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NEWS: Cochabamba proposals now in official climate negotiating text

Preparatory negotiations in the lead up to the next major climate summit in Cancun, Mexico took place this past week (August 2-6) in Bonn, Germany.

Bolivian ambassador Pablo Solon stated at a media conference at the end of these talks in Bonn that, “From the perspective of the proposals of the World People’s Conference and Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, we want to express that the vast majority of those proposals have been included in the negotiating text.”

Solon said there are now references in the negotiating text to:
– “The reduction of 50% of greenhouse gas emissions for the second period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013-2017, the limit on the increase in temperature to 1 degree Celsius and 300 ppm.”
– “Respect human rights in the operative part of the text, not in the preambular part only, and clear paragraphs in relation to Indigenous People’s rights and climate migrants’ rights.”
– “A climate court of justice.”
– “Not promote market mechanisms that develop offsets from developing countries in favor of developed countries.”
– “Use 6% of the GDP of developed countries to address climate change-related issues.”

Solon also noted that, “Another very important improvement is to guarantee an equitable distribution of the atmospheric space taking into account climate debt, and to take into account also an equitable distribution of the remaining budget in relation to the population of developed and developing countries.”

To understand this, the EU Observer reports that, “The world has a ‘carbon budget’ of 750 gigatons of emissions by 2050. (Some) nations argue that, like a bank account with a limited amount of cash, what carbon space is left in the kitty should be shared out fairly based per person, rather than per nation, but also taking into account historic emissions. While wealthy countries represent just 16 percent of the world’s people, they take up 74 percent of the carbon space, noted Bolivia’s negotiator at the talks, Pablo Solon.”

Representatives from the United States and the European Union are saying the Bonn talks were a step backwards, and that is how it is largely being reported in the media in part because the negotiating text has now gone from 17 pages to 34 pages.

The UK Guardian’s environmental editor John Vidal writes that, “With so little time left for full negotiations before the politicians arrive, the talks now look to be in semi-crisis. The chances of a deal in Cancún were always slight, but now it’s quite possible that the world won’t get a legal agreement even next year in South Africa.” He adds, “The trouble is that if the rich are not prepared to negotiate, nothing will happen. The greater the divide between countries, the more likely the whole process will break down in Mexico. Then we could have a repeat of Copenhagen, with Mexico instead of Denmark trying to broker an unacceptable last minute deal.”

In terms of a timeline, there will be more preparatory talks in Tianjin, China on October 4-9, then COP 16 climate negotiations in Cancun from November 29 to December 10. COP 17 will take place in South Africa from November 28 to December 9, 2011.

To watch the video of Ambassador Solon’s media conference, please go to http://tinyurl.com/22s9obu.

John Vidal’s informative report in the UK Guardian is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/09/un-climate-change-cancun-mexico.

Reports from the Council of Canadians at the Cochabamba climate conference are at http://canadians.org/energy/issues/climatejustice/cochabamba.html.