SUBMISSION OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA
CALL FOR URGENT AND EQUITABLE ACTION TO HALT THE CLIMATE COLLAPSE AND RESTORE BALANCE WITH MOTHER EARTH
The government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia denounces that the current process of negotiations for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), leads us to an imminent collapse of Earth’s ecosystems.
Recognizing that developed countries have historically usurped the common atmospheric space with their high greenhouse gas emissions, a product of their industrial model, they continue to commit ecocide against Mother Earth. Additionally, developed countries' current commitments. under the Paris Agreement, and the way by which they seek to be implemented, will lead the globe to a 3° to 5°C scenario long before the end of the XXI century, as their emissions commitments are not sufficient to save the world from a climate crisis. Moreover, it is neither fair nor equitable that developed countries, to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C, pursue to impose on developing countries a responsibility of equal magnitude, reflecting a contradiction, a great injustice and surprising short- sightedness.
Accordingly, we cannot continue to support a mode of implementation of the Paris Agreement that condemns Mother Earth to a 6th mass extinction and a large part of humanity to its demise, in order to further the interests of developed capitalist countries and their corporations. Thus, we must also stand in not allowing the current status quo to take us towards the precipice on the basis of mercantile visions that seek to "green wash" business with the climate crisis, invest in the dystopian views that seek to colonize other planets, promote suicidal technologies such as geoengineering, and see Mother Earth and its environmental functions as mere objects and commodities to be traded in carbon markets.
The current anthropocentric model, which places humanity above nature and other living beings, bequeaths the current climate crisis and is modifying the life cycles of Mother Earth, causing the collapse of several ecosystems, the extinction of species, whilst hindering the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world, sponsoring the spread of hunger and poverty in the world and a growing climate migration. In so, it is of the upmost importance to give rise to a new civilizational horizon based on a cosmo-biocentric vision we coin “Living Well in harmony with Mother Earth”, a civilizational model we see as the only possible and effective means of achieving long lasting synergies between our species (sociosphere) and the planet that harbors us (biosphere). To reach this goal, it is necessary to consider a framework based on a civilizational model that defends life (biocomunity) and not the God of money and the inherent greed of capitalism that is currently leading us to the disappearance of our species.
The prevalence of the developed countries' agenda and the absence of true critical thought at the UNFCCC is maintaining the status quo and the repetition of recipes that have already failed. This forsakes us to a catastrophic outcome for Mother Earth. Due to the context, COP26 must take a radical turn if we are to stop the climate collapse.
The Government of Bolivia denounces that the promise of developed countries to reach "net zero" emissions by 2050 is a fallacy which must be unmasked in that it neglects to take the urgent measures that the situation requires. We must comprehend that the present decade is decisive if we seek to stop the climate collapse and cannot be addressed via promises that will be acted upon thirty years down the road, when it will be too late, a trend which depicts enormous irresponsibility and the suicidal position with life on the planet.
JUSTIFICATION FOR THE URGENT CALL FOR REAL CARBON EMISSION REDUCTIONS CONSISTENT WITH A TRAJECTORY TO REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE BELOW 1.5°C.NOW
The Paris Agreement has framed a model based on countries’ voluntary contributions with the objective of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”. Clearly for peoples who care Mother Earth and humanity, the objective stands in impeding an increase of the temperature above 1.5°C.
However, all scientific studies and reports show that the current efforts of developed countries are not enough to stop the climate crisis in the world and we are far from achieving this goal.
Recognizing that the IPCC indicated that developed countries were required to cut their GHGs emissions by at least 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020; however, between 2008-2012, developed countries reduced emissions by only 5%, and between 2013 and 2020 they achieved only 13% as per assessment reported by the UNFCCC Secretariat.
The IPCC “Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C”, concluded that to achieve this target there is the need to decline global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030. However, the Secretariat's 2021 CDN Synthesis Report (FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/2) on Nationally Determined Contributions (CNDs), some of which are updated to 2020, shows an average reduction in total GHG emissions of only 0.5% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. Therefore, there is a huge gap between what the planet requires and climate action expressed in the CNDs of what countries, particularly developed countries, do.
There are estimates which indicate that we only have a few years left before we exceed the global carbon budget to reach 1.5°C. The amount of carbon that can be emitted into the atmosphere to limit the temperature increase to below 1.5°C (with a 66% probability) is about 195 Giga tons (GtCO2e)1, which means that, at the current rate of carbon emissions per year, that budget will be exhausted in less than a decade.
For the same reason, the promise of developed countries to reach "net zero" emissions by 2050 is, as has been said, a fallacy since by this date the atmosphere will contain an amount of carbon that will lead to a temperature increase beyond 3 ° C. Thus, a few countries will have continued to hoard most of the global carbon budget in detriment of developing countries, deepening an unfair and inequitable situation for the peoples of the world. So the slogan of achieving "net zero" emissions by 2050 does not mean any serious or effective commitment to Mother Earth.
Limiting the temperature rise to 1.5°C requires sharing the remaining global carbon budget equitably amongst countries according to their historical responsibilities. We emphasize, in this context, that developed countries that have high historical emissions are no longer entitled to this budget and cannot continue to usurp the remaining carbon budget that, for the purpose of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, belongs to developing countries.
When we address equity we make echo of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013-2014), which states that we have to take into account the responsibilities in historical and present emissions, equality in terms of emissions per capita, the financial and technological capacity of countries to implement mitigation and adaptation actions, and the inexcusable right of countries to a comprehensive development to Living Well in our common home that it is Mother Earth.
Acknowledging that the crisis of the pandemic has created an adverse scenario for the integral development of our countries and peoples, especially for developing countries, making it extremely difficult to face the daunting challenges of climate change while simultaneously facing investments in health and economic recovery. Also, 1.5°C peak temperature scenarios require rapid shifts towards and scale-up of renewable energy investments. However, developed countries are not able to fulfill their obligations and commitments under the Convention since there is no credible, predictable, adequate, new and additional financial resources, as well as no effective technology transfer and capacity building from developed countries to developing countries.
Recognizing that all of the burdens created by developed countries has been placed on the shoulders of developing countries, this is morally unacceptable. Moreover, the imposition of unilateral coercive measures on some countries has a strong impact on their ability to respond to the climate crisis.
It is necessary to remind developed countries that their industrialized models of past and present remain the main drivers of climate change, and that their colonial models produced an immense "transfer" of natural resources and financial means from the colonies to their countries. Therefore, developed countries must assume their historic responsibility for climate change and for the sustainable human development of peoples.
THE BIG LIE OF "NET ZERO" EMISSIONS TO 2050
Capitalist developed countries are being deceitful to the peoples of the world by allowing people to believe that the goal of achieving "net-zero" emissions by 2050 is a highly ambitious and significant commitment. This is not the case, "net zero" emissions mean that what these countries emit will be offset by the absorption of an equivalent amount of GHG, with the balance between emissions and removals equal to zero.
Far from meaningful climate ambition, the phrase "net zero" emissions is being used by most developed country governments and polluting corporations to evade their responsibility, disguise climate inaction, and to increase GHG emissions into the atmosphere. At the heart of these promises are distant reduction targets (by 2050) that will not affect the causes of the climate crisis and will allow carbon to continue to be emitted into the atmosphere. In this regard, the UNEP Emissions Gap report (2020) highlights the need to translate "net zero" emissions targets into short-term ambition and action.
It is also worth noting that "net zero" emissions strategies are not being carried out taking into account equity criteria. That the world must achieve emissions neutrality by 2050 does not mean that all countries should achieve it by the same date. This would constitute a grave injustice and a violation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Based on equity, the countries that comprise the global North should achieve emissions neutrality much earlier, while the countries of the Global South could achieve it later.
Additionally, the promise of "net zero" emissions is not based on real reductions in carbon emissions in the developed countries themselves, but relies heavily on so-called "technology-based solutions" and so-called "nature-based solutions" that are promoting the commodification of nature. In addition, developed countries are pushing for the establishment of market mechanisms to account for the reduction of their emissions, without affecting their economic, industrial and other activities, despite the fact that the Paris Agreement has no mention of the implementation of market mechanisms but only of cooperative approaches.
We denounce that these so-called solutions will promote a process of speculation in the carbon capture market and will exceed the limits of nature's true ability to reduce emissions. In addition, they will drastically affect the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples and the rights of Mother Earth, in the context of the commodification and manipulation of nature to solve the problem of emissions from developed countries. If this happens, we will live in a denatured and dehumanized world, which moves against the life cycles of Mother Earth.
THE NEED FOR A TRUE GLOBAL COMMITMENT TO SAVE MOTHER EARTH
Governments and peoples of the world that care for our well-being as a species and thus for Mother Earth, must be united against the current attempt of COP26 to legitimate an implementation of the Paris Agreement which creates inaction for rich countries and imposes the burden of climate change on the shoulders of developing countries, implying moving the burden to the shoulders of the peoples of the Global South. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, warned in a recent interview that in relation to the climate crisis "we are reaching a point of no return" and added that "we still have time, but we are on the brink". "When you're on the edge of the abyss, you need to make sure your next step is in the right direction."2
With a huge gap between global GHG emissions and the poor mitigation efforts of developed countries contained in their Nationally Determined Contributions (CNDs), and an ever-shrinking global carbon budget, we believe that the right approach is for developed countries to achieve real reduction targets in carbon emissions NOW, consistent with a trajectory to limit temperature growth below 1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this goal, we propose that countries with significant historical cumulative emissions take a voluntarily binding initiative to make further cuts in their emissions to further reduce 20 Gigatonnes (GtCO2e) per year by 20253, which means that developed countries, according to their responsibilities with climate change, have to multiply between five to ten times their Nationally Determined Contributions (CND) by 2025.
In turn, developing countries should gradually reduce their emissions on the basis of the provision by developing countries of financing, technology transfer and capacity-building mechanisms suitable for all countries.
The COP26 in Glasgow is the moment to halt the hypocrisy with Mother Earth and to show up clearly that there is a real will in governments to impede its collapse. Peoples of the world count on this outcome.
DECISIONS TO BE TAKEN URGENTLY AND FAIRLY IN GLASGOW
The government of Bolivia and people endorsing this submission conclude on the need to open an agenda item at COP26 in Glasgow to discuss and make urgent decisions on:
Finally, recalling the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Harmony with Nature A/75/266, paragraph 87, which requests that "... the General Assembly should consider meeting in an Earth Assembly, where non-anthropocentric or Earth-centered paradigms, which continue to evolve, can continue to develop and find their place in multilateralism"; we appeal to the Parties and to the UNFCCC Secretariat to support the development of an Earth Assembly, to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, addressing the links between the Convention and Sustainable Development Goal 13 under a non-anthropocentric and intercultural approach.
MOTHER EARTH AND HUMANITY CALL FOR URGENT AND EQUITABLE ACTION TO ACHIEVE A REDUCTION IN EMISSIONS THAT WILL LIMIT THE TEMPERATURE INCREASE TO BELOW 1.5°C.
A BIG CHANGE IS NEEDED: STOP HUMANIZING NATURE AND START NATURALIZING HUMAN BEINGS.