Today was a day of hard work. From 8:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon, without a break, we labored over the structure and language of our proposal for a “Shared Vision.” Our document, which follows in its unrevised form, was brought to plenary session later in the afternoon. Comments and corrections will be incorporated by our coordinating group at their discretion. This revision will produce the final document. I hope to be able to share that with you tomorrow — Earth Day — the closing day of the conference. Often, our language is stilted, as we struggled to be faithful in translation while respecting the difficult time restraints. AT times, there are terms with which you may be unfamiliar. Please leave a question as a comment, and I will try to respond. Here we go…
WORKING GROUP No.9: SHARED VISION (draft 21-04-2010)
1. This shared vision is premised upon our collective knowledge. Our collective knowledge includes the know-how of our ancestors, practices of indigenous peoples, and science which is directed at improving the safety, stability, health and well being of the Earth — science which does not secure its funding from transnational corporations.
2. Our shared vision is to confront climate change as the urgent priority for all humanity. Our world is in a state of emergency. Human-induced climate change is a real and present threat to the life of Mother Earth and all living beings. The shared vision is integral, and seeks to define all the elements of a successful solution to climate change, and their relationship to each another. It addresses the historical and structural causes of climate change — including the climate debts owed by developed countries to the world’s poor. and vulnerable communities — while offering a vision in which all peoples are a part of the solution and do not repeat the mistakes of “developed countries.”
3. The evidence provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, particularly in their Fourth Assessment Report, leaves no question that the climate crisis is a product of development models, which are provoking a massive imbalance of natural ecosystems. Their are scientific reports that provide even more alarming data on the impacts caused by climate change if no change is made rapidly in the way things are. These scientific data must be noted in international agreements and public polices to face climate change. At the same time, it is of equal relevance to acknowledge other types of technical and practical knowledge of indigenous cultures, farmers and local people, that are actually key for many of the solutions needed to overcome the climate crisis.
4. To 300 ppm and 1°C. The shared vision is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to give effect to Article 2 of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change which states that “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere should be at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The atmosphere’s greenhouse gas concentrations must ultimately return and stabilize at 280 ppm. Concentrations of CO2-eq must decrease to 350 ppm by 2030 and to 300 ppm by 2050. This will effectively limit global temperature increase to 1 degree Centigrade and will place us on a trajectory to arrive at pre-industrial levels in the long term.
5. It is not acceptable for global temperatures to increase by more than 2 degrees as was propose in the un-democratic Copenhagen Accord, or for the greenhouse gases to approach 450 ppm, as was proposed by the G8. The Copenhagen Accord in fact threatens upward of 3.9 degrees of global warming, it ignores historical responsibility and includes inadequate developed country commitments on mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance, and undermines the agreement of a science-based aggregate target for developed countries, binding individual targets and effective compliance. These proposals threaten the stability of Earth’s climate system and thus risk massive and systemic disaster for mother earth and humans across the world. It will see food production decreased by 40% globally. Between 20% and 30% of all species will be in danger of disappearing. large tracts of forest will be affected, droughts and floods will affect ecosystems across regions of the planet, deserts will spread and the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas will worsen. An increase of global temperatures to 2°C accepts the disappearance of several small island countries. In Africa, the increase of temperature will be even greater than the world average, and many of its countries will reduce their crop yields by up to 50%. Between 70 and 250 million additional people will have more difficulty finding access to drinking water services by 2020, and the costs of adaptation to sea-level rise will reach between 5% and 10% of gross domestic product in those countries. The impacts of climate change will see millions of people forced to leave their homes and migrate to new towns, cities and countries. With an increase of 2°C rise in temperature there is a 50% probability that the damage caused to the Earth systems will be completely irreversible. Those who promote this goal must be held responsible for the consequences.
6. The shared vision is a world in which all people can “live well” in harmony with mother earth and all other beings. This vision rejects the capitalist model of life and development that is premised on the supremacy of human beings over nature and the drive to accumulate. It i this system, the underlying structural root cause of climate change, that has seen developed countries pollute the atmosphere and cause climate change, giving rise to their historical responsibility an climate debts. Thus, the shared vision is of a world where all countries and people met their different responsibilities and in which we enhance the well being of all peoples and maintain the stability, integrity and health of our home — Mother Earth.
7. The shared vision of “living well” is of societies that practice reciprocity, complementarity, solidarity, equity and live in harmony with Mother Earth and all beings. It is a global society of people who stand in solidarity to change the system that is putting the planet in peril. This change will come from re-establishing traditional forms of knowledge in all parts of the planet, and from rejecting the commodification of the earth, water, air and of all things that live and give life. Human survival and the right to live in harmony and balance with Mother Earth are the primary objectives of all nations and peoples, ensuring equity for present and future generations.
8. The “colonization” of atmospheric space by developed countries, causing climate change and its impacts, are affecting and paralyzing people’s right to “live well” and in harmony with nature. The perpetrators of this crime will assume their moral and legal responsibilities and urgently reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions. These reductions will allow peoples of developed countries to “live well,” and to improve their lives in harmony with nature.
9. The shared vision is for a massive and global scale mobilization of peoples, movements and knowledge to address climate change. To be effective, the vision is of specific and measurable goals to be achieved, including he following areas:
a. The equitable and fair distribution of Earth;’s atmosphere, rejecting the historical concentration of the right to the atmosphere in the hands of a few. This “colonization of the sky” has privileged their economies and development while the majority of the world’s population remains in poverty. There must be a de-colonization of the atmospheric space by developed countries and their elites, in order to recognize and honor their climate debts.
b. The deepest possible reductions of emissions from domestic sources by developed countries (here we will add the targets of the Working Group on the Kyoto protocols).
c. There will be quantifiable changes to the unsustainable practices of production and consumption. This will involve capacity building for developed countries to enable them to reduce their high per-capita greenhouse gas emissions, to live in harmony with nature and to reduce their climate and ecological debts to developing countries and to nature.
d. The promotion and sharing of the technical and practical knowledge of our ancestors.
e. The international legal recognition of the rights of Mother Earth (here we will incorporate language from the approved statement of the appropriate working group).
f. Goals for financing of mitigation and adaptation efforts (from the working group on Financial targets).
g. The identification and removal of all barriers to access to technologies at the most affordable cost, including the exclusion of patents on climate- and/or energy-related technology (possible emendation from the Working Group on Technology).
10. The shared vision does not include false solutions such as nuclear power, genetic engineering, geo-engineering or biofuels that could further threaten Mother Earth and our vision to live in harmony with nature and other people. The “carbon market” is not a solution. Like these dangerous technologies, the carbon market mechanisms only concentrate more wealth and power in the hands of transnational corporations — those responsible for climate change.
11. This shared vision of a common future is based on the goals and principles set out here, in the context of an effort that addresses the structural causes of climate change. It is a vision in which the benefits of the Earth’s atmosphere and climate system are shared fairly; one in which the means to “live well” — including ecologically and socially sound technologies, financial resources, and capacities based in our collective knowledge — are shared among all peoples. It is a vision in which we build and share a new model of life and sustainable development that is premised on defending the rights of Mother Earth and the rights of all other beings.