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Opening of Cumbre social por el Clima Madrid 2019 during UNCCC COP 25

In 2018 and 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed what our peoples and organizations have been saying for some time: the climate crisis has already hit Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas; agribusinesses has played a major part in creating the crisis; and we must take urgent action to completely transform our societies! We are already witnessing multiple examples of the climate crisis: Cyclone Idai in Mozambique; the flooding of Karnataka and Maharastra in India; heatwaves of over 45° C that have devastated Europe and North America; and the burning of the Amazon in South America.

La Via Campesina believes firmly that the climate should not change. Instead, action must be taken without delay for a complete turnaround, changing the capitalist system that exploits, pollutes and uses up our commons, which are the heritage of peoples throughout the world. This urgent and much needed transformation must be implemented through a just transition and will only be possible if the rights of peasants, indigenous peoples and all those working in rural areas are fully respected. This means ending all forms of violence against women and diverse people; and democratically controlling land, water, territories and other commons.

Peasant communities across the world already feed the majority of people (70% of the world’s population) with minimal access to agricultural resources (25%). Meanwhile, monocrop agribusinesses exporters destroy biodiversity, cause illness, displace communities, drive global warming and massacre those who stand up against them. La Via Campesina categorically rejects all false solutions to the climate crisis, including carbon markets (especially on farmlands), REDD and REDD+, agrofuels, GMOs and the so-called ‘climate-smart agriculture’, not to speak of the extremely dangerous geoengineering. We want food sovereignty based on peasant agroecology, social and climate justice through a just transition and respect for the majorities. This is what we work for in our respective countries, day in and day out.
History has taught us that solutions come from the peoples. At COP25, we insist that our so-called “representatives” assume their responsibilities instead of simply serving the interests of capital.