Excerpt from the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba

In April of 2010, a conference called The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth was held just outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Over 35,000 people attended, coming from 140 different countries. The meeting resulted in a draft of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, a document which proposes that non-human parts of nature should be given legal rights just like people, and that these should be enforced by a Climate Justice Tribunal. It also resulted in the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba, a document that puts forth a vision of an anticapitalist, anti-imperialist future led by Indigenous Peoples that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. The portion that addresses the role of developed countries in this vision of the future is excerpted below. You can read the full document here.

Excerpt from The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba

Developed countries, as the main cause of climate change, in assuming their historical responsibility, must recognize and honor their climate debt in all of its dimensions as the basis for a just, effective, and scientific solution to climate change. In this context, we demand that developed countries:

  • Restore to developing countries the atmospheric space that is occupied by their greenhouse gas emissions. This implies the decolonization of the atmosphere through the reduction and absorption of their emissions;
  • Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries arising from the loss of development opportunities due to living in a restricted atmospheric space;
  • Assume responsibility for the hundreds of millions of people that will be forced to migrate due to the climate change caused by these countries, and eliminate their restrictive immigration policies, offering migrants a decent life with full human rights guarantees in their countries;
  • Assume adaptation debt related to the impacts of climate change on developing countries by providing the means to prevent, minimize, and deal with damages arising from their excessive emissions;
  • Honor these debts as part of a broader debt to Mother Earth by adopting and implementing the United Nations Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.

The focus must not be only on financial compensation, but also on restorative justice, understood as the restitution of integrity to our Mother Earth and all its beings.



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