Claudia Salerno, Venezuelan Presidential Envoy for Climate Change
The political will of developed countries is the only thing needed to achieve a fair agreement on climate change that could save the planet, said Claudia Salerno, the Presidential Envoy for Climate Change of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, during a speech at the Green Festival on Sunday in Washington, D.C. The Green Festival is one of the most important environmental and sustainability festivals in the United States.
“We need strong political will from developed countries to produce a good agreement. Not any agreement, but a good, fair, equitable, and environmentally-logical agreement; not an economic one,” Salerno said during her speech at the festival, which was attended by more than 200 people.
Salerno is visiting the United States to participate as a speaker at the Green Festival as well as in other events in Washington, D.C. and Boston.
Salerno made clear that Venezuela will not accept a deal that does not allow saving the lives of the people. In that sense, the Venezuelan diplomat warned on the impacts already caused by climate change, which have claimed the lives of hundred of thousands of people and have threatened to disappear entire countries. “We have to do something; this is a battle that is worth it,” she pointed out.
“We were appointed by our president to say no to an agreement that would end with the life of the people,” the Venezuelan official added when referring to negotiations held during the XV UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Salerno explained that the capitalist system and its predatory dynamics were “the white elephant in the room” of which nobody wanted to talk during the negotiations. “Nobody wants to talk about that one, the big one (…) The elephant is capitalism. This is not socialist rhetoric, this is the main issue behind this un-agreement,” she emphasized.
During the Copenhagen summit, Venezuela, together with other countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), gave voice to the concerns of many environmental activists on the unwillingness of the world’s developed countries to take aggressive steps to limit irreversible global temperature increases.
The Ambassador of Bolivia to the UN, Pablo Solón, also participated in this panel at the Green Festival. Both diplomats will speak at a conference on Monday at Boston College, alongside U.S. scholar Charles Derber and Venezuela’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Julio Escalona.
See photos of the conference in Washington D.C.
Photos: Néstor Sánchez Cordero
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / October 24, 2010