Climate Change Case - False solutions to the Climate Change crisis

Just a few years ago, the reality of climate change was subtle enough that many people continued to deny its existence in spite of all scientific data proving otherwise. Today, as extreme weather events, wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, among others, become more and more commonplace —and more extreme— it has become impossible for all but the most cynical to deny the reality of man-made climate change. 

And yet, despite the record-breaking wildfires, despite the increased flooding and the destabilized seasons, governments around the world continue to collude with extractivist industries, finding ways to go on permitting patterns of exploitation, production and consumption that are unsustainable.

However, perhaps the most concerning aspect of how this problem is being dealt with at the international level is that, ever since the general public has begun to grow conscious of the threat posed by climate change and to demand change from the authorities, a series of pernicious false solutions have been conceived; false solutions which pretend to address the key issues while in reality only perpetuating this unsustainable status quo, and even worse, “solutions” that may affect and violate even more of Nature’s Rights. 

From the idea that geoengineering will permit us to regulate the global temperature even as we continue consuming fuel and materials at our current rates, to the notion the unexploited fossil fuel reserves in one place can be “traded” for reserves that are being exploited elsewhere, these strategies all have the same purpose: to “greenwash” old practices, while making no substantial changes. 

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences —and other similar forums — have become the main arenas for the promotion of these ideas, making it more important than ever to show them for what they are, and to provide both the public and the authorities with a clear, unclouded perspective on why these strategies are not real solutions to the urgent problems that we face—  and what some real solutions could be.

The 5th International Rights of Nature will hear the Climate Change Case – False solutions to the Climate Change crisis on November 3rd at 16h00 Glasgow time, 17h00 Paris time, 10 Ecuador time, 12 Brazil, time.

The Tribunal will hear about the current state of the Climate Change Crisis, its immediate effects such as the temperature rise, ocean rise, changes in climatic seasons, intensification of rainfall, ice sheets retreats,acidification of the ocean, among others. It will listen to false solutions such as geoengineering, iron fertilization, BECCS, Carbon Capture and Storage Sequestration, Solar Radiation Management, Carbon Offsets, Net Zero Emissions and Nature Based Solutions. It will hear about the fossil fuel industry that is the main reason for CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and its direct effects such as the concrete case of gas flaring in the Amazon, as well as the ocean pollution with coal in Chile. The Tribunal will hear from its witnesses and identify the Climate Change perpetrators, the polluting countries and industries, and even institutions like the UNFCCC identified as a perpetrator due to its inaction. However, not everything is lost, civil society is pushing for real solutions like keeping fossil fuels underground and recognizing the Rights of Nature and the Rights of Future Generations that will allow a real transition towards a new paradigm.

Evidence presented to the Secretariat for Case Consideration Climate Change Case

Presentation ENG
Presentation ESP

Previews Tribunals


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.

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. 

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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Learn more About the tribunal

The Fifth International Rights of Nature Tribunal will be heard on the 3rd and 4th of November, 2021, in Glasgow, alongside the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, where it will deliver its message in the very arena where the environmental policies of the world are being debated, standing as an alternative to the many false solutions that are being peddled there.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal