect popular sovereignty over resources and promote solidarity among peoples and nations. A mechanism should also be created to closely control and monitor the operations of transnational companies.
Finally, we commit ourselves to actively work to carry out these sustainable transitions for our societies within the lines that we promote in this Declaration.
6. A global movement for a sustainable transition
Regardless of the outcomes of the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, there is an urgent need to build a global movement of movements that work long-term for a sustainable transition for our societies. Unlike the current power structures, this movement must grow in an upward direction. Lo que necesitamos es una gran alianza de movimientos ambientales, sociales, sindicales, agrícolas, de sociedad civil y otras partes alineadas que puedan trabajar juntos en la lucha política diaria a escala local, nacional e internacional. Esa alianza implica al mismo tiempo la creación de una nueva mentalidad y nuevas formas de activismo social, y debe ser capaz no sólo de reaccionar ante las prácticas no sostenibles, sino también de demostrar por el ejemplo cómo puede funcionar una nueva economía sostenible.
Nosotros, los pueblos, comunidades y organizaciones sociales participantes en Klimaforum09 estamos comprometidos a capitalizar los resultados logrados en este foro para proseguir el desarrollo de un movimiento mundial de movimientos.
Esta Declaración tiene por objeto servir de inspiración al desarrollo de ese movimiento y marcar el rumbo que queremos seguir. Juntos, podemos propiciar una transición mundial hacia un futuro sostenible. Únanse a nosotros.
Klimaforum09 es un evento abierto que se realiza de manera paralela a la Cumbre Mundial de las Naciones Unidas sobre cambio climático que se realiza en Copenhague, Dinamarca. Numerosas organizaciones participantes en el evento suscribieron esta declaración de principios y de carácter programática con el nombre: “Cambiemos el sistema, no el clima” que señala que hay soluciones a la crisis del clima pero que se necesita “una transición justa y sostenible” a un modelo que garantice el derecho a la vida y la dignidad de todas las personas.