(Translated by Leo Torres, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor.)

The Forum on Situation of the Environment and Climate Change, held on Monday December 6 in the Boyacá Hall of the National Capitol, concluded with the attendance of more than 130 people. The installation was led by Senator Jorge Robledo of PDA who noted that although other causes interfere with the change in global temperatures, there is a human responsibility to be attributed to the capitalist powers in the world for their ways of production that threatens the environment. The capitalist model of production distinguished by greed and pondering more for the having than the being mode, said Senator, is the main aggravating to global climate situation.

The forum discussed the fluorocarbons, a substance invented by Ford Motor Company in 1935 to generate cold, whose appearance was the beginning of the destruction of the ozone layer and threatened the existence of life. For 12,000 years CO2 concentrations were maintained at 280 ppm, but only 100 years of industrialization and capitalism raised them to 390 ppm. At this rate in 40 years the concentrations will reach 500 ppm, a sufficient level to produce a catastrophe on earth.

Therefore, Social Movements and peoples of the world in international negotiations on climate, obeying the call of the Agreement of the People in Cochabamba, required to developing countries at the COP 16 in Cancun, a 50% reduction of their production of greenhouse gases for the second period of the Kyoto Protocol, the stabilization of global temperature by 1 ° C, and the concentration of gases to 300 ppm.

So most polluting countries must assume their responsibilities and be accountable for the environmental, social, economic and cultural damage due to their violent intervention over nature to avoid the disaster of life.

For example, the United States produces 1.482 billion tons of CO2, annually; it is the world's largest emitter. However, the poorest countries bear the greatest burden. Between 1974 and 1998 global temperatures increased by 0.2 º C, but in the Andes this increase was equivalent to 0.34 ° C, 70 percent more than the increase in the most pollutants countries.

The forum stressed that capitalism has taken the pattern of unlimited extraction of natural resources forgetting that it is not infinite. All speakers agreed that it is the result of the primacy of the economic interest of large companies in the area of energy and hydrocarbons, mining, water, and agro-business. And this leads to climate changes that affect the sacred territories of many ancient cultures.

Also they stressed the need to care for the earth and assert its rights in order to preserve the cultural wealth of ancient peoples inhabiting the territories of the world. In Colombia, according to what is revealed in the forum, 32 indigenous people groups have been declared an endangered species, not only because of violence but also due to climate change. In most cases alterations of the natural life destroy the relationship of indigenous peoples to land, causing serious social, physical, and spiritual ailments.

In the case of mining in Colombia, we have to consider that what the government calls a strong line of the economy is no other than a situation that increases the vulnerability of the country, affecting water sources, eroding soil, undermining rural economic development and creates diseases in the population. Talking about the High Plateau of Santurbán, where the multinational mining Greystar wants to extract the gold, they spoke about La Escombrera, a project of almost 400  Hectars to locate mining debris and waste from the city of Bucaramanga, which would measure 900 meters high and  have a capacity to store 717 million tons of waste. This would be enough to deposit waste for one million days or 2,700 years.

On energy production through hydropower system, also called dinosaurs, it was revealed that there is none in Colombia that is owned by the state because they all have passed into the hands of transnational private investment. The case of Endesa, as discussed in Congress, reflects the type of relationship between government and big business in the country. This company has claimed to the Colombian government not being consulted about the government position presented at the COP 16, ignoring the agreements made in the discussions leading up to National Development Plan 2010-2014 (National Energy Plan document) which impedes the expansion of Endesa business in the country.

In conclusion, we reiterated the need to change the global system of production and address the climate crisis with effective solutions that are not dependent on financial speculation on international markets. The problem is not technology or the development of the productive forces of a country, but how they are used. The commitment of nations is fundamental to this transformation and thus to achieve harmony among men in balance with nature.

December 12, 2010

This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author and translator are cited.


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