Position of the Mesoamerican Popular Movement on the Green Climate Fund at the UNFCCC Transitional Committee Meeting
As the UNFCCC Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund met in Mexico last April 28 and 29, 2011, the Mesoamerican Popular Movement issued the following statement.
The Mesoamerican Popular Movement, which agreed in plenary session of the VIIIth Mesoamerican Peoples´ Forum, held in Minatitlan Veracruz, Mexico, in April, to present our position on the occasion of the first meeting of the Transitional Committee for the creation of the Green Climate Fund, states:
The climate crisis that we are now experiencing is a reality that affects peoples of the Global South disproportionately, populations whose vulnerability increases every day due to the very development of the industrialized countries of North and the mode of production and consumption that together give rise to global warming.
The responses that have thus far been forthcoming from the centers of power are false solutions that ignore the causes of the problem and contribute to its worsening, increasing the climate debt of global North states, transnational corporations, and International Financial Institutions. In this way the so-called Climate Change is being converted into an opportunity to "confront" the economic crisis and strengthen capitalism.
Faced with these effects, more market solutions are proposed, such as new "green" financial products, the creation and sale of environmental services, and the commodification of nature.
In the last World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights (April 2010, in Cochabamba, Bolivia), thousands of representatives of social organizations met to discuss, analyze, and propose, on the basis of their local realities, alternatives to this systemic crisis.
This meeting took place in the aftermath of the failure of the COP 15, held in Copenhagen (Denmark, Dec.2009), and although these proposals were submitted to the UNFCCC for inclusion in the negotiating texts of the latest COP 16 (December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico), they were omitted in their entirety.
After 16 years of formal negotiations, the results thus far obtained have been inadequate and, far from meeting the targets for emissions reductions of greenhouse gases as established in the Kyoto Protocol, emissions have actually increased at an alarming rate with a preponderant share taking place in the North.
It is known that the null results of Cancun are manifested in voluntary, nonbinding agreements, and given the decision to open discussions on the operation of the Green Climate Fund, reason for which the members of the Transitional Committee are now gathered in Mexico, we express
The following considerations:
That the creation of the carbon market has served as a mechanism that enables institutions such as the World Bank, organism that has been "mandated" to administer the Fund "provisionally", thus strengthening existing financing programs that direct resources to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Cap and Trade, and the Program to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
That the mechanisms that they seek to impose on us, such as emissions trading, Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM), and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), are instruments via which the countries of the global North seek to evade their historical responsibilities under the pretense that it be our countries who take on the responsibility for the planting, care, and reproduction of trees to replenish oxygen to the atmosphere that they have degraded and contaminated, in addition to further deepening the extractive model.
That since its inception, the World Bank, like other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) has fulfilled the mission of being an instrument to promote the interests of the global North, the transnational financial and political elites, and that it is they who are responsible for implementing and benefiting from an economic model that impoverishes the vast majority, pillages nature, and gives rise to global warming. Currently, the World Bank manages 12 carbon funds in the Carbon Finance Unit, with an approximate value of USD2.5 billion, which so far have mainly involved countries such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Between 1992 and 2004 this organism approved more than USD11 billion in loans to more than 120 fossil fuel projects, representing 20% of current global emissions. Between 2007 and 2008 the World Bank funded an additional USD7.3 billion in fossil fuel projects (not including policy loans and loans to financial intermediaries in the field of fossil fuels).
Finally, we express our dissatisfaction and rejection of the constitution of a Transitional Technical Committee for the creation of a Green Climate Fund that only serves the interests of neoliberal green business and not the needs of chronic poverty in our countries. The fact that the Committee includes officials from the Central Bank of El Salvador and the Finance Ministry of Mexico, is nothing less than confirmation that it is a lobbying office on behalf of green business interests in the region and not the people of Mesoamerica.
We therefore demand:
The World Bank should be out of all climate-related processes.
The recognition of the historical responsibility of the so-called developed countries and their obligation to ensure the restitution and reparations for the ecological debt, including the climate debt, that they have with our region. Reparations for that debt includes full restoration and compensation of the territories and ecosystems, with respect for the self-determination of peoples and a guarantee of non-repetition.
Given that in Mesoamerica, these funds are being seen by our leaders as investment funds for mega highways, destroying the livelihood of our peoples, without any guarantee of environmental sustainability, in effect we believe that these funds should be administered directly by the people so that they might actually serve to recover from the disasters that the multinationals have provoked in our countries.
Adaptation funds should be public, new, additional to Official Development Assistance, and nonreturnable, eliminating the carbon market and without any role for any regional development bank. The minimum funding needed to address climate change should be some 6% of global GDP. The funds should not be understood in terms of climate change, but in terms of finding a path to a non-petroleum society.
Under no premise should the adaptation funds be used to subsidize private corporations and companies; rather, these companies must contribute resources to the adaptation fund.