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An analysis of citizenship and alternative climate summits from a Latin American perspective

Open Panel

Abstract

Bolivia was one of five nations which dissented the non-binding agreement that was the result of the disappointing COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in 2009. According to Evo Morales COP15, failed because the so called developed countries didn’t acknowledge the climate debt they have to the developing countries, future generations and mother earth. This was further the argument he gave for organizing an alternative climate summit for the people of the earth in April 2010. Some of the goals of the summit were to organize a global referendum about the climate politics, the development of an international court for environmental crimes, and a "universal proposal for the rights of mother earth". Another objective was to analyze the structural causes of climate change. Popular and social movements have been described as the new actors in environmental politics, where different definitions of development can be discussed, but we need to extend this analysis to new constitutions of nation-states like Ecuador and Bolivia where the specific right of “mother earth” has been incorporated. Climate change politics is not the first issue to be discussed in global justice terms. Euro-American environmentalism has been subjected to the criticism that it ignores social justice between the global ‘North’ and ‘South’. This paper will discuss the policymaking systems of Ecuador and Bolivia, in order to discuss global citizenship and environmental justice from a perspective of the global south. The paper will be based on an analysis of the documents from the alternative climate summit in Bolivia in 2010, and the new constitutions of Ecuador and Bolivia. The analytical tools will include both the ideas of post-cosmopolitan citizenship as suggested by Andrew Dobson which has a non-state understanding of political space and non-reciprocal citizen responsibilities from a European perspective; and the ecology of the poor as discussed by Joan Martinez Alier which focuses on the global south. The alternative climate summits are considered as political space in which new forms of political agency are being invented and contested.