[News] Evo Morales on Climate Debt, Capitalism - Tribunal for Climate Justice and Much More
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 18 10:42:44 EST 2009
Bolivian President Evo Morales on Climate Debt,
Capitalism, Why He Wants a Tribunal for Climate Justice and Much More
Bolivian President Evo Morales joins us in
Copenhagen to talk about the UN climate talks,
capitalism, climate debt and much more. Policies
of unlimited industrialization are what destroys
the environment, Morales said. And that
irrational industrialization is capitalism. [includes rush transcript]
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Climate Countdown.
NNIMMO BASSEY: We believe in the right of people
to protest or to dissent. And we just cantI
cant personally understand why we are kept out of the conference.
JOSÉ BOVÉ: The debate between the NGO, the poor
people, and the governments is no more possible
at two days of the end of this meeting.
JOSHUA KAHN RUSSELL: When I say climate, you say justice! Climate!
JOSHUA KAHN RUSSELL: Climate!
PROTESTER: The police pepper-sprayed me. I was
shouting, We are peaceful! And they pepper-sprayed me.
SUNITA NARAIN: The US has been the major
obstructionist force in climate change from the day the crisis began.
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] The budget of
the United States is $687 billion for defense.
And for climate change, to save life, to save
humanity, they only put up $10 billion. This is shameful.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Climate Countdown. Its
Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. Im Amy
Goodman. Were broadcasting from inside the Bella Center.
Its just one day before the COP15 UN climate
summit comes to a close. The summit has been
described as the biggest gathering on climate
change in history. And now, ten days after it
started, are the talks on the brink of collapse?
The dispute between rich and poor countries,
between the Global North and Global South, on key
issues, including greenhouse gas emissions and
climate debt, remain unresolved. World leaders
from more than 110 countries have begun arriving
at the summit and are delivering their addresses
to the main plenary as we speak. As for civil
society, the only thing worse than the endless
lines of thousands of people trying to get into
the Bella Center are no lines, because civil
society has largely been locked out.
Well, just before we went to air today, I
interviewed Evo Morales, Bolivias first
indigenous president. He was re-elected in a
landslide victory earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Evo Morales called on world leaders
to hold temperature increases over the next
century to just one degree Celsius, the most
ambitious proposal so far by any head of state.
Morales also called on the United States and
other wealthy nations to pay an ecological debt
to Bolivia and other developing nations.
AMY GOODMAN: President Morales, welcome to Democracy Now!
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Thank you very much for the invitation.
AMY GOODMAN: You spoke yesterday here at the
Bella Center and said we cannot end global
warming without ending capitalism. What did you mean?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Capitalism is
the worst enemy of humanity. Capitalismand Im
speaking about irrational developmentpolicies of
unlimited industrialization are what destroys the
environment. And that irrational
industrialization is capitalism. So as long as we
dont review or revise those policies, its
impossible to attend to humanity and life.
AMY GOODMAN: How would you do that? How would you end capitalism?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Its changing
economic policies, ending luxury, consumerism.
Its ending the struggle toor this searching for
living better. Living better is to exploit human
beings. Its plundering natural resources. Its
egoism and individualism. Therefore, in those
promises of capitalism, there is no solidarity or
complementarity. Theres no reciprocity. So
thats why were trying to think about other ways
of living lives and living well, not living
better. Not living better. Living better is
always at someone elses expense. Living better
is at the expense of destroying the environment.
AMY GOODMAN: President Morales, what are you
calling herefor here at the UN climate summit?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Defense of
the rights of Mother Earth. The earth is our
life. Nature is our home, our house. Happily, the
United Nations have declared a Mother Earth Day.
If the mother is recognized as Mother Earth, its
something that cant be sold, its something that
cant beit cant be violated, something sacred.
This is nature. This is planet earth. And thats
why Ive come here, to defend the rights of
Mother Earth, to defend the rights to life, to
defend humanity and saving Mother Earth.
AMY GOODMAN: What does climate debt mean, President Morales?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] After the
destruction of Mother Earth, its important to
recognize the rights of Mother Earth. And the
best way to recognize this is by paying a climate
debt. Second, its important to recognize the
damages that have been done and attend to the
people who have been affected by climate change,
people who will lose their island homes, for
example, people who will remain without water.
AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of
State, said today, We cant look back; we have to look forward.
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Looking
forward means that we have to review everything
that capitalism has done. These are things that
cannot just be solved with money. We have to
resolve problems of life and humanity. And thats
the problem that planet earth faces today. And this means ending capitalism.
AMY GOODMAN: The Secretary of State, Hillary
Clinton, also said today that $100 billion would
be promised if a deal were arrived at, not just
by the United States, per year, but in a
public-private partnership with a number of
countries around the world, but only if a deal is
arrived at. She would not say what the US would
contribute to this. What do you say about the US
spending on the issue of global warming
versuswell, you talked yesterday about war.
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] The best
thing would be that all war spending be directed
towards climate change, instead of spending it on
troops in Iraq, in Afghanistan or the military
bases in Latin America. This money would be
better directed to attending to the damages that
were created by the United States. And, of
course, this isnt just $100 billion; this is
probably trillions and trillions of dollars. How
are we going to spend money to kill and not save
lives? We have to spend money to save lives, not
to kill. These are our differences with capitalism.
AMY GOODMAN: You called the war in Afghanistan
terrorist. Are you saying President Obama is a terrorist?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] People who
send their troops to kill outside their country,
thats terror. Theres not only civilterrorists
dressed as civilians; they can also be dressed in
military uniforms. Worse still if theyre
financed with the money from the peoples, from
taxes. Of course, every country has the right to
defend itself, just as every country can defend
itself. But invading another country with
uniformed people, thats state terrorism.
Moreover, to establish military bases in Latin
America with the objective of political control,
and where their military base is an empire,
thats not respect for democracy. There is no
peace, social peace. There is no development for
those countries nor integration in those regions.
This is what weve lived in South America and Latin America.
AMY GOODMAN: What is your message to President Obama at these climate talks?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] After
listening to his speech at the heads of state
Summit of the Americas, we were very hopeful that
he would be an ally in addressing poverty. Now
Im not so hopeful. Rather, were disappointed.
If something has changed in the United States,
its the color of the president.
So Ive been called upon, through administrative
resolutions, to close unions, or to eliminate
unions, when Im doing exactly the opposite.
[translator: I apologize.] In the report that
was done regarding access to trade preferences
under the ATPDEA program, it was charged that the
Bolivian government has been involved in
suppressing unions, when, in fact, quite the
contrary, the governments been very active in
providing infrastructure and support to unions
through improving the centers where unions meet, etc.
Even President Bush did not make any observations
about the new clauses in the constitution of
Bolivia, whereas under the new administration
there have been observations and comments made
about the new constitution thats been drafted,
in particular in relation to the management of
the gas and oil sectors. This is a clear
involvement in Bolivian internal affairs by the
Obama administration. At the end of the day, it
seems that theyre asking us to change the
constitution. This is something that not even
Bush did. If we just look at this, this makes
Obama seemlook worse than Bush. And the documents are there.
AMY GOODMAN: I know you have to leave. My last
question is: youve called for a climate tribunal; what do you mean?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Those who do
damage to planet earth and those who do damage
need to be judged. Those who do not fulfill the
terms of the Kyoto Protocol should also be
judged. And for those ends, we have to organize a
tribunal for climate justice in the United Nations.
AMY GOODMAN: And one degree Celsius?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Thats our proposal.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think it could be achieved?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Yes. Yes,
otherwise it would be a lack of commitment to humanity.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think there will be a deal that comes out of Copenhagen?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] I doubt it.
Were developing other proposals for my intervention.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think its catastrophic that theres no deal?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] No, its a
waste of time. And if the leaders of countries
cannot arrive in an agreement, why dont the peoples then decide together?
AMY GOODMAN: We will leave it there. I thank you very much, President Morales.
AMY GOODMAN: The Bolivian President Evo Morales
speaking to us here in Copenhagen. This is
Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. Its Climate
Countdown. You can go to our website at
democracynow.org to read the transcript of what
President Morales had to say and also to see or hear the video podcast.
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