We want some resonance. A resonance that could amplify Latin American perspectives, visions, and challenges at this so-called “Latin COP”.
But here we are, yet again in Europe – for another year. Here, we are leaving representatives from different constituencies behind, in just another example of carelessness and insensitivity to the people and peoples who have less capacity to respond. Does it sound familiar? Regrettably, there is no time to get on a boat and sail through the ocean and, sadly, our surnames are only Pérez, Gonzales or Mamani.
The change of the COP venue and quick shift to another continent certainly can be seen as positive, but in the world we envision “the end does not justify the means”. We want to see more empathy and recognition of the consequences for people and communities in Latin America and beyond.
It might be winter here in Madrid, but ECO would encourage everyone to feel that it's hot out there. It's hot for many reasons – and not only because of the sunny weather in Chile.
It is hot because the political and social context in the ex-host country is hard and unfair and requires a profound reassessment of what society as a whole considers a "prosperous nation".
It is hot because there are people and communities that are losing their livelihoods even though they have taken care of and maintained a close and connected relationship with their territories.
It is hot out there as 1,500 environment defenders have been killed in the last 15 years, and the president of the COP, despite leading this process, still refuses to sign the landmark Escazu Agreement, which could have transformative impacts for environment defenders across Latin America.
And it is hot because the conflicts we are witnessing in Latin America challenge everyone to look at how the extractive economies in those countries provide high-living standards – for the few, and for people elsewhere, not for the people.
Uff. Does someone have a sun umbrella?