COP25: Final Declaration of the People's Summit 2019

This article was published on
 | News and analysis
COP25 People's Summit logo – a brown woman with long brown hair embraces the planet.
From 2 to 7 December, War on Want was a part of the Cumbre de los Pueblos (People's Summit) in Santiago, Chile. Below is the final declaration of the summit, which highlights that despite the glaring asymmetries present in the climate crisis and the stifling situation of the climate talks at the UN, the solutions to the crises we face today continue to be driven by the communities and movements who defend their lands, water and livelihoods – and we must take inspiration from that.

Between 2 and 7 December 2019, hundreds of organisations, women, men, Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, migrant communities, farmers, peasants, workers, young people and children – from Chile, Latin America and the world – were part of the Peoples Summit held at the University of Santiago de Chile.

Amid a country in a state of rebellion, mobilised against an unjust and predatory neoliberal system, and in the face of a violent and abusive state, the public University, fully fulfilling its role, opened the doors for us: to debate about the planetary crisis and its multiple expressions – social and environmental, national and territorial; to share our struggles, our denunciations and demands; and to imagine together the possibility of another world.

More than 40 activities – panels, workshops, councils, conversations and other formats – self-organised by participating organisations, two permanent spaces – the Women's Tent and the Village of Peace – artistic-cultural activities as well as the panels and plenaries of the Peoples' Summit welcomed the active participation of around 1,500 accredited compañeros and compañeras.

From the fraternal experience lived and shared during these five days, the organisations of the People's Summit declare the following:

1. We reiterate our commitment to the peoples of Chile and other Latin American countries that have risen against structural injustices, the usurpation and privatisation of common goods, social precariousness, structural violence against women, systemic racism, and the violation of rights of the neoliberal system; and we demand justice in cases of deaths and human rights violations with which states have responded to these mobilisations.

2. We support the demands of social movements and territorial assemblies demanding a true Constituent Assembly in Chile, made up entirely of citizens, and without privileges for political parties, which considers gender parity and significant quotas for indigenous peoples.

3. We do not conceive of a constitutional process that answers to the rules of a political-electoral system that has been one of the pillars of the Chilean neoliberal model, and whose political class has shown a new demonstration of subordination to business interests through the actions of the Chamber of Deputies and the creation of the so-called "anti-looting" law, which includes articles that openly criminalise the legitimate social protest.

4. We support the aspirations of organisations and communities in Chile to establish a political constitution endowed with the principles of plurinationality, feminism, and the recognition of the rights of nature.

5. In the framework of the climate negotiations at the COP25 climate talks in Madrid:

  • We condemn the fact that the COP25 presidency was retained by the Government of Sebastian Piñera, responsible for assassinations, torture, rapes, mutilations, injuries, humiliation, arbitrary detentions and other human rights violations committed by State agents.
  • We reject the promotion of false solutions to climate change which deepen the crisis and strengthen the model that created it – such as carbon markets, hydroelectricity and other corporate-based energies, carbon sinks based on tree monocultures and agrofuels, industrial energy from forest biomass, incineration, geoengineering and hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
  • We demand that effective measures be taken to avoid the corporate capture of the negotiations, as well as for large corporations and the most polluting countries to radically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and pay their fair share for the damages caused, predominantly in the most vulnerable territories.
  • We call for greater visibility to climate migration and for the promotion of migration policies through a human rights approach.
  • We call for the implementation of a real just transition and truly sustainable solutions, outside of market mechanisms and extractivism, and based on territorial sovereignty, local practices, cultures and economies, on decent working and living conditions, as well as on continuous exchange and solidarity between towns and communities.

6. We reject the imposition and expansion of extractivism by governments and international organisations, in collusion with corporate power, which conceive all territories as potential areas of sacrifice, destroys ecosystems, displaces communities, affecting their lifestyles and local economies. This includes the promotion of, and subsidies for, metallic or non-metallic mining, forest plantations, agribusiness and conventional livestock, which also carries a high dose of cruelty towards animals.

7. We echo and elevate the demands and claims of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, for the demilitarisation of their territories – particularly the Wallmapu – the return of their ancestral lands and the full exercise of their political, social and cultural rights.

8. Citing the statement of the Women's Tent, “we claim the feminist economy as a strategy of resistance and transformation for the lives of women and their communities, as a way of recognising and valuing the knowledge, domestic work and care that sustains life but which, in this capitalist system, falls on women.”

9. We celebrate the strength and active participation of young people and children in the Summit spaces, and recognise the leading role they have played in denouncing the crisis and promoting structural changes.

10. We demand the deprivatisation of water in Chile, the effective and integral protection of glaciers, the recovery of land for peasants and the promotion of agroecological models in territories, and through public policies, free of GMOs and chemical pesticides, based on food sovereignty and the recovery and exchange of products and seeds, as well as prioritising conservation, regeneration and ecosystem restoration.

11. We demand policies and promote community initiatives aimed at generating fairer and friendlier cities, harmonising the city-countryside relationship, deprivatising basic services, promoting broad and participatory territorial planning, implementing zero-waste models and sustainable urban mobility systems.

12. We demand the radical transformation of energy models to ones based on sovereignty, sufficiency and solidarity, in order to construct clean, decentralised and distributive energy-generation systems through diverse community-based sources.

13. We reject the signing of free trade and investment treaties that benefit corporations, violate social rights and undermine local economies and food sovereignty. We demand the final and definitive withdrawal of Trans Pacific Partnership 11 from the Chilean parliament.

14. We call for the construction of Latin American and international movements and articulations, integrating ecological and climatic justice organisations, feminists, Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, migrants, workers, peasants, young people, children, in order to stop the model privatising the commons and to raise alternative paradigms like buen vivir and others that flourish from the cosmovisions of the peoples.

15. Finally, citing the declaration of the Village of Peace, “we invite ourselves to collective co-create ways to relate to nature, and a conscious and loving way to relate to each other. […] We understood the need to incorporate the rights of nature and of all living beings that sustain the planetary fabric, as constituents of our lives and the laws of the peoples.”

Santiago, December 7, 2019


Cumbre de los Pueblos was the original alternative space running parallel to the COP25 climate talks, which were moved at the very last minute to Madrid, Spain, in an attempt by the Chilean government to divert attention away from the huge popular uprisings that are still happening in the country. 

When COP25 was moved the Spain, social movements organised the Social Summit for Climate Action as a way to build bridges and foment dialogue between the social movement and civil society spaces in Chile and Spain, read their final declaration here: The world has woken in face of the climate emergency.

Protester at climate march holds up placard reading "Mi Futuro esta en sus manos" (My future is in your hands)

Join us in calling for a Global Green New Deal

Stand with us and reimagine a world where protecting people and the planet come first.

Act now!