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Climate COP, 10 Dec 2014, Lima Peru

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An estimated 20,000 people from all across the globe marched from Campo de Marte through the streets of central Lima today, with calls for “cambiemos el sistema, no el clima!” (system change, not climate change!)  This, as world leaders at the 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 20), now midway through the 2nd week of negotiations in Peru, struggle to resolve huge difference on how a new climate agreement will look like in Paris COP 21 next year.
Now touted as being the “largest march in Lima” in a long time, the People’s Climate March was participated in by a diverse group of indigenous peoples, workers, women, farmers, youth, elderly, and faith communities, together with representatives of non-government organizations. The march was an integral part of the Cumbre de los Pueblos (People’s Summit), an alternative process for civil society and social movements towards the construction of another model of development, one that respects the limits and regenerative capacities of Mother Earth and tackles the structural causes of climate change.
The march concluded in a huge program in downtown Lima, where different speakers spoke out loudly against corrupt governments that work in collusion with transnational corporations and international financial institutions, the resistance and struggle of people against destructive infrastructure projects and dirty energy, and increasing human rights violations and criminalization of environmental defenders.
The march, according to organizers, was not meant to urge Ministers to forge any deal in Lima, but a just deal that will actually address the root causes of runaway climate change, and which upholds the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR).
Much later in the day, a group of around 500 local and international activists who came from the People’s Climate March denounced the “corporate capture” of the United Nations by demonstrating in front of the Hilton Hotel, where a meeting between big business and government representatives was taking place to “address climate change.” ###