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Pablo Solon's Warning

Former Bolivian climate change negotiator and climate justice activist on COP17 negotiations

by Tim McSorley

Pablo Solon's Warning

With just a day and a half left to COP17, rumours of a side deal to bypass a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol have heated up.

Many are warning that a so-called 'Durban Deal' in the works will leave the world as it did after COP15 in Copenhagen: with a non-binding agreement that brings us no closer to solving the escalating climate crisis, and just allows negotiators and governments to claim they achieved "something".

Last Saturday the Media Co-op caught up with Pablo Solon during the Global Day of Action march in Durban. In the final hours of COP17, his words seem prescient:

Rush transcript:


I'm Pablo Solon, former ambassador for Bolivia to the UN and I was chief negotiator for Bolivia for climate change. I was in Copenhagen and in Cancun and I know what happens inside and I'm sure things will only change in negotiations if there is enough social pressure on the outside.

So the main reason I am here is because I believe that if we are going save humanity and our Mother Earth from climate change we need to develop these kinds of protest and social mobilizations in all the world. That is the only way we are going to be able to stop our planet and especially Africa to be cooked.

Otherwise, what they are saying, what is probably going to come out of COP17, is probably a new mandate to postpone again a real solution to climate change.

The figures, the numbers that they want to lock in here in Durban are too low. For the US and Canada, three per cent of emission reductions until 2020 taking into account levels of 1990, is something that they should have done in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

So this is something really unacceptable because people are dying, because they are putting in front their business, profit, instead of peoples' life, nature's life.

On the inside, I know most of the chief negotiators of most important countries, and they know they are doing something wrong. They know that the numbers and the deal is very bad, so I think this pressure has already come there. But we need to go, to be heard not only where the deleagtes are, we need to be heard in the capitals. Because the last day, they receive instructions from their capitals, form their governments, from their presidents and their ministers, and then you see the bad results like we have seen in the case of Copenhagen and in Cancun.

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