Council of Canadians Cherrypicks the Peoples Agreement from Cochabamba
PEJnews – Joan Russow | Global Compliance Research Project
What was significant in the Cochabamba conference was that there was a final comprehensive People’s Agreement, emerging from the seventeen group discussions. In a recent release, the Council of Canadians has misrepresented the Peoples Agreement by asking the Canadian government to do less than was asked for at the conference, and by cherrypicking parts of the agreement.
While in the section in the COC release, “What happened in Cochambamba”, the Council of Canadians reported the following:
“On April 17‐19, [April 19 – 22] 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the Bolivian government hosted a conference called TheWorld Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, bringing together more than 34,000 participants (with 10,000 registered from countries outside of South America) for a dialogue on alternative proposals to the climate crisis. Government representatives from 147 countries were present, and at least 45 were active participants. The process included 17 working groups that met and discussed key issues relating to climate justice. There were also main plenary panels and working group events.”
What was significant in the Cochabamba conference was that there was a final comprehensive People’s Agreement, emerging from the seventeen group discussions. The Council of Canadians has misrepresented the document by asking the Canadian government to do less than was asked for at the conference, and by cherrypicking parts of the document.
In the recent release by the Council of Canadians, there appears to be a disjunction between the position of Maude Barlow, chair of Council of Canadians and the Council of Canadians negotiator. Surely when Maude appeared at the UN along with President Morales she did so under the presumption that she supported the conclusions in the People’s Agreement. One would expect that after appearing at the UN that the Council of Canadians would change their weak Copenhagen proposal and fully demand that Canada abide by the People’s Agreement. It would have been more ethical for the Council not to have issued a cherry picking release, and just followed up the UN presentation with a statement that the Council of Canadians fully supports the Peoples Agreement.
For too long, self serving NGOs, more concerned about sustaining their power and “brand” have been undermining the discussions on climate change. Often the reasons were not immediately evident. At the UN, at a NGO meeting on climate change and the Global Environmental Facility, in 1997 when the issue of transparency was raised in relation to corporate participation on the NGO board, Felix Dodd from a UK NGO admitted that a representative from British Petroleum was on his board. More and more, the close ties between the corporate sector and NGOs are being revealed.
The Council of Canadians, does not have corporate connections so why are they willing to be weak? Why are the Council of Canadians afraid to call upon the Canadian Government for an immediate end to the production in the tar sands instead of the weak request to “end the expansion of the tar sands” as stated in their report?
Council of Canadians report can be read at: http://www.canadians.org/energy/documents/climatejustice/Cochabamba-report.pdf]
[The Peoples Agreement calling for 50% cut on 1990 by 2017, 1° C,
and 300 PPM and more can be read at: http://pwccc.wordpress.com/]