Assembly of the Oppressed
(At the U.N. Conference on Climate Change)
by La Vía Campesina
Durban, South Africa
We are here in Durban, South Africa where the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties / COP (The 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is taking place and are discussing false solutions to the climate crisis. And we can see that the future of Mother Earth and of humanity is in peril as those responsible for nature’s destruction are attempting to escape their responsibility and erase history.
We, La Via Campesina, the global movement of peasants, small-scale and agricultural family farmers, is severely dismayed at the attempts of the developed countries to further escape their historic responsibility to make real emission cuts and push for more false and market based solutions to the climate crisis.
Here in Durban, they are discussing a “new mandate” as an outcome of the COP 17, one which contains market mechanisms and a voluntary pledge system in order to move away from the mandated program of working towards legally binding commitments to cut emissions. Also, developed countries are working hard to escape their historical responsibility and not pay their climate debt by pushing for a green climate fund that involves private capital and the World Bank. Finally, there is a push to include agriculture in the negotiations, treating agriculture as a carbon sink rather than a source of food and livelihood. For La Via Campesina, with this trend of negotiations, it is better to have no deal than a bad deal that condemns humanity and our planet to a future of climate catastrophe.
We are now at the worst moment for agriculture and small farmers and for nature. The impacts of climate change are steadily worsening, leading to harvest failures, destruction of habitats and homes, hunger and famine and loss of lives. The future of humanity and the planet is in critical danger and if these false solutions push through, it will be a catastrophe for nature, future generations and the whole planet.
We therefore demand to all governments in the negotiations:
We as La Via Campesina, demand the implementation of the people’s global agreement on climate agreed on in Cochabamba. And here in Durban and in a thousand Durbans, we strongly reiterate our solutions to the climate crisis.
We reiterate that there will be no solution to climate change and the predatory neo-liberal system that causes it, without the liberation of women, and rural women in particular, from age old patriarchy and sexist discrimination. We therefore demand as part of comprehensive action against patriarchy and sexism:
We as La Via Campesina, demand an end to the commodification of our Mother Earth reject the mechanisms of the carbon market. Furthermore, we reject the proposed inclusion of a work program on agriculture in the negotiations and reject all proposals of market mechanisms surrounding agriculture.
If you have any thoughts on this or would like to contribute to an ongoing discussion in the
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