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25/09/2016

Ecuador’s Correa prepares for ideological battle at COP21

Climate & Environment

Ecuador’s Correa prepares for ideological battle at COP21

Rafael Correa [Wikimedia]

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said at a climate change event in Bolivia on Monday (12 October) that the world’s peoples must unite to confront “the powerful” nations he said were responsible for environmental damage and global warming.

Climate change is a matter of “power relationships” between “those who pollute and those who generate environmental assets,” Correa said on his arrival in the central city of Cochabamba to attend the closing session of the 2nd World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life.

“The powerful are the ones who pollute and the less powerful, the countries in transition toward development, many of us generate environmental assets, and for this reason the unity of peoples is indispensable,” he said.

Correa said that while everybody has a responsibility to deal with climate change, responsibility “must be differentiated because there are those who have much more responsibility for the damage they have done to the planet and those countries should pay for that damage”.

The government of Bolivia organized the conference, which opened on Saturday (10 October), to bring together proposals from social movements, and union and indigenous organizations from various countries on how to deal with climate disruption.

Conclusions will be presented to the 21st UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP21, set to begin on 30 November in Paris.

Correa is serving as President of the Republic of Ecuador since 2007. The leader of the PAIS Alliance political movement, Correa is a democratic socialist and his administration has focused on the implementation of leftist policies, poverty reduction, and combating the influence of the United States and multinational corporations in Ecuador.

Background

Negotiations on climate change began in 1992, and the UN organises an annual international climate change conference called the Conference of the Parties, or COP.

The 20th COP took place in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 12 December 2014, and Paris is hosting the all-important 21st conference in December 2015.

The participating states must reach an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the object of which was to reduce CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

The EU’s contribution to the UN agreement is based on deal reached by EU leaders in October 2014. It sets out a binding emissions reduction goal of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. The objective is described in the agreement as “a binding, economy-wide reduction target, covering all sectors and all sources of emissions, including agriculture, forestry and other land uses”.

>> Read: EU leaders adopt 'flexible' energy and climate targets for 2030

Agreeing on a UN framework, whether legally binding or not, is the priority between now and December.