Special communique: Environment and climate change

The Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) met at the 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government, convened in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 24th, 2021, with a view to the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Glasgow, from November 1st to 12th, 2021:

  1. Reaffirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement represent the current binding legal regime to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere at a level to avoid dangerous human interference with the climate system, as a result of the consensus reached by the international community’s efforts to confront the global environmental challenge.

2. Highlighted the universal nature of the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and reiterated the call for its full implementation, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

3. Reaffirmed that it is crucial to meet the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including those related to Climate Change, conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity and the fight against desertification, pollution, among others, in order to protect Mother Earth through sustainable consumption and production, sustainable management of the natural resources and urgent measures to address climate change, so that it can meet the needs of present and future generations.

4. Expressed that the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement are not enough to achieve the goal of temperature stabilization, an essential step to stop the recurrence of devastating events and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to prevent the loss of biological diversity and the damage to ecosystems. For this reason, it is necessary to deepen the existing cooperation mechanisms among the regions, in order to constitute an alliance of international solidarity on climate change and other important environmental issues.

5. Underscored that the challenge of the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic demands greater efforts to include all those who in the current circumstances have been limited from participating due to the virtual format of the meetings, as well as to incorporate and effectively involve human groups vulnerable to Climate Change, such as indigenous and local communities, afro-descendants, youth, migrants and women.

6. Recognized that climate change is one of the five main causes of biodiversity loss, as stated by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) with an urgent call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent the degradation of ecosystems, which play a major role in the fight against climate change.

7. Believed that the environmental crisis is a consequence of unsustainable production and consumption patterns of developed countries and especially, the lack of political will to meet commitments and obligations and emphasized the need to change consumption patterns and lifestyles in developed countries and to redesign the international economic, trade and financial system.

8. Expressed that Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable territories on the planet as a result of the effects of climate change and emphasized that the ALBA-TCP countries are suffering the chronic and gradual impacts of climate change, which is affecting and freezing progress in sustainable development in harmony with nature and the fight against poverty.

9. Urged to promote the transition to more sustainable patterns of consumption and production through the sustainable use of resources, focusing on the protection, conservation and sustainable use of nature to help foster economies and promote social inclusion, with a gender approach and the eradication of poverty.

10. Declared that the Unilateral Coercive Measures represent a crime against humanity, and that they affect directly and indirectly the capacities to respond to the Climate Change crisis and the response capacities of States to guarantee the right to development of States and basic rights such as the right to water and a healthy environment.

11. Recognized the importance of continuing the pending work in the framework of COP-26, with the firm commitment to defend the balance in addressing the issues of the Paris Agreement agenda, as well as giving political priority to loss and damage and adaptation in the management of national climate action and in the implementation of non-market based approaches. They also recognized the importance of encouraging a dialogue on the impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on climate protection.

12. Underlined the need to develop actions that allow peoples’ access to new technologies, financing and the construction of a genuine economy of eco-socialism and urged the construction of a new model of society based on the rights of Mother Earth and the rights of the peoples.

13. Called for the promotion of the Rights of Mother Earth within the framework of the United Nations with the purpose that both individuals and institutions promote, through teaching and education, respect for these rights, and ensure, through national and international gradual measures, their universal and effective recognition and implementation.

14. Endorsed the proposal of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to convene a United Nations General Assembly regular session on the rights of Mother Earth and the right to water for lifeThey also welcomed the agreements and proposals of the “Re-establishing our Connection with the Mother Earth: Global Reflections for the Defense of Pachamama”, held in La Paz, Bolivia, on April 22nd and 23rd, 2021, in order to draw up a roadmap for the upcoming COP26.

15. Agreed to hold the ALBA-TCP Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on Environment and Climate change in virtual format, on July 7th, 2021, to draw up the roadmap for the upcoming COP26 with the priority environmental issues.

16. Reiterated their willingness to continue working and cooperating to address climate change, which increases the frequency and intensity of natural phenomena that cause regrettable human and material losses, representing a threat to the coexistence of all forms of life that inhabit our planet and to the ecosystems that currently make up our habitat.

Caracas, June 24th, 2021