Peoples Climate Summit speaks for the exploited and oppressed

Outside the scandalous UN meeting in Lima, an unofficial international assembly met to plan global resistance to capitalism and fight for a model of life in harmony with Nature and Mother Earth.

The Lima Declaration, published below, was adopted by the Peoples Summit on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. The text is also available in Spanish and French.


Antolin Huascar of Peru’s National Agrarian Confederation welcomes participants from around the world.

The Peoples Summit on Climate Change, held in Lima from 8 to 11 December 2014, is an expression of the mobilization and resistance of a wide range of Peruvian and international organizations, movements, platforms, social networks and women, peasant, indigenous, youth, environmental, religious, artistic and cultural groups. We have met to continue our debates and share a variety of ways to resist and fight for the construction of social justice, against the patriarchal, racist and homophobic capitalist system, for the respect of the diversity of life without exploitation nor spoliation of natural resources, for the right of the people to decide upon their community-based energy sources, for the reduction of social inequality, and to promote Good Living as a model of life in harmony with Nature and Mother Earth.

Capital is looking for ways to overcome its systemic crisis and therefore imposes the capture of water, the plundering of territories and the natural heritage, predation, the production of fossil fuels, increasing exploitation of workers, the repression of social movements, and physical and psychological violence, while tightening its mechanisms for the criminalization of peoples´ struggles, militarization and territorial control. All of this is being encouraged by media corporations. Adding to this reality, we find is the capture of states and their bureaucracies by economic powers, the servicing of unfair and corrupt debt, and a variety of facts favoring exclusively the real powers behind changing governments, which follow the mandate of national companies and big transnational corporations and their political operators.

Under these circumstances, the Peoples Summit represents the voice of the exploited and oppressed sectors of the world, of those marginalized by an economic and cultural system, which subordinates them to racist, fundamentalist and male chauvinist sectors and employers, who benefit from the capitalist model. At this crucial moment for humanity, when the extremely serious climate change we are currently suffering requires urgent actions by global society we call on the governments and the United Nations system, meeting at the COP 20, to adopt the necessary agreements, which will respect and value the lives of original, peasant and urban peoples and promote the preservation of global biodiversity. We reject any market mechanism, which might be suggested as a solution to climate and environmental problems.

As we meet at this summit we take up and continue earlier struggles, which have become part of the fabric of our peoples; today we can build on the strength gained from collective achievement. On this basis, we declare and demand:

The governments of the world must respect our territories, our rights and our ways of life, our cultures, customs and views concerning life and the world we live in. We denounce the exploitation of our natural resources and our territories by the mining industry, which threaten our livelihoods, the sources of our identity and the harmonious relationship between our communities and Mother Earth. We demand the recognition of the territorial property rights of the communities, which traditionally lived on their land. We neither accept any external control of these territories nor do we agree to the negotiation and implementation of false climate solutions. Governments must focus on the respect of our ancestral ways of life and the recognition of our self-­determination as nations and original peoples.

We also make it clear that the series of initiatives aimed at reverting the trend towards climate destruction, into which our planet has been steered, must take into account the historical responsibilities of the developed countries, as well as the recognition and reparation of the historical ecological debt owed to the global South. More specifically, private equity-­owned transnational corporations from developed countries must be held responsible for their worldwide actions and practices. We call for full justice in the pollution cases involving, among others, Newmont and Doe Run in Peru, as well as Chevron-­Texaco, which provoked one of the worst ecocides in the history of the planet during its path through the Amazon.

We ask governments and companies to accept and respect our right to decent work, including the full exercise of individual and collective rights, and to guarantee a fair transition process to a world, which will enable us to improve our quality of life. We demand guaranteed universal access to social protection and security systems, respect of our freedom of association, and a fair, equitable distribution of the wealth produced thanks to our work and our knowledge.

In our view, actions against climate change will not be efficient or viable, unless they are promoted as part of effective public policies favoring small family-­-based, peasant farming, land reform, food sovereignty and security for our peoples, self-­sustained production on an agro­-ecological, indigenous base without genetic modifications or the use of agro-­chemicals, oriented towards human consumption and the preservation of our biodiversity. We believe that in order to move forward towards a fair world with a local, solidarity-­-oriented, cooperative, feminist and communal economy it is essential to recognize both the right to food and the enormous share of peasant family farming, which contributes more than 70% of world food production. We call for a stop of agrofuel production and expansion, which lead to deforestation, land erosion, as well as water and air pollution, and amount to a new form of territorial recolonization.

As part of the strategy of capital, over the past few years the process of privatization, commercial exploitation and financialization of nature, as expressed in the principles of green economy and its false solutions for the climate crisis, has deepened. These false solutions include, among others, Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM), Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects, genetic modification, agrofuels, geoengineering, hydroelectric megaprojects, nuclear power plants, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and climate-­-smart agriculture. The strategy of capital also includes what we call the architecture of impunity of transnational corporations and governments through free trade agreements and investment protection treaties, among others, which aim at the privatization of basic services such as access to water, education, health care and housing, and thereby infringe the human rights of workers and peoples. The Peoples Summit rejects these strategies of capital.

As said before, we denounce the capitalist­-patriarchal system, which sustains the oppression and control of women´s bodies, work and lives, encourages sexual violence and the trafficking of women, and marginalizes them from a number of areas of social and public life. It will be necessary to move forward to another social division of labor, which will eliminate the subordination of women´s work, and which will neither make their care activities invisible, without which social reproduction would be impossible, nor subordinate them to the mandate of the market. We demand a radical change towards the recognition of reproductive work as the basis of human sustainability and the sustainability of the relation between individuals and communities. All alternatives must include a feminist perspective and encourage a fairer relationship between men and women.

We advocate the promotion of responsible, unalienated consumption based on the adoption of healthy habits and patterns in line with human needs, not subject to the ambitions of capital. A kind of consumption, which will neither contribute to environmental pollution nor to climate change. We encourage the responsible use of vital resources, recycling and the sustainable handling of solid waste. We commit ourselves to promote citizen´s awareness concerning the actions we might take as individuals or collectives, in order to move forward towards a fairer world.

It is the states´ duty to take decisions and adopt immediate measures for the protection, conservation and recovery of basins, ecosystems, high mountains, highland wetlands and wetlands in general, uplands, steppes, forests, aquifers, lakes, rivers, springs, and coastal marine areas, all of which feed Mother Earth. These ecosystems and water resources are threatened by extractive industries, such as the mining, petrol, coal and gas industries, by the clearing of forests and by the dumping of waste, among other causes. The human right to equal access to healthy water and sanitation services must be guaranteed. Only public companies in the hands of the public can provide such guarantees.

The Peoples Summit questions the inconsistency of the Peruvian government hosting the COP 20, given its recent environmental, labor and tax policies favoring private investment and reducing standards and regulations, all of which threatens collective, environmental and cultural rights. We denounce the repression suffered by indigenous representatives, trade union and peasant leaders and environmental activists, as well as the harassment of delegations to the Peoples Summit from various regions of the country and from abroad.

The Peoples Summit questions the corporations capture of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Big transnational corporations“accompany” governments during global negotiations, in order to agree on measures,whose purpose is limited exclusively to whitewash industrial countries from their responsibilities for greenhouse emissions and for bearing the main responsibility for climate change. We ask for domestic and foreign debt service payments – which stifle our peoples and limit the states ´ capacity to address the basic needs of the population– to be assigned to the fight against the environmental and climate crisis, because the survival of Humanity and of all living species on the planet depends on it.

The Peoples Summit welcomes the courageous and enthusiastic march of tens of thousands of citizens from around the world, who joined the World March in Defense of Mother Earth (10 December) in Lima and other cities around the globe. This impressive concentration of organizations, movements and delegations from Peru and numerous countries is a clear indication of the position of peoples in favor of a fair,democratic world, which guarantees the harmony between the human being and the rights of Nature and Mother Earth.

We will actively strengthen the coordination of our struggle in the course of the ongoing multiple mobilizations during 2015, with a peak of activities in Paris, France, where the COP 21 will take place. We, the social movements of the world, are preparing ourselves to continue our struggle for the defence of life in each of our territories, until our demands are met. We will keep up our struggle until the system changes … Not the climate.

Peoples Summit Lima, 11 December 2014

Posted in Climate Justice, Featured, Meetings, UN Meetings
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Nick Fillmore, Toronto
1 year 8 months ago

Dear Friends, I write about climate change issues, and I am concerned that you do not have strong enough tactics to force the multi-national polluters to change. You are totally vague when you talk here about opposing them and irresponsible governments. You have been losing this battle for more than 30 years. Just telling these people how you would like things to be changed is of little use. I think change will likely come based on how much power you can build.

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