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Dear Friends,

Global Exchange is spending this Earth Day in Bolivia, at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights in Tiquipaya, Bolivia, on the western outskirts of Cochabamba.  The conference is a response to the disappointing failure of the Copenhagen Climate Conference last December.  Called by Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, it is designed to gather input from people all over the world and shape that input into a plan that can effectively address climate change.

The conference has been amazing.  There are representatives here from all over the world, including several heads of state.  Social movement representatives have had real, effective access through working groups that are producing the conference outcomes on adaptation, migration, climate debt, action strategies and a host of other issues.

Many will see this conference as a propaganda effort on the part of Bolivia and the other members of the ALBA coalition.  The ALBA nations were the core group of countries that objected vehemently to the Copenhagen Accord, the voluntary agreement that was produced in the final hours of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.  But such a reading of the conference here in Bolivia is blind to the real significance of the event.

At issue here in Bolivia is a radically different approach to the issue of climate change, and it is an approach that has broad and deep support among social justice groups worldwide.  The Copenhagen Climate Conference attempted to address climate change while retaining the priority of market mechanisms - in effect ranking the maintenance of life on earth as secondary to the maintenance of healthy profit rates for major international corporations.  The true significance of the conference here in Bolivia is the rejection of that paradigm.  Refreshingly, the People's Conference on Climate Change assumes that protecting life on earth is more important than protecting profits.  We agree.

We've put together a resource page about the conference that will be updated with new photos, video and additional links as we process the volumes of information from this inspiring event.

Here are some Earth Day actions you can take to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

Thanks for everything you do in support of peace and justice,

Global Exchange

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