Copenhagen – NO  Cochabamba – SI   Climate Debt discussion emerges.

Discussion via emails on issues for the forthcoming World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 19th to 22nd April 2010 are developing and a log of recent submissions appears below. Please register and contribute at or add your comments below. The World needs your help !!

A point of agreement among  submissions appears to be that technology for reducing emissions should be provided free of any proprietary restrictions to third World countries by countries possessing or having developed the technology.

This can be argued in terms of analogy of WTO provisions for compulsory licensing of patent drug for infectious diseases, thereby allowing cheap public health measures. Measures which reduce carbon emissions are likewise in the interest of public health.  Please read on – Ricky Ward, Chiang Mai

12 POST COP15 | TIME TO BE BOLD – TIEMPO DE SER AUDACES Friday, 26 March, 2010 1:43 PM extract from this VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT appears below

Addressing climate debt, financing and technology transfer

The historically large emission state parties must acknowledge their emissions debt to developing countries. To address the emission debt developed states must; (i) cancel the existing debt owed by developing countries, (ii) implement the long-standing commitment of .7% of GDP for overseas development aid in public funding (ODA), and (iii) ensure new funding for climate change compensation, and for socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound development and transfer of technology through public funding not through public private partnerships (iv) above all, specifically compensate Indigenous peoples.

A funding institution must be established that ensures funding flows down directly to regional levels and local communities. Such a fund could be named the Fund for the Implementation of the UNFCCC, and it would fund the development, promotion and transfer of socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound renewable energy, transportation, agriculture and forestry.  This technology must be in the public domain unencumbered by private patents.

Technology transfer to developing countries

The administration of the fund must be with the full participation of all member states of the United Nations. This fund would replace the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the main source of funding for the UNFCCC. Funds must no longer be distributed by the Bretton Woods Institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The time has passed for bailing out banks and unsustainable corporations and for imposing IMF Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS).

11 Deuda moral, resarcimiento y tribunal de justicia climática – Moral debt, compensation and the Climate Justice Tribunal Friday, 26 March, 2010 8:13 AM

I think that speaking on  “climate debt”, one  should also talk about “moral debt” and “compensation”.

Moral debt .- Because the actions of a few generate reactions that affect us all, and it is the moral duty of those few to  create situations that enable the coordination of actions to conform  an international mechanism, independent of any  already established global organization, and recognized by all countries. This in order to echo all existing claims in favor of preventing irreparable harm because of global warming (generated together with other phenomena, because of the imbalance between humanity and nature).

Compensation: because the excessive contamination of some, is in  detrimental  to all. And, parallel to the recognized as claims for damages in other cases, the same must be the case for issues of contamination, which brings us back to the need to create an “entity” to take care of it.

From this perspective, the creation of a “Climate Court” is indispensable to carry out any action relevant to the topic, such as those taken into account in the “background for the working group” which are among others: the compensation and / or indemnification, the transfer of experience (knowledge) and technology that enable countries to develop more appropriate to the care of the planet (taking into account the conclusions obtained in the 2nd working group) the administration and distribution of these and other resources, etc..

Therefor, it is extremely important that the formation of this “Climate Court” gives its first step in this “Ist World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth.”

Victor Alejandro Toro Bloch
Experimental Center Bolivia

10: responsabilidad por la deuda climática – responsability for climate debt

Thursday, 25 March, 2010 8:58 PM

Dear participants of the WG on Climate Debt

I send you hereby the reflections of Erica Moncada, from Colombia, who refers to the reference questions,

Kind greetings,Nele Marien
Facilitator WG 8
Good day, compared to the first article on climate debt consider it important to provide the following:

The responsibility for proper use of natural resources should not only be acquired by countries in one sector or another, it is important to note that the economic model implemented in Northern countries as mentioned in this first article, is the same which is evident in countries affected by natural resource extraction. It is highly desirable that the economic model inextricably integrated prevention and cyclical strategic ecosystems for all mankind.

The responsibility for the issue of greenhouse gas producers should be proportional, but should not lose sight of the commitment generated for a common benefit, which is to protect the natural resources. The more developed countries must not only pay for what they were allowed to pollute but must demonstrate and show their interest in improving their industrial activities with progressive changes beneficial to the environment. As well as developed countries, we (developing countries) generate environmental impacts from implementation of core activities; it is true that we do it in smaller numbers, but from my point of view it is important to address the problem of climate change among all, providing appropriate clean technologies and concepts implemented in the normal working routine in developed countries and in the process of development.

The climate debt should be seen as the responsibility and commitment that economicaly more developed  peoples/countries  should take to protect natural resources and to protect spaces that ensure the emergence of life. This responsibility should be taken  with the strategic alliance of the less developed peoples by promoting the protection of natural resources, providing the necessary tools to achieve a common goal, such as transfer of clean technologies, efficiency of industrial processes for reduction of pollution with liquid waste, atmospheric contamination, etc.., without the use of the territory or its inhabitants.

The main causes of climate debt are:

The invasion of atmospheric space with Greenhouse Gases from all countries

The evasion of responsibility for emissions made in excess by developed countries, related to the economic model and technological advancements available to mitigate the impact caused.

Developed countries should support developing countries to change its economic model based on the use of clean energy; this support should be made transferring  clean technologies, free of patents,  and providing the necessary resources for the implementation of this technologies.

The countries suffering from underdevelopment should encourage agricultural activities, take care for natural resources,  and implement  an economic transformation towards a green economy.

The political and economic interests of each country must be linked to a protection and a fair interaction on natural resources; it is of vital importance to include human activity in the natural system by imposing limits to act in natural spaces,  and, in case of being surpasses,  verify a corrective action for the impact. Eg countries with higher purchasing power not only have to pay for pollution; they furthermore have to prove to the world that they are also committed to their natural environment and involve the affected population to be observators of the changes.

Sincerely, Erika Moncada P.
Student Environmental Sanitation Technology
Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas.
Bogota Colombia.

8: How to attend climate Climate Crime/ Como atender los delitos climáticos

Wednesday, 24 March, 2010 8:55 AM

Dear Participants of the WG on Climate Debt,

I hereby forward you the ideas of Dragutin Lauric, from Bolivia, on some strategic actions to be taken in order to attend environmental crime.

With kind Greetings,

Nele Marien
Facilitator WG Deuda Climática

I cordially greet all participants of this group,

I send my views concerning the interpretation and promulgation of laws on climate crimes and consolidation of an International Court for the Environment.

Within the context of the discussions that this group has, I refer these suggestions with respect and consideration, for anything I am at your orders.

The following actions would have to be  consolidated in order to conform and consolidate:

1.-An International Tribunal for the environment.
2.-Legislation proposals on climate crimes against humanity.
3.-Bills on parameters for reduction or elimination of activities that have negative environmental impact, eg the emission of gases.
4.-Agree on the establishment of an international mechanism to legally enforceable commitments by the countries, but not in the framework of the UN, but an independent worldwide organization, with a greater participation of affected countries that claim a subsidy or compensation of damage caused by countries that are most responsible for pollution and negative environmental impacts.
5.This court should be an independent organ of the UN, moreover, the court’s jurisdiction should also have the authority to enforce other multilateral environmental agreements, in addition to fulfilling commitments under the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).
6.-States should establish an independent commission or a public prosecutor, related to a United Nations organization such as UNEP (United Nations Environment) to continue proceedings against a country or a number of countries particular.
7 .-This should be composed and funded by the forthcoming World Conference of Peoples on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
8 .Its  decisions should be reinforced by internal policies of governments that are part of the World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

Dragutin Lauric


Dear Participants of WG 8,

I hereby send you the reflections of Edgar Centeno, Global Alliance for Efficient Development EDWA, from Bolivia. These reflections wEre posted as a comment on the webside, but in order to have them present in the debate, I also send them to the working group.

Kind Greetings

Nele Marien

Facilitadora GT 8


Many calculations are made, in economic terms, on the debt of industrialized countries for the environmental damage caused to the world, and these figures are multimillionaires. Beyond financial rewards, the other debt of these states is the generation and implementation of laws, forcing companies to make major changes in their ways of production to avoid an increasing environmental pollution. It is  political irresponsibility that is leading the world to the edge of an environmental disaster. These bills need to be rapidly and urgently passed in their respective houses.  Several of these proposals have been discussed for many years, and economic interests are above political interests. This conflict of interests must be ended and the evidences of the gradual decay of nature are obvious. These laws should not be dilated and specific deadlines should be given in order to be issued by these nations.

The World Conference must create entities officially recognized by all the states of the world, having control over the compensations’ payment and over the emerging and rapidly implemented political debts. It is not only about calculating debts; it is also about the ways in which these debts are paid.

The current procedures are very complicated and only entities or companies that have great support to achieve compensations, can have access.

We have to break down all those barriers and get in action through these funds, in order to immediately contribute in climate change’s reduction or adaptation. All that money will not generate water in the dry bed of thousands of rivers, but it will remedy in some extent the effects of climate change. All that money will not solve the increasing pollution; rather, it is the implementation of severe and urgent policies that would slow down in some extent the hunger for economic gain of multinational companies regardless of our mother earth.

I look forward to your reactions, so we can assemble a proactive and purposeful group. This will enable us to generate proposals in order to ensure life for future generations and those now living.

Edgar Centeno, Global Alliance for Efficient Development EDWA, Bolivia.

6. Some questions to focus our debate — Algunas preguntas para enfocar el debate Monday, 22 March, 2010 1:29 PM

Dear Participant of the Working Group on Climate Debt,

Thanking you for the different contributions sent up till now, I want to open a few questions so we can focus our debate:

1) How do you see climate debt, which are its causes, and how do these relate to the different sub-components of the climate debt?. The related question is which are the different ways to honor the climate debt, according to each of the different components?
As a reference of this discussion I invite you to read the background paper that was sent in the starting of this electronic discussion, which is also available on the web, under the title of Climate Debt.
As a part of a major understanding of climate debt itself, the text on the appropriation of the atmosphere was very useful, as well as the document of friends of the earth.

2) Several persons have suggested elements that are not properly the climate debt itself, but are aggravating elements. I would consider in this category the ideas on negative policies imposed to developing countries in the name of climate change, and the paragraphs extracted from the FOE study which state that many of the emissions in developing countries are to produce goods that are destined to developed countries.
How do we see those and other aggravating elements, and their relation to the climate debt itself?

3) We welcome any ideas on how to make sure that climate debt can be honored.
I invite you to reflect upon these points, but at the same time all texts and ideas on climate debt are welcome
With kind greetings,Nele Marien
Facilitator WG 8 Climate Debt

5. FOEI climate debt discussion paper 2005 – documento sobre deuda climática de Amigos de la Tierra , 2005 Saturday, 20 March, 2010 12:51 PM

PDF file climatedebt.pdf

Dear participants of the Working Group on Climate Debt,

I hereby forward you a document and a presentation on Climate debt from Friends of the Earth wich was sent to us by Roque Pedace. The document is from 2005, which is a notable early contribution to the concept.

Many of the issues in the document are explained with big clarity, but most of them are present in the documents which have been send up till now. The previous contribution of Roque Padece also gives a good idea of some key elements of this text.

Even though, there were some paragraphs that were in now way present in the discussion up till now, and which I consider particularly interesting. They come from page 6 of the document, and I reproduce them here in English and Spanish. (Unfortunately the document is only available in English, and we don’t have the capacity to translate the whole document)

If anybody finds any other paragraphs or ideas interesting in this document, we are willing to help with the translation of those.

I also invite everybody to send reflections on these ideas or this document, or to send any other contribution.

With kind greetings,

Nele Marien
Facilitator group 8 – Climate Debt
While the contribution of developing countries to overall emissions is undoubtedly on the rise, from the equity point of view it is vital to recognize the fundamental difference between emissions originating from wealthy countries and from developing countries – that is, the actions that cause the emissions. In the North, emissions include “luxury emissions” created by producing consumer goods, running home appliances, heating large homes and fuelling private cars and airplanes. Emissions in the South, on the other hand, are often “subsistence emissions” that are due to actions directly related to basic needs such as growing food, rearing cattle and burning wood for fuel.
Another aspect rarely considered is that a large portion of the emissions originating in the South is directly linked to the consumption of industrialized countries. Greenhouse gas emissions in OPEC countries come mostly from oil production, but nearly two-thirds of the world’s oil is consumed in OECD countries. A similar trend can be observed with natural gas.
A considerable proportion of the energy-intensive mining industry in developing countries caters to the needs of industrialized countries – as more than 80% of all raw materials produced are consumed in the North. In many poorer countries, the single largest source of emissions is deforestation, which is partly caused by the demand for wood in wealthier northern countries. For instance, approximately 70% of African rainforests have been destroyed – much of this for timber exports to industrialized nations. These are all examples of unequal exchange, one of the two components of ecological debt as explained above, since the negative impacts of these actions are absorbed by the exporting countries without repayment by the importer.
These are all relevant cases of northern emissions taking place in southern countries that result in ecological debt, but an even deeper analysis reveals that additional mechanisms are also involved. The North is actively imposing its resource and energy-intensive lifestyle on the South by shaping the world economy to its advantage, maintaining huge debts, and using advertising and media to set an example for consumption levels that only a relatively small part of the world could actually achieve. Additionally, many of the current tools for global governance, such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are predominantly controlled by northern countries. For example, when the IMF imposes a Structural Adjustment Programme on a southern nation, this often leads to cuts in government spending and the increased marginalization of certain sections of the population. Poverty, it has been shown, places great strain on natural resources including forests and other biodiversity and can contribute to logging, deforestation and other environmental impacts that produce greenhouse gas emissions.

4. REACTION ON: Contribution from the Third World Network – Contribución desde la Red del Tercer Mundo Thursday, 18 March, 2010 7:39 PM

Dear Participants,
I hereby send you the reflections of Nancy Camacho, from Bolivia.
With kind greetings, Nele Marien, Facilitator Working Group on Climate Debt

Climate change can be understood as the changes in normal temperatures, changes in the frequency, intensity, and season of rain falls and wind, changes in the natural water cycle with short and long term effects. Droughts and floods are foreseen in short term; predictions for the long term are temperature increase, glaciers and eternal snows disappearing (water resources), disappearing and transformation of certain ecosystems with their flora, fauna and socio cultural conditions.

The causes for Climate Change – CC are: development based on non renewable fossil fuel usage (petroleum, carbon), unsustainable domestic consumption levels, deforestation and large scale conventional agriculture (monoculture, desertification of productive land, indiscriminate usage of agrochemicals).

The richest countries are responsible for the three quarters of green house gas emissions; however, the poorest are the ones that suffer the severe effects of climate change in terms of water shortage and limited access to produce and have access to food.

In Africa, for example, the changes in rain falls regime affects food production, and the increase of temperatures is fomenting the spread of sicknesses and plagues.

In Bolivia, according to Oxfam´s report, “Bolivia: cambio climatico, pobreza y adaptación entre el año 1975 y 2006”, the glaciers of the Royal mountain range have lost more than 40 % of their volume. Besides, Bolivia is the tenth most biodiverse country of the world, its territory contains a great variety of ecosystems which causes it to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, climate change effects in indigenous communities manifests in the last decades as an increase in temperatures and in rain falls.

Scientists have warned and demonstrated that annual global emissions have to go back or even below 1990 levels by 2020 if we want to recover the balance of our planet.

However, the historical responsibility of developed countries that have grown in the last 20 years emitting green house gases does not take into account yet that a change in our attitude towards climate change mitigation and adaptation measures is the basis to begin with international negotiations.

The biggest meeting called and programmed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), lunched with almost 34 thousand participants. This was supposed to be the scenario to discuss whose responsibility it is and how they should adopt it, mitigate it, and adapt it. So far, the richest countries keep the discourse that they will not risk their economical development to mitigate climate change effects.

As a consequence, and gathering central points of the international debate and alternative proposals, I understand that developed countries have the moral and economical obligation to:

1.       Reduce their contaminating emissions, to at least 40 % below 1990 levels by 2020, mainly through domestic measures. However, there is no seriousness or political will to since for example, the US and China do not talk about a treaty but about a  date (ignoring when) to discuss this issue, that can probably be Mexico.

2.       Promote and guarantee financing for mitigation in poor countries to limit emissions growth (without implying to stop development). Rich countries have the technology and money to do it.

3.       Finance technological innovations that contribute to promote processes of adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

4.       On our side, we have to work, as we have been working, in the promotion of innovation to adaptation to climate change.  However, mostly in the defense and conservation of our natural resources as  strategic lines for our sovereignty and development.

We are certain that the biggest responsibility lies upon the richest countries. However, we have to work and deepen international treaties and be co responsible (rich and poor countries) with the planet and overall with future generations.

3. Text on apropiation of atmosphere — texto sobre la apropación de la atmósfera Wednesday, 17 March, 2010 6:49 PM


The climate system is a (global) ‘commons’ with different environmental roles. Up to the industrialization era it was considered a public good , since in practice it was infinite (it didn’t wear out with use) and non exclusive (use does not prevent others from using it). As greenhouse gases (GHG) have accumulated, the latter property was lost, since the current and future users no longer enjoy the possibility of emitting these gases without restrictions, since we are running the risk of a climate catastrophe for all. The system can now be compared to a road or a bridge, that wear out insignificantly when used, but which have a limited transportation capacity (in this case, the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb and recycle emissions in a stable way).

Consequently, past and present emitters that exceed their quota (be it States, companies or individuals) have appropriated themselves of the system at the expense of others. In other terms, they occupy the environmental space of others. This happens as a result of obtaining de facto property rights, since the emitters are not the owners of the system in the same way that someone owns water or forests once he or she has obtained that right through the processes of privatization of goods and services. In fact, they do not appropriate themselves of the air as such, but of the right to contaminate it without taking responsibility for their polluting action.

The  overall quantity of emissions that should be eliminated to recover the environmental integrity of the climate system is regardless of these considerations. But the future distribution of these reductions (mitigation) is not. The past emissions have an accumulative effect in the atmosphere and make up a climate debt that should be paid to those who were and are being de facto expropriated of their environmental space.

Meanwhile, to estimate the amount of that debt, the environmental space should be accurately defined, so  many proposals have considered that we are all equal in the eyes of the atmosphere and therefore everyone has the same right of use (per capita equality principle). The Kyoto Protocol has not adopted this principle, but the one of ‘grandfathering’ (or acquired rights), by which those who polluted the most, could continue doing so as long as they accepted progressive reductions, whilst those who polluted the least, did not have reduction obligations. Currently, despite the mandatory reductions assigned to them by the Protocol, the former (be it States, companies or individuals) continue obtaining most of the benefits from the exploitation of fossil fuels and continue transferring proportionally their environmental impacts caused by climate change to the entire human kind, at negligible costs .

This unlawful appropriation of the atmosphere is at the root of the conflict, regardless in which way the reductions that were agreed under the Protocol are implemented. In fact, it would still be an unfair distribution, even if there were no market mechanisms involved and if the reductions were only applied at source,ie where the emissions originated. Thus, there is no cause-effect relation between both. Nonetheless, it can be rightfully argued that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), one of the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms, is unfair from the outset,  since the largest polluters are trading emission rights to which they are not legitimately entitled (regardless of other CDM injustices, such as the commodification of forests, the increase in the climate debt,[1] etc.).

The solution agreed in the Protocol was actually the acceptance of a de facto situation, that is, that those that are historically responsible (for climate change) were not willing to apply justice criteria to burden sharing. Besides rejecting the assignment of per capita rights –which result from considering the atmosphere as a (global) commons—other criteria, such as the differentiated ability of the parties to act, were not duly taken into account, for instance, owing to the unequal wealth of the nations (also to some extent linked with the unequal current and past usage of the climate system).
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in contrast, includes principles such as the differentiated historical responsibility, which can be advocated as the basis for a  solution based on justice. Also, the shared management approach (ideally exercising solidarity) of (global) commons such as the atmosphere is accepted in the UN ,as opposed to grandfathering the access to the resources in it .

Demand for climate justice has been targeted primarily against this appropriation of the quota of space in the climate system, which the governments who bear the greatest share of responsibility have attributed to themselves based on (ad hoc) power relations, instead of on explicit criteria of equity. It has also focused on urging them to take responsibility for the damages caused by their impacts, i.e. the reparation and compensation costs, besides the costs of the urgently needed energy transition (ie adaptation and mitigation costs).

It should also be taken into account that if the historical responsibility promoted by the Convention is taken seriously (see  various documents on climate debt,eg Bolivian submission) , some countries should have inmissions, that is, negative emissions. One way to accomplish this is through domestic biological carbon sinks , but these are plagued with a variety of problems, both political and practical.,eg the commodification of nature through plantations projects as proposed in the CDM or now in REDD. A better approach entails emissions reductions abroad which they should somehow pay for. This means an obligation to pay for sustainable  activities without fossil fuels in the countries with the least share of responsibility.This is a big challenge for developing countries since they must adopt a zero emission target and at the same time fight for the recognition of this debt.

[1] The countries where the CDM projects are implemented get very little income out of that, and they sell their cheapest reduction options, which have little effect for a long term clean development and a more doubtful contribution to sustainability.

2. Contribution from the Third World Network – Contribución desde la Red del Tercer Mundo Monday, 15 March, 2010 5:39 PM

the world’s poor – who need access to energy and

resources to build the schools, houses and infrastructure that the rich world already has and continues to benefit from”

rich countries “Repay their emissions debt to developing countries through the deepest possible domestic reductions”

Repay the climate debt

A just and effective outcome for Copenhagen

We the undersigned groups, including development, environment, gender and youth

organisations, faith-based communities, indigenous peoples, and social and economic justice movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America call on the rich industrialized world to acknowledge its historic and current responsibility for the causes and adverse effects of climate change, and to fully, effectively and immediately repay its climate debt to poor countries, communities and people.

Climate change threatens the balance of life on Earth. Oceans are rising and acidifying; ice caps and glaciers are melting; forests, coral reefs and other ecosystems are changing or collapsing. The existence of some communities is imperilled, while others face growing barriers to their development. Unless curbed, an impending climate catastrophe risks increasingly violent weather, collapsing food systems, mass migration and unprecedented human conflict.

Poor countries, communities and people have contributed least to the causes of climate

change, yet are its first and worst victims. At greatest risk are women, indigenous peoples, poor people, small farmers, fisher-folk and forest communities, people relying on scarce water resources, youth and other groups susceptible to harm and health impacts.

A wealthy minority of the world’s countries, corporations and people, by contrast, are the principal cause of climate change. The developed countries representing less than one fifth of the world’s population have emitted almost three quarters of all historical emissions.

Their excessive historical and current emissions occupy the atmosphere and are the main

cause of current and committed future warming.

Developed countries have consumed more than their fair share of the Earth’s atmospheric space. On a per person basis, they are responsible for more than ten times the historical

emissions of developing countries. Their per person emissions today are more than four

times those of developing countries.

For their disproportionate contribution to the causes and consequences of climate change, developed countries owe a two-fold climate debt to the poor majority:

  • • For their excessive historical and current per person emissions – denying developing

countries their fair share of atmospheric space – they have run up an “emissions debt”

to developing countries; and

  • • For their disproportionate contribution to the effects of climate change – requiring

developing countries to adapt to rising climate impacts and damage – they have run up

an “adaptation debt” to developing countries.

Together the sum of these debts – emissions debt and adaptation debt – constitutes their

climate debt, which is part of a larger ecological, social and economic debt owed by the rich industrialized world to the poor majority.

Honouring these obligations is not only right; it is the basis of a fair and effective solution to climate change. Those who benefited most in the course of causing climate change must compensate those who contributed least but bear its adverse effects. They must compensate  developing countries for the two-fold barrier to their development – mitigating and adapting to climate change – which were not present for developed countries during the course of their development but which they have caused.

Developed countries, however, intend to write-off rather than honour their debt. In their

submissions to the climate negotiations they seek to pass on substantial adaptation costs to developing countries; evading rather than honouring their adaptation debt. And they seek to continue their high per person emissions; deepening rather than repaying their emissions debt, consuming additional atmospheric space, and crowding the world’s poor majority into a small and shrinking remainder.

We are concerned that continued excessive consumption of atmospheric space by the

world’s wealthy at the expense of the world’s poor – who need access to energy and

resources to build the schools, houses and infrastructure that the rich world already has and continues to benefit from – puts at risk the prospects of any viable solution to climate change and, with it, the safety of all nations and peoples, and the Earth.

As the basis of a fair and effective climate outcome we therefore call on developed countries to acknowledge and repay the full measure of their climate debt to developing countries commencing in Copenhagen. We demand that they :

  • • Repay their adaptation debt to developing countries by committing to full financing and compensation for the adverse effects of climate change on all affected countries, groups and people;
  • • Repay their emissions debt to developing countries through the deepest possible

domestic reductions, and by committing to assigned amounts of emissions that reflect

the full measure of their historical and continued excessive contributions to climate

change; and

  • • Make available to developing countries the financing and technology required to cover

the additional costs of mitigating and adapting to climate change, in accordance with the

Climate Convention.

Meeting these demands is a basic prerequisite for success in December 2009. Copenhagen must be a key turning point for climate justice – a major milestone on the journey towards safeguarding the Earth’s climate system and ensuring a future in which the rights and aspirations of all people can be realized.