Tiquipaya II: Lead by example

[Pablo Solon / September 1, 2015]

Five years have passed since the First Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, and the Bolivian Government recently has called for a second meeting from 10 to 12 October in Tiquipaya. In these five years the situation has worsened dramatically. In 2010, an agreement was approved in Cancun of voluntary pledges to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 that will have dire consequences. All countries should have agreed to reduce annual global emissions to 44 gigatones (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2020 to ensure that the temperature does not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius (Cº). However, with the pledges for emission reductions made in Cancun, we will reach 56 Gt of CO2 by 2020 or more.

Today, we approach a new appointment in Paris to set a new climate agreement until 2030. The main polluting countries have already sent their offers of emissions reductions, and the outlook is bleak: instead of annual global emissions down to 35 gt of CO2 by 2030, we will be by 60 Gt CO2 at the end of the next decade. This means an increase in the temperature of 4 to 8° degrees Celsius in this century.

Governments want to show they are doing something, but the reality is that not a single State is putting forward a proposal to do what science recommends: leave underground 80% of known reserves of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). Large multinationals and governments addicted to the black gold are totally opposed to it. In the climate negotiations they speak about everything except the issue of putting a limit on the extraction of fossil fuels.

A couple of weeks ago one thousand climate activists stopped for a day Gelände, the main coal mine of Germany. Tiquipaya II has to take into account this reality and show with facts that there is coherence with what is preached. In the case of Bolivia this means to reduce deforestation, which is the main cause of greenhouse gases emissions in the country. More than two thirds of our emissions are due to fires and deforestation. Between 2001 and 2013 we have lost 8.3 million hectares of forest areas, about 14% of the forests that we had at the beginning of this century.

Bolivia is not among the main countries that cause climate change, but nonetheless we cannot allow that our forests continue to burn irrationally. The Government, being consistent with Section 15.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, should reduce deforestation to zero by 2020, preserving at least 50 million hectares of forests. Different studies show that more than 20% of deforestation triggers the gradual death of an Amazonian forest. When deforestation exceeds certain limits the right of the forest to regenerate is violated and a crime against Mother Earth is committed.

If we stop deforestation, the country will no longer send each year to the atmosphere 80 million tons of CO2. A figure that is twice the emissions of the largest coal power plant in Europe: Belchatow, Poland, 37 million tones of CO2 in 2013.

There are other series of measures to be taken in Bolivia: 25% increase in the share of solar energy in electricity generation by 2020; eliminate subsidies for diesel for agribusiness of GMOs and direct those resources to peasant ecological agriculture that cools the planet; avoid dangerous nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams that increase deforestation and natural disasters; and guarantee the rights of Mother Earth. In short, Tiquipaya II must lead by example with concrete measures and not just with words.

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«Nature is not for sale» Interview with Pablo Solon

by Robin van Wechem, June 2012

He wrote one of the most progressive laws for nature conservation. He organized the first international climate conference for common people. And now he wipes the floor with the UN proposal for a ‘green economy’. The Bolivian Pablo Solón thinks we should treat nature with more respect. Sigue leyendo

La naturaleza habla mientras los humanos no escuchamos

Víctor Hugo, el autor de Los Miserables escribió: “Produce una inmensa tristeza pensar que la naturaleza habla mientras el genero humano no escucha.”

Hoy estamos reunidos para intentar dialogar no sólo entre Estados sino con la naturaleza. Aunque muchas veces lo olvidamos, los seres humanos somos una de las fuerzas de la naturaleza. En verdad, todos venimos del mismo Big Bang que dio origen al universo. Aunque algunos solo ven la leña para el fuego, cuando cruzan el bosque. Sigue leyendo

Debe haber coherencia entre lo que decimos y lo que hacemos

[Carta de Pablo Solón, Septiembre 28 del 2011 – English version]

Presidente y Hermano Evo Morales

Desde el 2006 Bolivia ha mostrado liderazgo al mundo en entorno a los desafíos mas cruciales de nuestro tiempo. Hemos logrado la aprobación del Derecho Humano al Agua y el Saneamiento en las Naciones Unidas, e impulsado una visión de sociedad basada en el Vivir Bien en vez del consumismo. Sigue leyendo

There must be coherence between what we do and what we say

[Pablo Solon,28 September 2011, Versión en español]

President and Brother Evo Morales

Since 2006, Bolivia has shown leadership to the world on how to tackle the most profound challenges of our time. We have achieved the approval of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in the United Nations and promoted a vision for society based on Vivir Bien (Living Well) rather than consuming more. Sigue leyendo

An ambassador for climate justice and Mother Earth


Today, Pablo Solón completes his term as Ambassador for the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations. As representative of a small and poor country, Solón has played a key role in perhaps the decisive political struggle of this century: the fight against climate change and the unjust economic system causing environmental and social crisis. Sigue leyendo

We Must Support a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

[Pablo Solón & Cormac Cullinan] For Bolivia, December marked an important and historic step forward in climate change politics. We are of course not referring to Brokenhagen, where we saw the worst of intransigent, undemocratic and cynical tactics from the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide. The interesting action happened in a completely unreported event in New York when on 22 December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution which put the issue of Mother Earth rights as an item on the UN agenda. Sigue leyendo