This Tuesday, November 8, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for concrete and immediate measures to be taken in the face of the current global climate crisis, and urged world leaders to have the courage to recognize that the cause of this crisis is the “consumerist, voracious, predatory, and destructive” capitalist system.
“It is time to rectify radically,” said the Venezuelan head of state before the audience of the 27th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention Nations on Climate Change (COP27), in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. “Today, the absolute collapse of the system rises before us as a fatal destiny. Capitalism sees assets where other civilizations see life, and that is why it abrogates the right to destroy what it finds in its path in order to accumulate capital.”
“A system that normalizes exploitation among human beings does not possess the ethical requirements to respect other forms of existence,” President Maduro said. He noted how the most powerful capitalist economies of the world continue to pollute the planet for the benefit of a few.
“The time for speeches and also for moaning has run out,” President Maduro said. “We only have the present time to act radically and accurately in favor of another possible world.”
“We have wasted a lot of time,” Maduro said. “Every hour, every month, every year of inaction, hesitation, and indolence, today translates into destroyed ecosystems, extinct species, and the deterioration of living conditions on the planet.”
Climate Damage and Loss-Financing Fund
Given this situation, President Maduro emphasized the need to reach real and effective agreements, and to create a specific agenda to protect vulnerable populations affected by environmental damage. In this regard, the president of Venezuela urged world leaders to establish, without delay the Climate Loss and Damage Financing Fund.
“Humanity cannot remain an orphan,” said President Maduro. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that financial resources are distributed in a timely manner to those who suffer the devastating effects of the climate crisis.
“We must work down to the last detail, fine-tuning the mechanisms, so that financial assistance is direct, fair, timely, and expeditious, so that compensation for environmental damage reaches the most affected peoples,” Maduro said during the high-level segment of COP27.
The head of state emphasized that any agreement must “attack the problem at the root and grant priority to the most vulnerable on the planet.”
— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) November 8, 2022
Environmental crisis and inequality
Continuing his speech at COP27, the Venezuelan president compared the imbalance and environmental crisis in nature with the conditions of inequality that capitalism creates within humanity: “in addition to producing environmental misery, it [capitalism] produces social misery.”
In this regard, he highlighted the need to recognize failures of “civilization” in order to radically alter them, and warned that, if this self-destructive rate continues, in 30 or 40 years the planet may be uninhabitable.
In this regard, Maduro quoted the words of Fidel Castro Ruz at the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1992: “An important biological species is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive liquidation of its natural living conditions: humans. Tomorrow it will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.” President Maduro noted that 30 years ago, Fidel Castro had already pointed to wild and predatory capitalism as the origin of the environmental crisis.
President Maduro also made reference to the words pronounced in 2009 in Copenhagen by Commander Hugo Chávez: “What is the cause of climate change, the cause is the dream of seeking happiness through material accumulation and endless progress, using for that techniques with which all the resources of the earth can be exploited in an unlimited way. Let’s not change the climate, let’s change the system!”
In this regard, he added that “at the Copenhagen Summit, the unwillingness of the climate-denying elites to confront the emergency at the appropriate pace and in the correct direction … was revealed.”
During his speech at COP27, President Nicolás Maduro stressed that the terrible environmental imbalances that today dramatically affect life all over the planet seem to indicate that climate change is an irreversible fact, a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the greatest environmental crisis since human life began.
“The dimension of this crisis does not take us by surprise,” said Maduro. “For 30 years there have been enough indications of an early warning.” In this sense, Maduro referred to the Kyoto agreement which, in his opinion, gave good results until 2009.
He also recalled the 2015 Paris agreement, which made the contribution of science binding, as well as painful deadlocks and ruptures, such as those of 2009 at the Copenhagen Summit.
Referring to scientific projections, he warned that the climate crisis has consequences that force us to alter the consumerist model. If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, the damage will be irreversible in only eight years.
President Maduro warned that, as a consequence of these imbalances, extreme phenomena such as droughts and torrential floods have increased in a disorderly manner. In recent weeks, Venezuela and many tropical countries worldwide have reported unusual levels of torrential rains with a corresponding detrimental effect on human lives and infrastructure.
Regarding this crisis, he pointed out that although human civilization is responsible, this responsibility is unequal. As an example, he commented that Venezuela is responsible for less than 0.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, and lamented that the Venezuelan people must pay the consequences.
In defense of the Amazon
In addition, President Maduro advocated for the protection of the Amazon jungle and the Indigenous peoples of the region: “It is the native peoples who must teach us how to save and how to live with nature. The original cultures of the entire American continent have always conceived of the earth and the jungle as a living being that thinks and feels like us.”
In this sense, he urged humanity to halt the anthropocentric arrogance that prevents us from seeing how sacred the world is. He also made reference to the indefatigable spirit of struggle and resistance of Venezuelan men and women, and their immense love for life “which raises us to think of a new humanity, from a new spirituality—a humanity reconciled with nature, reconciled with itself, reconciled with the future.”
“The illusion of infinitive development through consumerism has ended, let’s now put limits on the damage caused to mother nature,” he urged.
“The world can count on our people to unite all efforts for a new humanity!” President Maduro proclaimed.
— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) November 8, 2022
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2022