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Bolivian president hosts first alternative climate change meeting

April 19, 2010 - BOLIVIA

People's World Conference on Climate Change

President Evo Morales has invited indigenous ethnic groups from around the globe and experts in environmental issues to his People's World Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba. He said the aim is to analyze the structural and systemic causes of climate change and to propose further measures to enhance harmony between mankind and Nature. He wants to see new commitments made at the event to the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. According to the Bolivian president, the conference will define a position on climate debt, migrants and refugees due to climate change; on the reduction of greenhouse gases; the transfer of technology; and financing related to climate change. Participants will also work for a world referendum on climate change and the establishment of a Climate Justice Tribunal, the president said. The aim of COP 15, in Copenhagen in Dec 2009, was a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto regime, which expires in 2012. Despite dire warnings about the impact of climate change, the participating countries could not agree on the terms of the treaty.Some countries signed a voluntary agreement on emissions targets, and other measures aimed at curbing global warming. The Bolivia conference participants can be expected to demand that leaders do better at COP 16, in Mexico in Nov 2010. Under the Kyoto pact, only 37 industrial countries committed to meet specific targets. Together, they were required to cut emissions by an average 5 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012. The sticking points in negotiations include the refusal, thus far, of the biggest emitter of gases blamed for global warming to buy in to the Kyoto Protocol. The United States refused to participate in the Kyoto regime because it excluded China and other large newly powerful economies from any obligation. And those nations refuse to relinquish their waivers. (Written Mar/10)

Date written/update: 2010-04-19