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The Treaties - 23 - Alternative Non-Governmental Agreement on Climate Change


Preamble

1. Realizing the grave threats to global environment posed by the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as sea level rise, droughts, desertification, impoverishment of biological diversity and other consequences of changes in the world climatic patterns threatening the sustainability of life on this planet

2. Acknowledging the build up of carbon dioxide (COy) and other greenhouse gases that cause climatic change is a consequence of current development and consumption patterns that encourage excessive use of non-renewable fuels and inappropriate land-use patterns

3. Recognizing that industrial development is characterized by social injustice as well as inequitable and inappropriate consumption patterns both at the national and international level; that the industrialized countries have exploited and consumed the greater share of the world's fossil fuels, forests and other resources, which has allowed them to attain the technological capacity to address the questions at hand, they should therefore shoulder the greatest responsibility for averting social and environmental crises

4. Affirming that, although the major responsibility to avoid the negative effects of climate change lies on developed countries, both developed and developing societies must be mobilized to the important tasks addressed in this document

5. Considering the "Agenda Ya Wananchi - Citizen's Action Plan for the 1990s" adopted at the International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference "Roots of the Future", held in Paris, December 1991

6. Therefore, citizens representing NGOs and social movements from around the globe gathered at the International NGO Forum "Commitments for the Future", held in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992, have adopted the following principles and commitments as a basis for future actions:

Objective

7. The objective of this convention is to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

Principles

8. The earth with its diverse forms is a functioning whole. Ecological integrity must be maintained; this includes the reduction of social and cultural vulnerability and the preservation of biological diversity.

9. The real issue of the social and environmental crisis is not one of protecting the environment per se, but of managing resources to attain sustainable social, economic and physical development of human societies; this includes achieving equity with respect to gender, religion and race at all levels of human organization, self-reliance, respect for biological and cultural diversity, participatory democracy, cultural and political integrity, and access to education and information, leading to active cooperation among all peoples.

10. This issue has to be tackled by altering excessive consumption patterns as well as through the acknowledgement of citizens' rights to economic and social improvement; the satisfaction of basic needs, material and non-material must be guaranteed and fulfilled for present and future generations.

11. Citizens, enterprises and governments must work together to protect the global climate system on the basis of their common but differentiated capabilities and responsibilities for sustaining life on earth.

12. Strategies and action plans to reverse human induced climate change must be developed and implemented on the basis of the precautionary principle; the lack of consensus on scientific conclusions cannot be used as justification for inaction.

13. Efforts to address climate change must insure realignment of over-all resource flows from the North to the South and involve NGOs at all stages; these flows must be governed equitably and have adequate procedures of public accountability and transparency.

14. All human beings should have equal access to a total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the atmosphere can bear on a sustainable basis.

Commitment and Actions

Regarding climate change and its impacts, we commit ourselves to work actively in our countries:

15. With other NGOs, alliances and social movements, to:

    a. Act in solidarity, sharing information and supporting an open-ended network of local, national and international groups dealing directly or indirectly with climate issues; this network should be a tool for building up citizens alliances, which enable us, on an equal political basis, to work together on the agreed actions

    b. Commit ourselves as NGOs, and especially NGOs of concerned scientists, to promote dialogue between the scientific community and popular movements.

16. With local citizens' groups and communities, to:

    a. Increase awareness within and mobilize society to identify and tackle the causes and potential effects of climate change and related problems

    b. Contribute to the identification of the social and environmental impacts of climate change on the local and global level

    c. Contribute to the identification, development and implementation of technologies, practices and lifestyles with the highest efficiency in the issue of energy and other natural resources, and the maximum reliance on renewable energy sources in order to minimize greenhouse gas emissions

    d. Support citizen activism at all levels including choices with regard to transportation and waste treatment; and the adoption of full social and environmental pricing of natural resources.

17. With governments and government institutions, to:

    a. urge them to take action which contributes to meeting the objectives of this treaty to reduce COy emissions in developed countries by at least 25% by the year 2005 from 1990 levels; to take appropriate measures to substantially reduce emissions of other greenhouse gases; and to pursue emission reductions which ultimately seek the reduction of greenhouse gases by 60%

    b. urge the development and implementation of programs and policies promoting energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy resources; (currently available nuclear technology is not an acceptable option for dealing with climate change)

    c. encourage environmentally sound and efficient land use, including the protection of primary forests;

    d. urge industrialized countries to:

provide adequate new and additional financial resources on concessional terms to developing countries that will enable such countries to address climate change issues

guarantee that in order to ensure the good use of these funds NGOs and social movements are fully part of the decision making and monitoring process as well as potential recipients of such funds

provide adequate opportunities for the sharing and transfer of protected technology, developed by governments and various enterprises on a non commercial basis

convert current military expenditures to these purposes.

    e. guarantee complete access and information and assure the full and effective participation of citizens and social movements in all relevant government decision making processes

    f. avoid any emission trading schemes which only superficially address climate change problems, perpetuate or worsen inequities hidden behind the problem, or have negative ecological impact

    g. while recognizing the inadequacy of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change we advise governments, as a minimal step, to ratify the convention and implement its provisions.

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