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ALBA Declaration on Climate Change

Cuba, Dec 14 (text of the Special Declaration on Climate Change approved by the 8th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) focused on the 15th Conference on that topic to be held in Copenhagen:

1) The Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America-Trade Treaty of the Peoples, meeting in their 8th summit meeting, held in Havana, Cuba, December 13-14, 2009, convened to reaffirm the Special Declaration on Climate Change adopted at the 7th Summit of the ALBA-TTP, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia on October 17,2009.

2) They observed deeply concerned that the state of negotiations previous to the 15th Conference of the Parts show that developed countries, the main responsibles for climate change and its negative impacts, do not have any intention of achieving just and balanced results in Copenhagen, after almost three years of negotiations for the adoption of the second period of commitments of greenhouse-effect gases by developed countries, under the framework of the Kyoto Protocol and after two years of negotiation the work group on long-term cooperation for an agreement at the Conference of the Parts that allows for a complete, effective and sustainable application of the Convention, in conformity with its principles and commitments.

3) They deplored that developed countries had dedicated their efforts to alter and break the principles and commitments of the standing legal regime, with the objective of perpetuating their unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and the dependency and marginalization of the developing countries trying to displace the weight that represent mitigation and adaptation for those countries.

4) They reaffirmed, in that context, that the intention on the part of developed countries of imposing a political accord that condemns 80 percent of world population to live in underdevelopment and poverty, is unacceptable, cannot be a political option and has constituted a serious obstacle to achieve a just and equitative result in Copenhagen.

5) They ratified that the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol represent the legal binding standing regulation that norms the response and international cooperation for facing global warming, as a result of the consensus reached by the international community to face what represents one of the most serious problems threatening humankind and life as well as the existence of some developing nations.

6) They categorically rejected the attempts of killing, annul or substitute these instruments for new agreements that erode or alter the legally binding obligations they contracted.

7) They confirmed, once more, that the environmental crisis resulting from the increase of temperatures in the atmosphere is consequence of the capitalist system, of the prolonged and unsustainable production and consumption pattern of developed countries, of the application and imposition to the rest of the world of an absolutely predative model of development and the lack of political will to comply totally and effectively with the commitments and obligations included in the Convention and Protocol of Kyoto.

8) They underlined that developed countries which form only 20 percent of world population, contracted a climatic debt with the developing countries, the future generations and Mother Earth, by over consuming the atmospheric space and having generated approximately three-fourths of the world historical gas emissions.

9) They recognized that to achieve the objective of stabilizing the greenhouse effect gases in the atmosphere toi a level that prevents a dangerous interference in the climatic system, the countries in Annex 1 have to return to greenhouse effect gas concentrations to way below the 300 ppm GEI, with the purpose of returning to temperatures as near as possible to the preindustrial levels.

10) They highlighted this climatic debt in the widest framework of this ecological debt, comprises both a debt of emissions as well as a debt of adaptation that should be honored by the developed countries through:

a) Binding commitments of substantial domestic reductions and reabsorption of greenhouse effect gases in such a way that the right to development of the developing countries is guaranteed.

b) Complying with their commitments of effective technological transfer, ensuring it be accessible, reachable, adaptable and eliminating all the barriers related with intellectual property rights so that the countries of the South be able to start a development process that does not follow the patterns of consumption and pollution of the North.

c) Complying with and guarantees of the effective provision of additional public financial resources, adequate, predictable and sustainable, putting emphasis that requirements for adaptation of developing countries have increased as a consequence of the climate crisis. To prevent a greater climate catastrophe, developed countries should provide six percent of their GDP in favor of developing countries, making a measurable contribution (notifiable and verifiable) to their total climatic debt.

11) They highlighted that for an effective application of the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, competent organs should be created for the adaptation, technological transfer and development of capacities, as well as improved financial mechanisms.

12) They categorically rejected the attempts to hand over mitigation responsibilities to developing countries, as well as conditionalities for financial and technological resource transfer to confront climate change and demanded respect for the right to sustainable development of these countries in a healthy, ecologically balanced environment and with the required atmospheric space.

13) They noted that developed countries are trying to fail to recognize this climate debt, which is the concrete expression of their historical responsibility in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and therefore promoting a new agreement in which their guilt is not so exposed.

14) They made emphasis on the need to change consumption patterns and lifestyles in developed countries and reform the international economic, commercial and financial system.

15) They rejected market resolutions and the sale of carbon bonds to solve climate change problems because they are based on the same logic that caused the outbreak of the most serious global economic, financial crisis after the Great Depression, which generated millions of unemployed and intensified poverty and food crisis in developing countries. They also noted that carbon markets allow those who caused climate change to continue polluting while the burden of reducing emissions goes beyond developing countries.

16) They expressed the need to provide developing countries with adequate financial resources to cover all additional expenses generated by the impacts of climate change; it is not a market question, but a legal and moral obligation derived from commitments assumed by developed countries under the Convention.

17) They warned that attempts by Developed countries to promote the adoption of an agreement in violation of the principles of historical responsibility, equity and common but differentiated responsibilities threatens developing countries' right to development and represents a serious blow to Mother Earth's rights.

18) They ratified their will to work from unified stands to take part and contribute constructively to Copenhagen discussions and any subsequent process to achieve a just, balanced, equitable result to achieve the fist objective of the Convention in line with its principles and commitments.

19) They urged developed countries to effectively and convincingly show their political will to fully comply with their present and future obligations through serious, ambitious and comparable commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

20) They recognized that voluntary measures oriented to mitigation, alternative to traditional market measures, adopted by some ALBA members must be recognized, financially compensated and promoted worldwide. They particularly recognized and supported the Ecuadorean Yasuni-ITT initiative, as an innovative, modernist project to confront climate change.

21) They reaffirmed that the position of ALBA member countries on climate change reflects a development conception that is not based on mercantilization of nature, but rather on the paradigm of Good Living, which entails relations of harmony and respect with nature and the others.

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