Climate Change Case



Presented by Pablo Solon, Focus on the Global South, Thailand and former UN Ambassador for Bolivia

Pablo Solon is Executive Director of Focus on the Global South. He was the former Bolivian ambassador, under the Evo Morales government, to the United Nations. As ambassador to the UN, he became known as a tireless advocate for the rights of nature; he delivered the now famous speech explaining why Bolivia chose to “stand alone” by not signing the Cancun climate agreement in 2010. Before holding this post, he had been a social activist involved in indigenous movements, workers’ unions, student associations, human rights and cultural organizations in his native Bolivia. He is also extensively involved in the global justice movement. 

Information held in the Tribunal of Quito

Information held in the Tribunal of Quito:

The affects of climate change our planet is experiencing includes:

  1. Increased levels of the ocean
  2. Acidification of the ocean
  3. Loss of biodiversity
  4. Affects on the water cycle
  5. Desertification of land
  6. Forest fires
  7. Increase in extreme events

This increasing systemic violation has occurred with an increase in the average temperature of 0.85 ° C between 1880 -2012.

What will happen if the temperature increases more than 2 ° C?

“A third of the population of animals and more than half of the plants on Earth could disappear.”

Violations to the Rights of Mother Earth:
  1. Right to life and to exist
  2. Right to be respected
  3. Right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human alteration
  4. Right to maintain its identity and integrity as differentiated beings, self-regulated and interrelated
  5. Right to water as a life
  6. Right to clean air
  7. The right to comprehensive health
  8. Right to be free of contamination
  9. Right not to be genetically altered and amended its law structure to full and prompt restoration

We need a new system of harmony between human beings and Mother Earth that replace the capitalist system of infinite growth for the accumulation of capital.

You can download the presentation for this case


Presented by :

  • Pablo Solon, Focus on the Global South (Bolivia)
  • Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Silvia Ribeiro, ETC Group (Mexico)
  • Mary Lou Malig, Global Forest Coalition (Thailand)
  • Genevieve Azam, ATTAC (France)

Case presentations in PDF and PowerPoint formats:

View Climate Change Case Verdict by Osprey Orielle Lake

Related reports:

Geopiracy: The Case Against Geoengineering by ETC Group

Information held in the Tribunal of Lima

The effects of climate change on our planet include: increases in sea level, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, impacts on water cycles, desertification, fires, and weather event increases, among others. Half of the animals on the planet are at risk of disappearing. The Quito Tribunal accepted the case of Climate Change and advancing of false solutions as a clear violation of the rights of nature, water, animals, and people.

The case raises the need to move to a system in harmony with nature to replace the capitalist model of infinite growth and accumulation. The Tribunal in Lima heard additional evidence regarding the impacts to Mother Earth, realities of false solutions such as geoengineering and those responsible for these crimes against nature.

Objective of the Tribunal:  present evidence and advance the case towards COP21 in Paris-France.

Pablo Solón introduces the case of Climate Change and False Solutions.  Climate Change is the result of a systemic violation of the Rights of Nature.

Nnimmo Bassey presented the dramatic impacts of Climate Change especially related to flooding, growing water scarcity, and fossil fuel extraction across Africa.  “If we decide to hold back and watch what happens, then Africa is cooked!

Silvia Ribero of ETC Group presents evidence of geoengineering as “geopiracy” and a violation of Rights of Nature.  Pablo Solon introduces Silvia and sets up the question of technology as a solution of rising temperature and the threats of climate change.

Mary Lou Malig presents evidence of the impacts of privatizing nature through carbon markets and false approaches to climate-smart agriculture.  “Climate-smart”agriculture is a new mechanism for creating carbon markets for soil and agriculture.  We need to support a return to small organic farming as a way forward for ecological agriculture.


You can view the verdict for this case


Information held in the Tribunal of Bonn:

Expert witnesses testified about how corporations such as Exxon not only profit from activities which they know cause dangerous climate change, they have also deliberately promoted false solutions to climate change (e.g. nuclear energy and gas from fracking operations) and are impeded the introduction of renewable energy and other climate change mitigation measures. In some cases corporations have spread false propaganda about indigenous peoples and others opposing the fossil fuel industry.

The Tribunal heard disturbing evidence from witnesses about the severe health impacts of living in places polluted by the coal, oil and gas industries. Evidence was presented about how energy industry operations had contaminated water, air and ground in many parts of the world in violation of the rights of Mother Earth and of human rights. Witnesses from Mauritius and Texas gave evidence of the impacts of severe hurricanes and cyclones caused or exacerbated by climate change. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, homes were damaged, environmental restrictions were suspended and people had to breathe toxic fumes.

The Tribunal found that gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), nuclear energy and carbon markets are all false solutions used to delay the transition to low-carbon societies. For example, fracking “breaks the bones of the Earth” and only perpetuates the destructive dependence upon oil, and gas. Carbon trading commodifies nature and allows the wealthy to buy the right to exceed national emission limits. The Tribunal decided that promoting and undertaking these activities violates the rights of Nature, including the right to integral health.

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The Fifth International Tribunal of the Rights of Nature urges the rulers, companies and other officials identified in this verdict to accept and follow the recommendations made by this respected Ethical Tribunal in the name of Nature.

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