Continent in Crisis
Countries across Central and South America, including small islands and many mountain communities and indigenous peoples, are suffering from the chronic and gradual impacts of climate change and its devastating effects.
This situation is having repercussions and is paralyzing progress in sustainable development in harmony with nature and the fight against poverty.
People’s movements in Central and South America have been at the fore in resisting inadequate proposals in UN negotiations and countries such as the Plurinational State of Bolivia have continued to make visionary submissions based in equity and justice.
In 2010, the Plurinational State of Bolivia hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, and tens of thousands of people from across the Americas and the world came together and agreed on a comprehensive framework of climate justice solutions.
Key demands by peoples of the Americas present in the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba include that developed countries:
- Restore to developing countries the atmospheric space that is occupied by their greenhouse gas emissions. This implies the decolonization of the atmosphere through the reduction and absorption of their emissions;
- Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries arising from the loss of development opportunities due to living in a restricted atmospheric space;
- Assume responsibility for the hundreds of millions of people that will be forced to migrate due to the climate change caused by these countries, and eliminate their restrictive immigration policies, offering migrants a decent life with full human rights guarantees in their countries;
- Assume adaptation debt related to the impacts of climate change on developing countries by providing the means to prevent, minimize, and deal with damages arising from their excessive emissions;
- Honor these debts as part of a broader debt to Mother Earth by adopting and implementing the United Nations Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.
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For some statements and declarations by peoples and governments of the Americas please see:
- People’s Agreement, World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth – Cochabamba (2010).
- Proposal by Bolivia to UNFCCC on Climate Debt (2009)
- Proposal to Amend the Kyoto Protocol by Bolivia , on behalf of Malaysia, Paraguay and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, (20009)
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