Key messages for COP20 (Social PreCOP)

Key messages for COP20 and Ministers meeting at the 2014 Social PreCOP / November 2014 

pre cop socialThe Social PreCOP climate change summit brought together representatives of over 40 governments and nearly 80 civil society organisations. The meeting was held in Venezuela between 4- 7 November 2014.

It was an unprecedented meeting of grassroots groups with governments in the build up to the official UN climate change negotiations, the next major conference will be held in Peru during December 2014. As this article explains it was “supported by, but not officially affiliated to, the UN. The final two days were attended by ministers and diplomats from 45 countries, with UN climate chief Christiana Figueres delivering a keynote speech. The pre-conference talks provide an opportunity every year for diplomats to exchange ideas every year before the UN’s official climate meeting. This is the first time that civil society has been given a prominent role in the process.”

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While there were differences of opinion (on issues such as phasing out fossil fuels and anti-capitalist language) civil society groups prepared the following key messages for governments.

Here are a few selected extracts:

“Aware of the devastating consequences of economic systems based on exploitation which put profits first rather than human beings and Mother Earth, we urge the governments of the world to make decisions aimed at changing production and consumption patterns and the energy matrix, thus minimizing the dependence on polluting activities that are bound to transnational and corporate capital. We call for establishing new ways of relations of women and men to nature, based on living well, that is, relations guided by the principles of harmony with nature, respect for life and recognition of diversity, among others.”

“We reject the criminalization of social protest in the context of the struggles for climate justice in the planet”

Effective social participation

We reject the criminalization of social protest in the context of the struggles for climate justice in the planet”

Sustainable systems and just transition

We affirm that the structural cause of the climate crisis lies in social, political and economic systems which are based on unsustainable production and consumption patterns that generate inequality, injustice and poverty.”

“We stress the necessity of a fair transition that does not affect the sovereignty, the right to living well and the general objective of eradication of poverty in developing countries. Each country has the sovereign right to define its own transition process.”

“The UNFCCC and its institutions should be a catalyst for a global transformation towards just, affordable, safe, efficient and renewable energy systems for all.”

“Any strategies for the transition to sustainable production and consumption patterns must consider the historical responsibilities of countries and corporations”

“Significant attention should be given to diverse agroecological, traditional, and indigenous knowledge systems and practices of agriculture, as they are essential to the transformations needed in agriculture, away from industrial systems that emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases and towards climate-resilient systems for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.

“The lack of mitigation action by developed countries places an adaptation burden on those least responsible for climate change: an adaptation debt. To repair this debt, developed countries must fulfil their legal and moral obligations under the Convention to support the adaptation efforts of developing countries.”

Youth, Intergenerational equity, gender and indigenous peoples

“Youth play a crucial role. It is essential to create and promote empowerment and participation mechanisms in the Convention enabling the youth to generate transformations, with particular emphasis on having better representation of young people in the Global South.”

“We call for the development of a gender-responsive approach to all climate actions and policies on mitigation and adaptation, as well as means of implementation, including finance, technology and capacity building, oriented towards the recognition, protection and implementation of women’s human rights.”

“The application of the principles of Free Prior and Informed consent must be implemented to assure the participation of all peoples in climate negotiations and climate policy.”

Education and awareness raising

We affirm that education is a right of the peoples and one of the fundamental engines for the necessary social transformation to face Climate Change. Education must be comprehensive, just, fair, and cost-free.

Principles and commitments

All climate actions and policies should be guided by gender equality and universal human rights; with equal access to decision making and benefit sharing.”

The agreements and actions under the Convention must consider Human Rights, the sovereignty of the peoples and the rights of Mother Earth. The new agreement to be signed in 2015 must include this vision in the understanding that failure to comply with the commitments arising from the Historical Responsibilities is the cause of various Human Rights violations.”

We stress that the funding of mitigation and adaptation actions by the developed countries in the developing countries is a moral and legal obligation under the Convention due to their Historical Responsibilities. Funding must be additional, reliable, predictable, sufficient, adequate and unconditioned; and it must be subject to measurement, reporting and checking mechanisms.”

“Loss and damage is an issue of justice and human rights. Developed countries responsible for climate change must compensate developing countries for losses and damages suffered from climate impacts.”

“The fulfillment of climate finance obligations must be through adequate additional public funds. Financing mechanisms and instruments must not be debt-creating, and speculative, and must not abide by the logics of market supply and demand, but by responsibilities and commitments.”

“Agroecological approaches that value ancestral and traditional knowledge and practices must be promoted for food production, thus guaranteeing food security and food sovereignty.”

“The climate negotiations should not result in structures, institutions and methods that promote false solutions and the financialization of nature, such as carbon markets, geoengineering, REDD, “climate-smart agriculture,” nor high-risk options that could have dangerous impacts on the environment and health for future generations. We reject bioenergy plantations, genetically modified organisms, nuclear energy, natural gas “fracking,” mega-dams and industrial agribusiness, among others.”

“The land-use sector is unique, and cannot be used as a loophole to delay the transformation in the North. The 2015 agreement must not create tradable units from the land sector. Industrial carbon credits must be phased out as soon as possible.”

Carbon markets and other market mechanisms

“It is necessary to highlight that the private sector involvement in the Convention and its mechanisms must be subordinated to peoples’ rights and the fundamental and sovereign role of the States.”

“Carbon markets are considered by many a false solution to Climate Change”

Perspectives for the 2015 agreement

Pre 2020

“The new agreement must guarantee significant amounts of funds to the GCF which are new, additional, predictable and anchored in the funding commitments of the developed countries.”

“We must agree to a global emission budget to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.”

Post 2020

We must agree to a global emission budget and share it between countries based on historical responsabilities and the Principles of the Convention particularly Common but Differentiated Responsabilities and Respective Capabilities and the right to living well. A global emission limit and national non-tradable emission limits must be established, tending to zero over time.”

“States must be held accountable to their commitments under the Convention and the agreement resulting from the ADP, through a strong, functioning compliance mechanism.”

Read declaration


This summary was prepared by Why Green Economy?. The views expressed have been paraphrased. See the original source for more information.

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