On January 31st, the deadline passed for countries to submit their pledged targets to be included in the Copenhagen Accord, the 3-page document that emerged from the Copenhagen climate talks in December and set up an architecture for countries to commit to their own chosen targets, and have them reviewed by an international body. The deadline has come and go, and 97 countries have chosen to associate themselves with the Accord; yet Bolivia, now one of the leaders of progressive governments on climate change, is quick to point out that while the countries involved may represent a large percentage of global emissions (80%), their actual commitments are simply not up to the task of getting us to 350ppm.
Bolivia and it's ALBA allies, along with Tuvalu, Sudan, and a few other vulnerable nations, were the few countries who stood firm till the very end in Copenhagen when the unambitious Copenhagen Accord was being thrust upon delegates in the final hours. Without their courage and opposition to the weak document, the Accord would likely have been adopted, making it far easier for leaders like Barack Obama to call the summit a victory. Instead, world leaders had to admit that this agreement was not enough, and that we would have to keep working hard in 2010. And what's important is that the media reported this to the wider public - while this may not seem like much solace, it's key to continuing the momentum of our movement that the general public understand that we are not done yet.Bolivia is leading in another major way as well - in April they will convene a major summit of progressive government leaders, social movement leaders, activists, and civil society to map out points of concensus and a plan for shifting the international debate on climate change towards an outcome that is fair and ambitious. While Bolivia and it's ALBA allies are often marginalized by the mainstream media, I have to say that I have been very impressed with their openness and their collaborative approach towards organizing this summit that reaches far beyond the anti-capitalist, radical wing of the movement that you might expect. They have been working hard to reach out to a wide range of social movements and civil society, get invitations to government leaders with positions clearly different than their own, and map out an agenda that leads to open and honest conversations about a positive way forward. In a post-Copenhagen world, their commitment and drive to building a broader and more powerful movement in 2010 is one of the most hopeful and inspiring things I see to get involved with right now.
For info on thePeople's World Conference on Climate Change, click here.
Republished from 350.org