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  HOME | Bolivia

Bolivia's Morales: Divert Military Spending to Climate Remedies

LA PAZ - The world's "imperial powers" should take the money they now spend on the military and use it to address climate change, Bolivian President Evo Morales told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Morales submitted that idea and nine other proposals to Ban during their visit to the Bolivian town of Vila Vila.

"Instead of spending money on wars, let them give us that money to protect the environment," the president said.

Advocating a new model of civilization "without consumerism, without warmongering, without mercantilism, a world without capitalism," Morales said the United Nations should adopt a convention enshrining the rights of the planet, just as it has done for the human, economic and political rights of indigenous peoples.

Morales called for the protection of the global "commons," such as the oceans and the atmosphere, the elimination of patents on technology and the establishment of a human right to access to water.

The Bolivian president reiterated his proposal for creating an international climate justice tribunal to hear suits against countries that fail to meet pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Markets for carbon-emission permits allow traders to get rich while doing nothing to ease the effects of climate change, according to Morales, who said that wealthy nations need to abandon their "colonial visions" of the global South.

Industrial nations, he said, tend to see developing countries as the world's "park rangers."

The 2nd World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by the Bolivian government, opened last Saturday with representatives of social movements, labor and indigenous organizations from a range of countries.

The gathering's conclusions will be submitted to the 2015 U.N. climate change Conference of the Parties, set for December in Paris.

 

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