Is the South still possible?

By Angela Valenzuela and Augustin Martz (Agua Libre)


While France expands its military strategy in Syria, it is also hosting more than 190 nations in Paris at the climate conference COP21, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Under this climate talks a new international agreement on climate change will be signed, and it will define the political efforts from our governments from 2020 onwards.

While humanity is tangled up between its words and actions, each heart that inhabits the planet beats uncertainty and pain. The violence and impacts of climate change transform every breath into a deep exploration, as if looking for and finding inside a certain light to continue. In this profound breathing we bring to you some music to accompany the search for loving force and for hope. In the face of climate change and war, we invite you to give voice to the alternatives through which we will change the systems that corrupt life.

Today more than ever, we need to unite like a big river of life and hope, today more than ever, we sing to the human.

Today we sing to the human with a big question: “Will the South still be possible? If it would see itself in the mirror, would it recognize itself?”



                History talks to us and reveals that the South has been deprived, transformed, and pushed to benefit the North. In the course of this history, the countries of the North have emitted more Greenhouse Gases than the South since the industrial revolution. With only a quarter of the world’s population, these countries have emitted 70% of all CO2-emissions. Developing countries who have ¾ of the world’s population have emitted only 30%. It is an unbearably sad and unjust situation that those most vulnerable and affected by climate change are the countries of the South.

                “The South will be possible!” affirm the countries of the South, “Será posible!” But for that, the countries of the North have to recognize their historical responsibility concerning climate change. Climate change is a common problem, shared by all countries of the world. But the responsibility is differentiated. At the UN negotiations, this is called the principle of “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities.” Under this principle, the countries of the North have to respond to their historical responsibility for causing climate change. They must mobilize finance, technology, and capacity to help the countries of the South in order to confront climate change.

                What efforts have the countries of the North made in order to help the South? Well, until today, the climate finance that has been provided equals 1% of the US expenses in the wars of the Middle East. At the same time, the countries of the North continue to invest in fossil energy. In 2011, the EU has invested 60 million Euros public money in subsidies for dirty energy and only contributed with 9 millions to climate finance.

This lack of commitment has been clearly demonstrated the first of climate negotiations COP21 at Paris. Countries like the US insist to forget its historical emissions and to instead put pressure to developing countries like India to take the responsibility and leadership on climate change action. The US position is misleading the truth and a stopping us from having a just agreement in Paris.

For having a just an ambitious agreement it is necessary to create political pressure for Northern countries to act under an ethical paradigm that responds to equity and justice in their actions and investments. This means stopping to invest huge amounts of money in war and fossil energy, and investing instead in the transformation towards sustainable energy systems, agroecology, climate resilient food production, and community-based solutions to adaptation and ecosystem rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, 3 days before the end of COP21 the agreement it is far from responding to the principles of equity and CBDR embedded in the Convention of the United Nations Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). Developed countries have continued attempting to re-write the “rules” of the convention, forget about their commitments, and hence, forget about history.

May our voices of justice free the future of the South, may the most vulnerable communities find be strengthening with the force of a global climate justice movement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.