From 15 to 18 July, the first stage of the International Preparatory Meeting for the Social Pre-Conference of the Parties (Social Pre-COP of Climate Change) was held in Margarita Island, Venezuela. 180 delegates attended in representation of 3,000 social organizations from around the world, who defined a series of proposals that will be subsequently presented in a ministerial meeting prior to the Social Summit of Climate Change 2014. The Pre-COPs are previous and necessary steps in the way to the COP (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which will be held next December in the city of Lima.
What are the Pre-COPs?
It is the first time that these kind of meetings take place. Such initiative was taken by the Venezuelan government to promote a pluralistic dialogue between ministers and delegates from different social organizations (NGOs, environmental groups, and youth organizations) about the social change that must be made in order to achieve the conservation of the environment. One of the purposes of the Pre-COPs is to guarantee the participation and contribution of organized groups, that usually have no voice in the formal discussions of the United Nations (UN).
These preparatory meetings were organized by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Claudia Salerno, who expressed that: “Governments alone can not change the system if they do not really count on the support of the people.” These spaces for discussion are divided into two meetings: the first, the one held in the Nueva Esparta State with the participation of delegates from the different social organizations, which had as a main objective the creation of a document in which the position of the social organizations and movements will be reflected, in order to contribute to the collective construction of a new climate agreement. The latter will involve the participation of minister delegations, where the document that emerged during the first stage of the Pre-COPs will be discussed. This second meeting will also take place in Nueva Esparta State from 04 to 07 November. What Subjects Were Discussed in the Pre-COPs?The subjects addressed were the Social impact of climate change, climate ethics regarding differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities, social participation to fight climate change, social actions to transform and strengthen the actions in developing countries. Why are Pre-COPs so Important?The importance of these meetings relies in the fact that, for the first time in the history of the UN, the voices of social movements and non-governmental organizations will be taken into account to promote a pluralistic dialogue regarding environmental conservation. What are the COPs?They are the Conferences of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). There, the Member States of the United Nations discuss new regulations for the environment. These meetings are held annually in a rotating basis, and this year it will take place in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 12 December.
Which Are The Goals Of The COPs?
The COPs have as a main goal to maintain international efforts to solve the problems and mitigate the effects of climate change, and to implement strategies to stabilize the levels of greenhouse gases emissions. To achieve this, it is necessary to periodically examine the duties of the Parties, the institutional agreements on the framework convention, as well as the evolution of the scientific and technological knowledge on climate change. The outcome of the COP20 this year is extremely relevant, since by 2015, an agreement with legal impact is expected to be achieved, to replace theKyoto protocol. Such agreement shall become effective in 2020 given that, during the COP18 in Doha, the second period of validity of this protocol was ratified. This period runs from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020.