Statement on Need to Protect Forests from Plurinational State of Bolivia

Note: GJEP agrees that protecting forests–and we mean REALLY protecting biodiverse, culturally important, native forests–is critical to solving the problem of climate change, and that industrialized countries must make a clear, legally-binding commitment to substantially reduce their carbon emissions immediately.  However, the Kyoto Protocol never did this.  It was a legally binding agreement ignored by the US (the largest emitter in the world) that did not go nearly far enough in its call for carbon reductions.  It’s goal of 5.2% reductions below 1990 levels was completely inadequate to address the problem.  And as we have seen since Kyoto went into effect in 2005, emissions have continued to rise.  Could the new round of Kyoto mandate legally binding and effective emissions reductions?  What is absolutely clear is that any non-binding or voluntary agreement (as is being pushed by the US and other Industrialized countries) will not even be worth the paper on which it is written.  And if it is binding, how can the government of the US be trusted?  We all know what a screwed-up track record they have (and not just on the climate issue).  It is for this reason that GJEP works with social movements, organizations, communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations around the world to identify and promote those thousands of locally-controlled, small-scale solutions to climate change that already exist.

–The GJEP Team

CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS NEED:

KYOTO, A FOCUS ON PROTECTING FORESTS NOW

BONN- Today, as UN climate negotiations continued their slow start, Ambassador Pablo Solon of the Plurinational State of Bolivia outlined a clear vision to move negotiations forward.Ambassador Solon in a press conference addressed :

  • Possible outcomes from the annual climate conference, to be held in Durban, South Africa in December;
  • the importance of forest protection to negotiations;
  • the need to recognize the rights of Mother Earth; and
  • proposed an international financial transaction tax.

Durban Outcomes

“In Durban we cannot repeat the mistakes of Cancun. In Durban we need a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, that is the only possible concrete outcome. There is no time for a new legally binding treaty. The choice is binding targets in the Kyoto Protocol or a non-binding decision that does not resolve the issue of reducing emissions in developed countries.” Ambassador Solon said.

“We cannot come out of South Africa with the targets we have now, the UNEP has shown they will lead us to 4C of global warming. We must have targets that limit temperature rise to between 1C and 1.5C to preserve life as we know it.” Ambassador Solon said.

Forests at Bonn Negotiations

 “We also need a clear position in relation to the issue of forests. Forests are integral to the lives of millions and an essential part of the world’s natural system. We cannot spend the money that we have now, a very small amount of money, trying to measure the amount of carbon that forests store in order to prepare the conditions for a future carbon market in the forest.” Ambassador Solon said.

“What we need to do is direct that small amount of resources that we have to preserve forests now. The key issue is to develop and implement key actions now, and not in 8 years when there might be a carbon market, but right now in order to preserve the forests today so that they can continue living and giving life.” Ambassador Solon said.

Rights of Mother Earth

“When we consider climate change we are not just talking about floods, rains, and droughts but more holistically but the Earth’s systems as a whole. It’s not just about the number of emissions but how we are affecting the whole system – of individuals eco-systems and the system of planet Earth.” Ambassador Solon said.

“We must recognize that we are a part of a system and we cannot commodity and transform this system without consequences. All countries, in all their policies, must respect the natural boundaries of the Earth’s systems. The rights of the other parts of this system must be considered and we need to develop international rules and laws to preserve the integrity of the Earth’s system. Bolivia has made submissions to develop these rules at the climate negotiations.” Ambassador Solon said.

 International Financial Transaction Tax

 “Developing countries are very disappointed and concerned about the status of the proposed fast start climate finance ($30B) from Copenhagen. There hasn’t been an official review and it needs a concrete and official report.” Ambassador Solon said.

“Civil society analysis shows that most ‘fast start finance’ is not new. It’s just recycling of official aid that was already agreed for projects that were already being financed. Before they were under agriculture or infrastructure but now they are called climate finance. But real, actually new funds, the famous $30B promised in Copenhagen, has not come to developing countries.” Ambassador Solon said.

“Instead of waiting for this promise of fast start finance to materialize we have put forward a proposal for a tax on International Financial Transactions. This would be a mechanism that can generate real funds and we will have the funds to act immediately to address the protection of forests and fight climate change.” Ambassador Solon said.

“The tax would be voluntary, each country could decide to be involved, but the revenue raised would go into a common fund to fight climate change. It could be scaled up quickly and is a decisive response – experience shows we cannot rely on private finance to generate nearly enough to take effective action.” Ambassador Solon said.

Press Conference Tomorrow, June 8 by the Plurinational State of Bolivia:

Forests, Rights of Nature and Current Situation of the Climate Change Negotiations

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bonn Germany

Place: Room Haydn, Hotel Maritim, Bonn, Germany

Date and Time: Wednesday, June 8, 11am

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