Thousands of environmental activists from 130 countries, including the world’s poorest, arrived in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on Tuesday for the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights. Their arrival coincided with the conclusion of the Sixth Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington DC, which included leaders from 17 developed countries.
The Bolivia Conference, conceived by President Evo Morales in January as an alternative to the U.N.-sponsored Copenhagen Summit last December, will run through April 22 (Earth Day) and aims to draft alternative proposals for the next UN meeting in Mexico, scheduled for December 2010.
Through participation at the Major Economies Forum and the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton writes in an op-ed that the U.S. and its partners are working together to confront climate change. This cooperation is reflected by efforts to link energy efficiency centers like Chile’s Renewable Energy Center in Santiago, Mexico’s Wind Center in Oaxaca, a biomass center in Brazil, and a geothermal center in El Salvador.
Morales claims the needs of developing countries are not being adequately considered in the climate change debates. Among the 18,000 people expected to attend the Cochabamba Conference are actor Danny Glover, director James Cameron and NASA scientist Jim Hansen.