Statement by the CLOC-Vía Campesina on the Climate Summit in Cancun

(November 29, 2010) As the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations  – CLOC / Via Campesina -we appeal to women, men, youth, children and elderly people worldwide to join the great global movement called “Thousands of Cancuns for Climate Justice” which is a clear demonstration not only that the peoples and social movements are engaged in the debate, construction and positioning of the discussion around climate change but also, that we are denouncing and resisting the model of development that has deepened the climate crisis.

In this regard, we affirm that the Peoples’ Accord emitted at the Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is one of the most interesting proposals.  We therefore demand that it be debated and further developed within COP 16, along the same approach that it was built on, that is, within the framework of the discussions and proposals of the peoples, social movements and organizations. As CLOC / Via Campesina we believe that the capitalist model based on the exploitation of natural resources, with the idea of unlimited progress, is primarily responsible for the environmental disaster that we are now experiencing. 

The impact of the climate crisis that affects all of humanity is the result of the implementation of this perverse model that prioritizes market policies at the expense of life itself. For farmers and peasants of the world, climate change has a direct impact on both rural and urban areas, with floods, droughts, disruption of natural rain cycles and the emergence of new pests, that are destroying small-scale agriculture and livestock that contribute substantially to feeding the majority of human beings, when hunger remains a major challenge for the world.

Faced with this situation, as the CLOC / Via Campesina, a historical movement that interconnects struggles at the continental level:

1. We bring our energies as La Via Campesina International, chanting our slogan “Peasant agriculture cools the planet”, as our banner of struggle and resistance.  We believe this is a way to support a de-privatization struggle for life as a viable, existing and really possible alternative.

2. We declare the failure of the Cancun Climate Summit in wanting to impose an illegitimate “agreement”, since the prior negotiating tables are managed by a handful of countries outside the genuine process of multilateral negotiations. We consider that blackmail is being used to try to bring off this imposition.

3. We support the demonstrations, forums, debates, meetings and activities conducted by social organizations and networks worldwide, this December 7, as a form of resistance to the decisions of the COP 16 in Cancun.

4. We reject strategies of profit-making, lobbying and commoditization by transnational corporations, banks and financial interests, the governments of industrialized countries and their international institutions, aimed at continuing to shirk their historic responsibilities.

5. We will unmask the false solutions of “green capitalism” with proposals like those of Monsanto in response to the climate crisis. There is concrete evidence of the negative impacts of global carbon markets, GM seeds, agro-fuels, geo-engineering, dams, mining, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, the “Clean Development Mechanisms” and current REDD projects which are being promoted without addressing the real needs of people.  These options are intended to generate windfall profits for these big corporations.

6. We reject any World Bank involvement in the creation of funds and policies related to climate change.

7. We promote the urgency of a process of preparation and discussion for the implementation of a Global Consultation on policies addressing climate change. It is necessary to do justice, to free those struggling for land and prosecute those who pollute and destroy.

8. Since Mexico is home to the Climate Summit, we take on the responsibility of reporting the environmental catastrophe caused to fishermen and women and for humankind in general, for the tragedy of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the British Petroleum Company – BP. We consider it a crime to humanity and an illustration of corporate disregard for human life and of the hypocrisy of governments

9. Finally, we underline the need to abolish the criminalization of struggles and of those who defend life. In this context, we urgently demand adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants.

We peasant farmers cool the planet! Globalize the struggle, globalize hope!

November 29, 2010