TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Feb10/11)
11 February 2010
Third World Network

Bolivia warns Accord could result in 3-4 degree warming
Published in SUNS #6861 dated 11 February 2010

Geneva, 10 Feb (Meena Raman) -- The Foreign Minister of Bolivia has expressed deep concern about the inadequacy of the emission reduction pledges made by developed countries under the Copenhagen Accord and warned that this could lead to global warming of more than 3 to even 4 degrees Celsius.

In a press conference together with indigenous peoples and peasant communities held in Bolivia on 8 February, the Minister, Mr. David Choquehuanca, said that "the commitments of the developed countries, related to greenhouse gas emission reductions, will result in more than 3 degrees C increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels".

He added that, "Some experts even say that the temperature could rise as high as 4 degrees C above pre-industrial levels".

"The situation is serious. An increase of temperature of more than 1 degree above pre-industrial levels would result in the disappearance of our glaciers in the Andes, and the flooding of various islands and coastal zones," said the Minister.

In the Copenhagen climate talks in December, the Bolivian government demanded that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 40% or more below 1990 levels by 2020.

Choquehuanca said that the Copenhagen Accord was a step backwards from the existing Kyoto Protocol.

"The way these commitments have been made in the badly named Copenhagen Accord shows that this is a backwards step from the Kyoto Protocol," he said.

"Under the Kyoto Protocol, everyone had to first define a common goal for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and then it was up to the developed states in Annex 1 of the Kyoto Protocol to make reduction commitments to arrive at this objective. Now, the methodology that is imposed by the Copenhagen Accord is that each developed country notes what it is going to do without considering the common target," he stressed.

(The Bolivian Minister was referring to what is required under the Kyoto Protocol, where the aggregate targets for developed country Parties need to be determined and then apportioned through negotiations among the developed countries. The Copenhagen Accord only requires developed countries to indicate their commitments in an appendix without the prior setting of aggregate targets for the developed countries as a whole.)

The Bolivian Minister further said that "what is happening, in terms of greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments by the developed countries, reinforces the need for a World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights, that will be held in Bolivia (in April this year)".

"This Conference will be a transparent and inclusive event, in which no one will be marginalized. The conference will be attended by citizens, social movements and scientists. We have also been inviting all the governments and the organizations within the United Nations to participate as delegates and experts to discuss along with the peoples how to address the crisis that affects us all," he further explained.

The Bolivian Minister's views are fortified by recent analysis of the pledges under the Copenhagen Accord by scientific groups, Ecofys, Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute, that assessed the pledges made by both developed and developing countries so far, concluding that they add up to a level of emissions in 2020 that would be in line with a global temperature rise of over 3 degrees Celsius. (See TWN Info Service on Climate Change dated 10 February). +