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27 May 2010 | | |


Climate Justice at the Summit in Madrid

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Free trade, US military bases in South America, regional integration, climate change and migration were some of the issues addressed in the different workshops at the Peoples´ Summit Enlazando Alternativas 4 in Madrid.

From May 14-18, several organizations and social movements from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe organized different activities in Madrid. One of the workshops was called “Climate justice and social responses to climate change” and was organized by Ecologistas en Acción from Spain, the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade, the Hemispheric Social Alliance and Friends of the Earth International.

Colombian activist Lyda Forero, from the Hemispheric Social Alliance Secretariat (coalition of progressive social movements and organizations from the Americas), was one of the speakers. She made reference to the process of joint work and coordination among Latin American social groups in the struggle for climate justice.

Forero said that “this is a process still under construction because it has been difficult to put the issue of climate change and the rights of nature in the agendas of the social organizations”. She explained that while the climate crisis has been part of the agenda for years, this year it became a “central issue” with clearer and more developed political positions.

The Hemispheric Social Alliance, Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth, Solon Foundation and Jubilee South are among the movements and organizations demanding climate justice in the South and they have one thing in common: they believe that the structural cause of climate change is the capitalist production and consumption system, unsustainable and wasteful.

Forero explained that there were three crucial facts that made Latin American movements and organizations turn the climate crisis into the focus of their work. She made reference to the Climate Justice Tribunal carried out last October in Cochabamba; social mobilizations in December 2009 at the UN Conference on Climate in Copenhagen; and the Peoples´ Conference that took place in April in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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