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“Before COP 16 and its false solutions, for an eco-socialist alternative."

PRT statement on Cancun

Tuesday 18 January 2011

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On December 8, 2010 a press conference was held in Cancun, within the framework of the mobilizations against the COP 16, in which a delegation from the PRT participated along with comrades from Bolivia, Canada and other places. Comrade Luis Rangel of the political committee of the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT) read the following statement:

The Conference of the Parties (COP 16) that is currently being held in Cancun highlights a new failure, as in Copenhagen last year, of the attempts of green capitalism and the UN to find a way out of the climate crisis caused by environmental devastation on the planet (for which big capital and its interests are alone responsible) and puts at risk the lives of millions of human beings. This is because you cannot heal fire with fire, and whereas the blind pursuit of profit at the expense of everything else has created the problem of the evil of climate change, the COP16 and the majority of government delegations in it (with honourable exceptions) seek today, through the so-called REDD mechanism, not only not to find a way out of the climate problem, but to do some profitable business.

Nothing gives the right to the governments and enterprises entrenched in the Moon Palace to dispose of natural resources, mainly forest based, which do not have owners and above all cannot be commodified or have a price put on them, because nature and the market respond to logics which are diametrically different. For it is no secret that the current environmental crisis brings into play the lives of the majority of the human population, especially the most vulnerable, workers, peasants, women, aboriginal peoples and so on. It is striking that these are the main groups excluded from COP 16, when it should be precisely those most affected who should propose alternatives, not a small group of technocrats who are afraid of the peoples, as shown by the excessive operational security deployed to ensure COP 16 is held in the greatest secrecy.

We in the PRT maintain on the contrary that the search for alternatives and solutions to the climate crisis must be extremely democratic. It is this conviction that brings us today here to this table and above all to join with our forces and ideas with the environmental, rural, social and political movements present at Cancun. To exchange experiences, reflections and proposals from below. We believe that the meetings held in parallel to the official Summit are only a first step towards the construction of a mass movement against climate change. Therefore we support the demands of the summit of the held earlier this year in Cochabamba, Bolivia, especially regarding the need for a global referendum on climate change.

We are convinced that the solution to the climate problem cannot currently be limited to public policies, programmes like REDD and much less to the activities of “socially responsible” companies. The solution is above all political, economic and ideological. It is necessary to change our paradigms of development and progress, it is urgent that people are given control over their own lives to change this society from the base. For this we say the solution is necessarily anti-capitalist, the alternative is eco-socialist. Therefore, is not enough to ask the governments to stop or change this or that policy or mega-project, another power, another government, other policy and for this purpose another left is urgently needed, committed to the interests of the majorities and not only to elections. We call on the movements and organizations present or absent in these days of reflection and protest to provide continuity and unity against ecological devastation and the climate change process. We must change the system, not the climate. Because another left is possible, necessary and urgent. Another world is possible, an eco-socialist world.