Environmentalist Organizations Reject Ricardo Lagos’ Appointment as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change

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Organizaciones ambientalistas rechazan designación de Ricardo Lagos como enviado especial sobre cambio climático de la ONU

Several Chilean ecologist groups have filed actions to oppose the appointment of former-president Ricardo Lagos as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.

After they learned about Lagos’ appointment, the groups submitted a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, rejecting the appointment and asking him to reconsider it. The letter has been widely supported, so a campaign against the former-president’s appointment is expected.

In the letter, the groups express their interest in climate change, which they consider to be “the main threat to the planet’s life”, so—they say—it must be adressed by qualified people.

Regarding the appointment of the former Chilean president, the groups said: “during his administration, Mr. Lagos showed an utter lack of consideration for the environment, promoted policies against environmental sustainability and favored the interests of big economic groups, even defending crimes against nature internationally”.

In the letter, the groups provide examples of actions carried out under Lagos’ admnistration including the approval of landmark projects because of their negative impact on the environment, such as Pascua Lama mining project—executed by Barrick Gold Corporation—and CELCO pulpmill in Valdivia, which killed thousands of black-neck swans in the Carlos Andwater sanctuary.

Lagos rejected the expressions of the ecologist groups and undermined the arguments against his appointment. But despite Lagos’ statements, the campaign against his appointment has a lot of support. The letter was originally signed by 20 organizations, but now other 50 groups have also signed it. Besides, international organizations have expressed their rejection to the presence of the former Chilean president at the UN mission.


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