By Manuel Guzman-Hennessey, CANLA´S board member
Edits: Monica Lopez Baltodano
Climate Action Network Latin American (CANLA) met in Lima recently. It was a good opportunity to exchange experiences on the work each of the member organizations have been promoting in the region.
The meeting was also conducive to review what we have been building as a network, and also to wonder on what we should keep on doing, especially now that the climate crisis has started to show new signs of warning that increase worldwide concern about the common future of our specie.
In the Lima meeting we reached a change of direction, deciding to invite the countries that slowly have been overcoming their poverty levels, to begin to consider the need to undertake mitigation plans for their carbon emissions. It was concluded that is not enough that these countries remain stick to the failed Kyoto effort that relieves them from taking responsibility. It is time to rethink the out-dated scheme of categorizations of countries according to which ones must mitigate their emissions because they are rich, and others not, because they are poor.
CAN Latin American have now questioned the need to review the “Annex I countries, Non Annex I” distinction and rethink the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. We take the opportunity to extend these questions to the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol (KP) parties for the upcoming meeting in Bonn.
In an attempt to bring our analysis to the new geopolitics of the world, it was recognized that in Latin America there are countries that today are middle income, or in their way to be, and that they might take more radical and consistent actions to contribute to the overall reduction in carbon emissions.
It was highlighted some national efforts to interpret this change of course in the region, and we called on to the authorities to decide the venues for the coming Latin COP, to consider the new legitimacy that these countries have been gaining in the region.
Certainly these countries programs and reduction targets are not yet where the severity of the crisis merits, but is a good start and above all a good sign that should be emulated elsewhere. If it is decided finally that COP20 is in Latin America, CANLA member organizations express their desire that this new factor is taken into account.
Shortly after that meeting, at which CANLA renewed its management structures and working groups to strengthen their actions, the news from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, according to which between May 7th and 08th 2013, average concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the barrier of 400 parts per million.
Truly disturbing news because it puts humanity on the dangerous edge of one of their absolute limits: the high concentration in the atmosphere of green house gasses directly related to human activities and intensive use of fossil fuels.
This fact increases the need for further critical discussion of development, growth patterns and life styles in the role of globalized economies and examining economic alternatives for a 'better life', for a more human welfare and a more coherent sense of progress.
The figure of 400 ppm revealed by NOAA well be considered a collective intuition of the organizations that built the Lima Declaration, as in the preamble of this document stated: "The strategy of sustainable development concept which focused on the change of course, has not been effective in reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and to achieve global development goals, because this ambiguous concept has only served to create expectations that can not conform to the reality of what is happening today in most of the world's economies, whose production and consumption patterns stimulate the intensive use of fossil fuels, which are the central cause of the current climate crisis".
Due to both climate change and development need to be thought globally, during the meeting, progress was made on the need to harmonize the presence of CANLA in international negotiations on the future climate regime with increasingly necessary regional advocacy, designed to draw the attention of society on the crisis, educate new generations in finding innovative and require collective responses and effective commitments from governments to protect the most vulnerable communities.
F. Holderlin wrote a verse that perhaps better reflects the need for the world to take action and to rectify "that we change everything, everywhere." CANLA has begun to make its contribution, with no more ambition beyond the call of Holderlin, but not with less hope.
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