Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA)

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International Policy

General features

ALBA is an international cooperation organization created in 2004 through the Cuba-Venezuela agreement as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) proposed by the US to be an extension of NAFTA. It groups socialist and social democratic governments, and promotes a social, political and economic integration of Latin America and Caribbean countries to be funded on social welfare instead of markets and trade liberalization. As for climate change, the Alliance position was endorsed in 2010 during the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba (Bolivia). The resulting “Peoples Agreement” was used as a basis for the group position since COP 16 (Cancun, 2010) and frames climate change as a consequence of the capitalistic system and the intertwinned predatory model of development.

ALBA countries has often played a role of resistance, in reminding richer countries of their obligations under the UNFCCC. Nevertheless, its role as a group has not been always constant in the negotiating process and individual countries have often backed the positions of Like-Minded Developing Countries bloc (LMDC).

Members

The 11 members of the alliance are the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Republic of Cuba, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Republic of Nicaragua, Commonwealth of Dominica, Republic of Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Negotiating position

The group places strong emphasis on the historical responsibility of developed countries for climate change, and calls them to steeply cut their emissions and pay the “climate debt” resulting from their over exploitation of the atmospheric space. Annex I countries’ mitigation efforts should be capable to limit the global mean temperature increase below 1.5° C, ideally stabilizing it at 1° C. Moreover, they should provide direct financial and technological resources to developing countries to support both their mitigation and adaptation efforts as well as for the restoration and conservation of forests and jungles. As a whole, such additional financial support should be at the level of war and defence budgets.

As stated in the People’s Agreement, ALBA countries call for the establishment of an international court of climate and environmental justice to prosecute States, companies and people that damaged the climate. Industrialised nations should assume responsibility for the people that will be forced to migrate due to the climate change, by admitting them in their territories.

 

Useful resources

ALBA websites: http://alba-tcp.org/en, http://www.portalalba.org/index.php/

World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Cochabamba, 22 April 2010), People’s Agreement. Available at: https://pwccc.wordpress.com/support/

Herold A. et al., (2014), The development of climate negotiations in view of Lima, EP Policy Department, Brussels