Letter Sent to the Peruvian Government by International Civil Society Organizations Involved in the COP20 Process

By Oxfam

Approval of a package of environmental reforms raises international concern over Peruvian leadership of the COP20

• More than 100 international civil society organizations have rejected the recent approval of a package of economic stimulus measures because they weaken the country’s institutional environmental structures.

• These groups believe that, in the context of climate negotiations these recent reforms show a wrong sign.

• They call for coherence on the part of the Peruvian government, especially while it is holding the presidency of COP20, and demand review of the reform package.

09/07/14: More than 100 international civil society organizations participating in the climate negotiation process expressed their concern this week about the recent approval of environmental reforms included in Bill 03627/2013/PE, aimed at promoting and stimulating investment in the country.  These reforms curtail the State’s faculties to exercise environmental oversight, economic-environmental zoning, designation of natural reserves and protected areas, as well as establishment of environmental quality standards maximum permissible levels for polluting substances. 

The organizations sent a letter to Peru’s President Ollanta Humala requesting him to reconsider and withdraw the initiative, arguing that its approval constitutes a serious setback for Peru in the area of environmental protection, while it reinforces a misguided view in which environmental oversight and regulation are seen as impediments to investment and economic stimulus.  “In a context of global climate crisis, which requires concrete and urgent actions, this proposal constitutes a bad sign, which is even more serious considering the fact that Peru holds the presidency of the COP20,” they state. 

More than 100 international civil society organizations and networks from various continents signed the letter to the Peruvian government.   Included among the groups are OXFAM, WWF International, Third World Network – TWN, Friends of the Earth (Europe, United States and United Kingdom), Jubilee South– Asia Pacific, Tcktcktck Campaign, Sustainable Population Australia, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, CNCD-11.11.11, New York Climate Action Group, Climate Action Network (Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria), and the Latin American Building Bridges Initiative, among others.

According to these organizations, the reform package awards those who do not comply with environmental norms and is the result of pressures to relax environmental standards to facilitate expansion of the gas, oil and mining sectors, whose impact on the environment (including climate change) is widely known. “These pressures also exist within the framework of the global climate negotiations and the hope is for the Peruvian presidency of COP20 to take a leadership role that neutralizes this influence, which is a serious obstacle to achieving progress toward  a new Global Climate Agreement,” they stated.

Finally, the organizations called for the Peruvian government to act in accordance with the role that the world has conferred, by showing coherence at  national and international levels:  “We call on the Peruvian government to show strong global leadership on the environment, internally as well as externally, and in this way guide the nations of the world toward a productive and memorable COP20.”

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