Fewer than 30 countries out of the 192 who are signed up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which organised Copenhagen, have indicated that they will sign. Many are known to be deeply unhappy with the $100bn pledged for climate aid and the decision not to make deeper cuts in emissions. Under UN laws, consensus is required for a binding agreement to be made.
Countries have until January 31 to sign up to the accord and provide the UN with information on the specific commitments and actions they plan to take to reduce emissions. But there is growing confusion over the legal standing of the agreement reached in Copenhagen and many countries may not be in a position to sign because they have yet to consult their parliaments.
Meanwhile, Bolivia, one of a handful of poor countries which openly opposed the deal in Copenhagen, has invited countries and non-governmental groups which want a much stronger climate deal to the World Conference of the People on Climate Change.
The conference, to be held in Cochabamba in Bolivia from April 20-22, is expected to attract heads of state from the loose alliance of socialist “Alba” countries, including Venezuela and Cuba. ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America countries, was set up to provide an alternative to the US-led free trade area of the Americas.
Bolivia this week urged leaders of the world’s indigenous ethnic groups and scientists to come. “The invitation is to heads of state but chiefly to civil society. We think that social movements and non government groups, people not at decision level, have an important role in climate talks,” said Maria Souviron, Bolivian ambassador in London.
The meeting, which is intended to cement ties between the seven Alba countries, is also expected to persue the idea of an international court for environmental crimes, as well as the radical idea of “mother earth rights”. This would give all entities, from man to endangered animal species, an equal right to life.
“Our objective is to save humanity and not just half of humanity,” said Morales in a speech at Copenhagen. “We are here to save mother earth. Our objective is to reduce climate change to [under] 1C. [Above this] many islands will disappear and Africa will suffer a holocaust … the real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save the earth then we must end that economic model.”