Will this COP be the COP of the South?

Its early October, and round the corner, the COP20 circus embarks on Lima, Peru, with its promise of unlocking human potential and allowing real drastic changes to flow. It also comes with an overpowering stench of the rich and their cronies, bearing un-true words and false solutions. In the mixture of this infinity of worlds, the civil society movements of South America are gathering to prepare for the arrival of the worlds agenda to climate change response, an especially relelvant discourse looking at Paris’ COP21 next year.

LimaCOP20 logo

Many movement are calling for this COP to be the ‘COP of the South’, where the Global South can frame their proposed solutions and influence the dialogue before the whole circus moves north again. We found this document that has done well to sketch out the complex nature of the way COP20 must develop in order for Global South Civil Society to truly influence global governance in the lead to Paris2015.


The Democracy Center has held one on one interviews to help extract a document that attempts to place in one place the kinds of challenges and responses that they feel COP20 must meet and deliver.

Mobilizing effective citizen action on the global climate cri­sis has never been more urgent or seemed more daunting. Across the world’s continents, due to drought, storms and fierce flooding, 2014 may well be remembered as the year when climate change became understood as a current reality instead of a distant projection. This is also the year in which, after stalled progress and dashed hopes, activist energies are turning once again to the demand for international action. September of this year will mark the start of an important three-step process to build international pressure for action, beginning with the special climate summit in New York called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and ending with the key COP21 (Conference of the Parties) meeting in Paris in December 2015, the stated deadline for approval of a global agreement. In between those two events, and receiving far less attention, is the COP20 meeting scheduled for Lima, Peru in December of this year.

The 5 major narratives identified for COP20:

  1. Food sovereignty as a unifying theme
  2. Making grassroots resistance to megaprojects more visible
  3. Linking this to territorial struggles
  4. Alternative proposals from Latin America
  5. Corporate power

Here is a breakdown of the rest of the document. Please visit the link to view the entire document, and use the comment box to add to this dialogue

*** http://democracyctr.org/featured/new-report-movement-strategies-for-moving-mountains/

  1. Use COP20 to Change the Narrative on the Climate Crisis and What Must be Done

 Talk About the Root Causes of Climate Change

* Lift up personal testimonies of resistance struggles

* Raise the profile of resistance struggles and victories in the region

* Create a virtual bank of educative materials for changing the narrative

* Expose and reinforce the connection between mining and climate

* Highlight the links between climate and trade agreements such as the TPP

* Connect failed neoliberal agenda in Latin America with austerity in the Global North


Talk About the Impacts of Climate Change in a Way People can Relate To

* Create storytelling spaces and resources for media on the triple impacts of climate change

* Lift up women’s voices as a challenge to patriarchy and unsustainability

* Organize international solidarity exchanges between countries home to major polluters and affected communities

* Develop talking points on children and climate change

* Run educational activities and games for children in public parks


Talk About the Real Solutions to the Climate Crisis

* Systematize people’s proposals through an international bottom-up process

* Showcase solutions and share ancestral knowledge with a “caravana de experiencias”

* Link to and amplify demands at parallel initiatives such as the 2014 International

Year of Family Farming and the Rights of Mother Earth and Ethics Tribunal.

* Call days of action based on key themes – inside, outside and parallel to the COP

* Advocate for local, traditional and organic food through “comedores populares” (community restaurants)


 II) Use COP20 to Strengthen the Climate Change Movement


Make the COP in Lima the ‘COP of the South’

* Make a call to action from Peruvian movements to the Global South

* Organize indigenous and social movement marches to the COP

* Organize hundreds of parallel events across the Global South

* Develop a strong media strategy for social movement voices

* Train social movement media articulators

* Produce a series of Southern climate activist profiles

* Ensure spaces are open, welcoming and culturally sensitive


Build Connections with the True Activist Strength in the Region: the Grassroots

* Involve the Unions, “There are no jobs on a dead planet.”

* Create a global movement of key impacted groups such as fishermen or farmers

* Map resistance struggles

* Bring videos and testimonies from grassroots communities to the COP

* Broadcast on local radio to make information accessible to the grassroots

* Organize gatherings in resistance sites before and during the COP


Create Spaces Specifically for Movement-building and Strategy Beyond the COP

* Hold teach-ins to share experiences of different resistance struggles

* Convene a pre-COP Action Camp with a focus on strategy and training

* Organize daily climate justice assemblies

* Set up an autonomous alternative COP space

* Create space to talk about strategy for COP21 in Paris

* Build a coalition to delegitimize the role of fossil fuel industries toward Paris


III) Use COP20 to Weaken the Forces Blocking Strong Climate Action

 Directly Call Out the Co-optation of the UNFCCC Process and the False Solutions on the Table

* Hold assemblies and other actions in public spaces

* Organize People’s spaces in an accessible location, near the COP if possible

* Spotlight the contrast between the People’s narrative and the official narrative

* Target high profile individuals e.g. Christiana Figueres and Ban Ki Moon

* Lift up testimonies from communities on the frontlines of false solutions

* Connect the impacts of false solutions back to food and land rights

* Call on the UNFCCC to dismantle rules that alienate and exclude youth and grassroots


Expose the Role of the Corporations

* Expand on and deepen the exposure of corporations involved in COP

* Map power dynamics between corporations and both powerful and small governments

* Expose and delegitimize delegates pushing the corporate agenda within COP

* Name and shame emblematic corporations

* Reveal the inconsistency between what corporations say at the COP and their practices on the ground in Peru

* Boycott and divest from corporations infiltrating the COP

* Organize photography exhibit of impacts of the corporations


 Call Out the Gaps Between the Words and Ac­tions of National Governments

* Show up inconsistency between government positions on trade and climate

* Gather testimonies on government-led projects driving environmental destruction

* Organize a letter campaign to demand transparency from governments

* Develop a response to the criminalization of protest

* Build a regional coalition of resistance to mega hydroelectric projects

* Connect a global movement of groups resisting fracking


http://democracyctr.org/featured/new-report-movement-strategies-for-moving-mountains/    ***





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