ALBA: Fate of Cancun Climate Summit is At Stake

ALBA Denounces Developed Country Attempts to Rupture Kyoto Protocol

PRESS RELEASE (12/3/10, Cancun, Mexico) -- In his evaluation of the development of the Climate Summit held in the Mexican city of Cancun, the Ambassador of Bolivia to the United Nations Pablo Solon said in a press conference today: "Unfortunately, as of the fifth day, we have advanced very little on substantive issues. There was progress on issues that are not related to the core of this negotiation, which is the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions. What we have, after five days of work, is total uncertainty about the continuity of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol."

"This is unacceptable, because we came here to discuss the amount of emission reductions for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, not just to discuss secondary issues," Solon said.

ALBA countries joined the press conference called for by the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The representative of Venezuela, Claudia Salerno, said: "We cannot give ourselves the luxury of failing. Our countries are suffering the consequences of climate change."

Bolivia’s ambassador also said that "there are countries that in an honest and transparent way have told us that there will not be a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (which requires greater carbon emission reductions). But there are other countries that have proposed that in order to have a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, they must first open the door to different protocol, which we could be part of in the future. "

Solon used an analogy to explain the problem with this proposal: "this is like telling someone, in order to stay married to you, I want first you let me open the door to having a second wife.”

When asked by journalists which countries were blocking the second period of Kyoto, the diplomats said they prefer not to mention names while negotiations are still in process, with the hope of reaching a common agreement. The representative of Nicaragua made it clear that the ALBA countries have the support of African and Arab nations, as well as important members of the BASIC.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Salerno was categorical in stating that "the world needs commitments." Salerno said: "We have been trying to make progress, while on the other side there are representatives saying they would rather to go to the beach because there is nothing to do here. So, they have the sense that, to stay here is politically a waste of time, even though this would mean guaranteeing a scenario that is a thousand times worse than what we have already seen."

The government delegates said that they will continue to work toward an agreement despite the lack of optimism. Salerno said, "we are extremely frustrated and we want to arrive at what could be a fateful December 10th. We need to use the remaining hours in the day to move forward and try to change the position of these [developed] countries before the text of the working group chairs is produced tomorrow.”

The Venezuelan representative was emphatic in stating that "the positions of our countries are not for sale. No money in the world can buy a decision of the ALBA countries that could mean the death of any human being on this planet."

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