People’s Summit in Lima Envisions Bottom-Up Movement for Global Climate Justice

Source: Common Dreams

Alternative gathering outside of UN talks brings together civil societies and social movements from across the globe

Social movements and civil societies from around the world are gathered in Lima, Peru this week with an ambitious goal: to “develop an alternative form of development, one that respects the limits and regenerative capacities of Mother Earth and tackles the structural causes of climate change.”

The “People’s Summit on Climate Change” is hosted by grassroots organizations and networks—including the Workers General Confederation of Peru, Andean Coordinator of Indigenous organizations, and Workers Autonomous Central of Peru.

It constitutes an alternative to the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also in Lima, where government representatives and corporate leaders are holding the latest in a series of UN talks.

“We, the social movements and the progressive forces of civil society are beginning to seriously prepare ourselves for the protracted struggle to defend the people and the planet and create a just transition from the extractive and exploitative economy to a democratic economy that aligns us with the natural processes of the earth,” Kali Akuno, from the Mississippi-based organization Cooperation Jackson, told Common Dreams from Lima.

“A framework of global expropriation”

According to Akuno, who is attending the alternative summit as part of a Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegation of U.S. communities on the front-lines of climate change, what is happening within the UN meeting is cynical: “At this moment the states and the transnational corporations are refining a framework of global expropriation that will complete the capitalist consumption of the earth. And they have become so bold as to remove any mention of human rights and protections from the framework.”

The UN conference in Lima, which takes place from December 1-12, is being publicly billed as a gathering to create a draft document that will “lay the foundation for an effective, new, universal climate change agreement in Paris in 2015.” The Paris meeting, known as COP21, “will mark a decisive stage in negotiations on the future international agreement on a post-2020 regime, and will, as agreed in Durban, adopt the major outlines of that regime,” according to a statement from the French government.

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