Venezuela to UN: Global Warming a Product of Capitalism

Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister Jorge Valero stated on Monday at a UN event on climate change that the responsibility for global warming falls exclusively on the "irrational capitalist model of consumption" of the first world countries.

By Chris Carlson – Venezuelanalysis.com

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Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Valero (Archive)
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Valero (Archive)
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Mérida, September 27, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister Jorge Valero stated on Monday at a UN event on climate change that the responsibility for global warming falls exclusively on the "irrational capitalist model of consumption" of the first world countries. The ambassador stressed the environmental achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution and warned that the continuation of capitalist consumption would lead to an "unprecedented tragedy."

The meeting took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday with the presence of top officials from more than 150 countries. The event was meant as a precursor to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali that will take place this December.

Venezuela's presentation warned the world leaders that climate change would ironically affect the poorest countries the most as they are the "most vulnerable to the environmental deterioration, and their people pay the consequences in terms of human lives."

"The majority of poor people aren't at all responsible for global warming. Those who are responsible intend to continue their consumption of natural resources in order to maximize their profits, favoring multinational corporations without measuring the environmental impact or sustainable development," said Valero.

Valero assured that "radical changes" would be necessary to avoid the consequences and called on the industrialized nations to fully assume the commitments established in the Kyoto treaty.

"To mitigate the effects it is necessary to introduce radical changes in the irrational growth model that is currently dominant in the world," he said, assuring that otherwise the "capitalist, imperialist" model of the first world would create a human tragedy for the millions of people who live in the rest of the world.

"A tragedy is coming for the whole human species if we don't change current patterns of production, distribution, and consumption that characterize savage capitalism and imperialism," he said.

The minister went on to briefly summarize some of the environmental policies that the Venezuelan government has put in place in order to fight global warming. He reminded the assembly that although Venezuela has no obligation to reduce its carbon emissions, it has unilaterally launched initiatives such as the Energy Revolution which has replaced 52 million light bulbs in Venezuela with energy saving bulbs.

Valero spoke of the program known as Mission Tree, which plans to plant millions of trees over the next five years. He emphasized that in the first year of this program more than 30 million trees were planted, and that they plan to plant 100 million more by 2011.

The ambassador also pointed to the Gas Pipeline of the South project that will have a large impact on energy use across the continent. The project, which proposes a natural gas pipeline from Venezuela south through Brazil and reaching Argentina, would carry cheap, clean fuel to much of the region. According to Valero, once functioning, the project would significantly reduce carbon emissions in the region.

"The revolution reaffirms its commitment to the development goals of the millennium that advocate a world with a harmonious, human relationship between human beings and nature," he said. "That is the challenge of Bolivarian Socialism that we promote in benefit of our people and the people of the other countries of the world."