The Bolivian government got the ball rolling by proposing four big ideas: that nature should be granted rights that protect ecosystems from annihilation (a "universal declaration of Mother Earth rights"); that those who violate those rights and other international environmental agreements should face legal consequences (a "climate justice tribunal"); that poor countries should receive various forms of compensation for a crisis they are facing but had little role in creating ("climate debt"); and that there should be a mechanism for people around the world to express their views on these topics ("world people's referendum on climate change").Could there be a greater contrast between the two conferences?
The next stage was to invite global civil society to hash out the details. Seventeen working groups were struck and, after weeks of online discussion, they met for a week in Cochabamba with the goal of presenting their final recommendations at the summit's end. ..... Yet Bolivia's enthusiastic commitment to participatory democracy may well prove the summit's most important contribution. That's because, after the Copenhagen debacle, an exceedingly dangerous talking point went viral: the real culprit of the breakdown was democracy itself. The UN process, giving equal votes to 192 countries, was simply too unwieldy – better to find the solutions in small groups.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Naomi Klein on Bolivia and Climate Change