For Immediate Release

Bolivian Climate Conference Signals Hope Despite Failed Copenhagen Climate Talks

WASHINGTON - In the wake of the failed UN Climate talks in Copenhagen and rich nations promoting the unwelcome 'Copenhagen Accord', the Bolivian government is convening the 'World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth' on April 19-22. [1]

Friend of the Earth International welcomes the conference and a delegation [2] plans to participate in it together with social movements, non-governmental organisations, government representatives, intellectuals and Indigenous Peoples from around the world.

This conference aims to open up space for civil society and government representatives to coalesce around common, just demands in order to give a new impetus and direction to the UN talks on climate change.

Friends of the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey said:

"Bolivia's positioning on environmental issues provides a beacon of hope which we encourage other governments and local authorities to follow. Despite being economically challenged, Bolivia has rightfully and bravely stood up to the divide and rule tactics that have been deployed by rich industrialised countries."

"The UN Climate Convention sets out basic principles of developed country responsibilities for current and historical emissions that are routinely undermined. Furthermore, the UNFCCC has become deeply manipulated and weakened by the governmental promotion of corporate interests above environmentally and socially sound solutions to climate change," he added.

The conference has seventeen working groups which will produce proposals on, for instance, the dangers of carbon markets, the Kyoto protocol, forests, agriculture and food sovereignty.

"The Kyoto Protocol contains false solutions such as carbon offsetting through the Clean Development Mechanism. This conference in Bolivia allows us to promote an alternative, sustainable approach along with other social movements, trade unions and Indigenous Peoples," said Friends of the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey.

Carbon offsetting loopholes allow business-as-usual pollution in the North. New proposals such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation for Developing Countries (REDD) threaten to privatise forests in order to try to offset the emissions of developed countries. There are particular dangers to the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples and the sanctioning of forest conversion to monoculture tree plantations which have detrimental social and environmental impacts.

Bolivia challenges the business-as-usual approach promoted by rich industrialised countries and has put forward progressive proposals on climate debt in order to demand the freeing up of environmental space and compensation to developing countries and communities facing climate impacts that they did not cause.


[1] The conference website is

[2] For more information contact the following spokespeople who will attend the conference in Bolivia:


Asad Rehman, Senior Campaigner, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy Program Co-ordinator

Meena Raman, Honorary Secretary of Friends of the Earth Malaysia


Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair,


Martin Drago, FoEI´s Food Sovereignty Program Co-coordinator

Kate Horner, Friends of the Earth US Policy Analyst,

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International coordinator of the Forest and Biodiversity Programme, Tel: + 506-83 38 32 04 or 506-22 68 60 39 (Costa Rican numbers)

Eduardo Giesen, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy Program Regional Coordinator

Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth El Salvador (CESTA) President: email


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Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental federation with 77 national member groups in 77 countries and more than 2 million individual members and supporters

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