Hugo Chavez: If the climate was a big capitalist bank, you would have already saved it

Dandelion Salad

Bolivia, Venezuela call for more aid

Bolivian President Evo Morales and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are also in Copenhagen to attend the Climate Change Conference. Both are urging industrialized nations to help developing countries fight climate change.

Bolivian President Evo Morales says climate change has largely been caused by developed nations during their industrialization processes. He’s demanding that those countries help developing nations fight climate change, and “green” their economies.

Evo Morales, Bolivian President, said, “The budget of the United States is 687 billion dollars for defense. And they want to, for climate change — to save life, to save humanity — they want to put up 10 billion dollars. This is shameful.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has also blasted the actions of industrialized countries.

Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President, said, “In the streets they are saying the following: if the climate was a bank, you would have already saved it. And I think that’s true. If the climate was a big capitalist bank, you would have already saved it. You, the rich governments.”

A formal summit of more than 120 world leaders will be held on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to break the deadlock on which nations should cut greenhouse gas emissions, by how much, and who should pay what.



China: Just process in Copenhagan important

Developing countries protest Copenhagen drafts

Denmark’s Prime Minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, has opened the 10th day of proceedings at the Copenhagan Conference with disputes leaving several major issues unresolved. China, India, and Brazil are protesting the gathering’s latest draft texts. The Danish presidency put forward the documents without consulting other parties at the summit on Wednesday.

China’s representative in Copenhagen is warning that the conference presidency’s move could very much endanger the goal of a successful outcome.

Chinese delegate Su Wei said, “We all came here with very strong determination to make Copenhagen a success but, in order to achieve that, we need to have a very just, a very just, process. That is very important.”

India, Brazil, and some other developing nations are also protesting the newest draft text versions.



Copenhagen crash?

Can anything be achieved if the US fails to commit?

Daphne Wysham is a Fellow and board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, founder and co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, a project of IPS, and founder and co-host of Earthbeat Radio.

Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and the Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, he leads the Center’s clean energy and climate advocacy campaign. He spent 25 years working with environmental advocacy organizations and political campaigns. Weiss is an expert in energy and environmental policy; legislative strategy and tactics; and advocacy communications.


Bolivian President Evo Morales: “Shameful” for West to Spend Trillions on War and Only $10 Billion for Climate Change

Democracy Now!

Bolivian President Evo Morales recently arrived in Copenhagen for the UN climate summit. In a press conference Wednesday, Morales said, “The budget of the United States is $687 billion for defense. And for climate change, to save life, to save humanity, they only put up $10 billion. This is shameful.” [includes rush transcript]

(starts at 52:39 minutes in.)

AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up today’s broadcast with a leader from another side of the world, from Latin America, we’re going to turn right now to Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, who, just a few minutes ago, finished a speech in the next room. He just recently arrived here in Copenhagen. The Bolivian President Morales.


    [translated] And if we don’t—and I repeat this—we’re going to end our lives, all of us. So, as with the last country and with our black and indigenous brothers who were treated as slaves, and their rights were not recognized, now, today, too, our Mother Earth, she is treated as if she were a thing without life, as if she didn’t have rights.

The second climate debt is the use of atmospheric space by the developed countries. It’s not possible that atmospheric space be the exclusive property of just a few countries for their development, that the countries that are irrationally industrialized have taken over, with their greenhouse gases, the atmospheric space. To pay this debt, they should reduce their emissions and absorb their greenhouse gases in a way that there exists a fair distribution of atmospheric space between all of the countries, taking into consideration their population, because the countries that are on the path of development need atmospheric space for their development.

The third component of climate debt is the paying of reparations, reparations for damages that have been created by the irrationally industrialized countries. For humanity together, it’s shameful that the Western countries have only offered $10 billion for climate change. I was looking at some figures. The United States—how much does the United States spend to export terrorism to Afghanistan, to export terrorism to Iraq, and to export military bases to South America? They don’t only spend millions, but billions and trillions. I hope our figures are not wrong. For example, Obama, he asked his Congress for $40 billion more than what has already been spent. The budget of the United States is $687 billion for defense. And for climate change, to save life, to save humanity, they only put up $10 billion. This is shameful. The budget for the Iraq war, according to the figures we have, is $2.6 trillion for the Iraq war, to go kill in Iraq. Trillions of dollars. But directed towards paying the climate debt, $10 billion. This is completely unfair. These are our deep observations of what’s going on. That’s why—for the war, while trillions are going to the wars, on the other hand, to save humanity and the planet, they only want to direct $10 billion.

The rich countries should take in all of the migrants who will be generated by climate change or affected by climate change. I think our brothers from Africa, our indigenous brothers from [inaudible], have a lot of moral authority. We have been invaded, supposedly discovered in Africa or Latin America, when in reality it was an invasion and plundering of indigenous peoples. Therefore, now, in the face of the asymmetries between continents, our brothers come looking for work, and they’re kicked out of Europe, they’re kicked out of the United States. But our grandparents never kicked anyone out, and our brothers and sisters don’t come here to take hectares of land or mines. They only come to improve their economic situation. Moreover, when they’re affected by this climate change, how is it possible they would be expulsed from Europe when they are climate refugees? How is it possible that our brothers and sisters are not taken under and protected? That’s why—therefore, our protest in the face of this discrimination to expulse immigrants, when we have never kicked immigrants out, we’ve never sent them home—

AMY GOODMAN: Bolivian President Evo Morales, just finishing up a speech here at the Bella Center, at the climate talks.

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