People’s Conference on Climate Justice Begins in Bolivia; New Yorkers Can Participate Online

Renee Feltz Apr 19, 2010

The search for common ground on climate change between the United States and nations like China at the Major Economies Forum this weekend focused on industrial needs… but a totally different conversation is getting underway today in Cochabama, Bolivia, at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

New York activists are among the members of civil society participating in what could be a game changing convergence. “New York City is where the world converges and we need to be a part of a global climate justice movement, ” said United Puerto Ricans of Sunset Park, Joaquin Sanchez, Jr., who is part of a delegation that includes actor Danny Glover.

New Yorkers who can’t make the trip to Cochabamba can still participate via the Internet with participants in the Bolivian conference on climate change at an event hosted by the Brecht Forum on Tuesday night.

“Through a multi-city live web stream, we will be discussing what’s going on in Cochabamba, the issues being raised, the concerns we have, questions…whatever we want. We expect that the meeting will begin with some footage of at least some of the events there. We’ll then begin the conversation. A group of people in Bolivia– from the U.S. delegation and as well as other countries– will then make a short report about what’s going on. We will then begin a conversation about the ongoing conference among the US-based and Bolivian participants.”

At least two other websites have plans to begin live streaming the People’s Summit on Tuesday – and Abya Yala – a non-profit indigenous organization.

For those of you in the Twitterverse, Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations will be tweeting the World People’s Conference on Climate Change, using hashtags #Cochabamba and #cmpcc. 

All of this is unfolding on the heels of Earth Day, April 22, and again Bolivia appears to be coming out ahead of the United States. As the Mulch blog at The Media Consortium observes:

“Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), were supposed to release their climate legislation next week, just in time for Earth Day. But yesterday the word came down that the release was being pushed back by another week, to April 26.”

Meanwhile, corporations are taking all the delays in stride. Mother Jones has a fascinating report called “Betting on Change” that examines how corporations  stand to make—or lose—billions due to “climate exposure.”

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