Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Bolivia Only Country to Reject Environmental Accord



On Saturday, world leaders hailed a breakthrough in the latest round of UN-sponsored talks on climate change. At the summit in Cancún, Mexico, the parties reached an agreement that mandates developed countries to allocate $100 billion to help developing countries combat global warming and high emissions. Mexican President Felipe Calderón hailed the deal as the beginning of “a new era of cooperation in climate change.” But that euphoria was not shared by the Bolivian delegation—the sole voice of opposition to the measure among 193 countries. 

Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón, referred to the agreement as “hollow,” and claimed it did not go far enough in accountability for industrialized economies. Ambassador Solón saw many of his original demands unfulfilled at the talks, known as COP16. His requests included the creation of an International Court of Climatic Justice and a reduction of the target rise in global temperature for the twenty-first century to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit—half of the agreed amount at last year’s talks. Angered on Saturday, Solón issued a warning: “[the Cancún agreement] will bear human and natural casualties.”

Ambassador Solón also lamented the lack of overall progress during COP16 in renegotiating the Kyoto Protocol, originally signed in 1997 and set to expire in 2012. The Kyoto Protocol imposes limits on greenhouse gases for 37 developed nations and the European Union. Because the Cancún accord did not address any reforms to the Kyoto Protocol, or even mention its possible extension, those core issues will presumably be discussed at COP17—to take place in South Africa in late 2011.

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