The Homeland Program 2013-2019 makes clear its manifesto, included in the fifth historic great goal: to save the planet.
Leave the commitment of Venezuelans against the world scenario. Global warming and climate change. Water consumption in the world. Making awareness to the problem of endangered species. The development of renewable energies and protection of natural resources, are topics that are strongly present in the future of Venezuela.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that no more than a third of the proven reserves of fossil fuels in the world, can be consumed by 2050 if it wants to limit the warming to 2 ° C.
As explained by Bill McKibben, director of the international environmental organization 350.org, if Venezuela were to exploit its heavy oil and Canada its bituminous sands , this would mean “game over” for the global climate, as both reserves would fill the remaining “atmospheric space “or” carbon budget “.
President Chávez assumed a position on global warming. He stressed that climate change can not be subject to selfish and capital markets interests .
The key to solve the climate problem requires all countries in low-carbon economies.
In a negotiation of the United Nations in Bonn, Germany, 2009, however, a Venezuelan official said that “a shift to a low carbon economy will have negative impacts on developing countries exporters of oil, suggesting that a treaty on the robust climate change would conflict with the development model of Venezuela. ”
In the climate negotiations in the different Summits, Venezuela has held to the argument that developing countries have the right to issue its carbon quota to ensure its growth.
Venezuela releases only a 0.56% of the total world emissions of greenhouse gases, but produces a per capita (approximately six tons per person), figures much higher than the world’s poorest nations.
Current emissions in Venezuela, however, pale in importance compared to what is at stake if are fully developed plans for exploiting its oil reserves.
The National Development Plan of Venezuela (2013-19) includes measures to limit emissions, involving the oil industry and it would create a global movement to address climate change.
The Venezuelan government has invested $ 500 million in wind farms and distributed 155 million bulbs to promote energy saving.
However, critics suggest that Venezuela has little interest and commitment in the fight against climate change, and that the objectives of the plan is unlikely to apply.
According ClimateScope, organization that ranks the ability of countries to attract capital from sources of low carbon energy and the efforts to build a “green economy”, Venezuela is currently 24th out of 26 countries.
At the UN climate negotiations, Venezuela is part of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-in spanish) with Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua, alliance praised by citizens groups of many countries to fight for climate justice.
But the main task of Venezuelans begins at home. It is essential that the Venezuelan State assumes with responsibility in its political agenda the environmental issue.
Reducing and properly handle its waste generated. Stop the proliferation of landfills. Build adequate infrastructure and develop policies aimed at environmental massified education oriented to the generation of residues, the reuse and recycling, are fundamental axis.
Check its excessive and deficient vehicle fleet in major cities and replacing highly polluting transportation systems, would make the difference in public policies towards lower carbon emissions
Venezuela might consider supporting the initiative of Ecuador, who seek to propose at the next OPEC meeting a levy for every barrel of oil exported to rich countries to help poor countries to adapt to climate change.
Going forward, Venezuela has an option on climate change. It can be renamed itself as a proactive player at home, working towards to a low carbon economy, or join with the ambitious countries in the UN climate negotiations.
With the largest known oil reserves, Venezuela’s position on climate change is essential. Along the way, remains to be seen whether it will be considered as an ally to achieve an ambitious global treaty, binding and fair, or not to assume the appropriate role as an inheritance from its great leader.
Gustavo Carrasquel | CEO Blue Environmentalists Foundation | ANCA24