Social Pre-COP Preparatory Event Issues Margarita Declaration
18 July 2014: A preparatory event for the Social Pre-COP on Climate Change, organized by the Government of Venezuela, resulted in the "Margarita Declaration on Climate Change," which contains views of participating organizations and movements structured around the themes of intergenerational equality and rights, and good and sustainable living. The results of the preparatory event will be presented to the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in September 2014.
Organized from 15-18 July 2014, on Margarita Island, Venezuela, the preparatory event consisted of three sessions: ‘Local Governments on Climate Change;' ‘The Future Takes the Floor: Youth on Climate Change;' and ‘Good Living on Climate Change.' The event, which included participation by representatives from Venezuelan and international organizations and social movements, aimed to learn, share and combine positions and initiatives in preparation for the Social Pre-COP scheduled to take place from 4-7 November 2014, on Margarita Island, Venezuela, and to be hosted by the Government of Venezuela.
The Margarita Declaration contains the following thematic elements: intergenerational equality and rights of the future generations; and good and sustainable living, including climate ethics, social impact of climate change, social participation in decision making, fighting climate change, and North-South responsibilities.
On intergenerational equality and rights of the future generations, the Declaration stresses, inter alia: the need transform the “consumption model into good living and global cooperative societies;” sharing of experiences and solidarity; youth empowerment; education that is transformative and centered on the environment; and the need for commitment from the wealthiest countries to finding a solution to climate change.
On climate ethics, the Declaration calls for an alternative development model based on living in harmony with nature, and equal distribution of the “carbon atmospheric space.” It also describes as “false responses” carbon markets and the UN Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD).
On the social impact of climate change and social participation in decision making, the Declaration emphasizes empowerment of peoples and social movements for participation in decision making, and the need for organization of social movements. Describing the structural causes for climate change as relating to the capitalist system, the declaration states that fighting climate change involves “changing the system.”
On North-South responsibilities, the Declaration describes the financing of mitigation and adaptation actions by the developed countries in the developing countries as a moral and legal obligation under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Social Pre-COP on Climate Change will aim to ensure that proposals and demands of popular movements and organizations are heard in preparations for a 2015 international climate agreement. [Social Pre-COP Website] [Margarita Declaration on Climate Change] [Social Pre-COP on Twitter]