The Earth Social Conference, the first climate and social justice international conference to gather dozens of groups and activists from different parts of the world to boycott COP and start to build the movement’s plan to stop the climate crisis and capitalism within the climate deadlines, happened from the 5th to the 10th of December in Casanare (Colombia). Here you can find a brief summary of what happened and the next steps.
Over this summer, while temperature records were being successively beaten, while the 28th conference of parties was being planned on a petro-state, and while emissions kept increasing after COP 27th, several organizations got together to state that we need to abandon once and for all the idea that the institutions that created the climate crisis will solve it, and that our movement needs to stop legitimizing criminal spaces like COP. Instead, we got together to organize a conference where our movement could meet to not only boycott COP, but also to start building it’s own plan to stop the climate crisis and change this system within the climate deadlines. After that, many others followed this appeal.
The first Earth Social Conference counted with the offline presence of more than five dozens of organizers from Colombia, Germany, México, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Spain, Ecuador, Portugal, USA, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Peru and Venezuela.
But this conference would have not been possible without the energy and work of many others that weren’t able to join due to capitalist borders and/or socioeconomic inequalities, namely from Africa, which had their Visas revoked, and from Pakistan, where the conference was initially going to take place. For that reason, we had one day dedicated to online sessions where people that weren’t able to attend the conference in person could still share their valuable input.
The build-up for the conference started way before December. In October we had one webinar about why the youth should boycott COP, with the participation of BDS Palestine, FFF Zambia and End Fossil Occupy from Leiden/Delft and Portugal. Also in November we started our online calls about why do we need to coordinate internationally and what kind of international coordination did we need to come out of this conference.
The conference had four days filled with offline or hybrid plenaries and sessionsorganized by different groups about four main strategic pillars our movement needs to address: vision, theory of change, strategy and organization.
After arriving at the space on Thursday and starting to get to know each other, Wednesday we mainly had sessions about the post-capitalist world we want to build and which theory of change will allow us to reach that world.
Thursday we had our day dedicated to hybrid sessions with online speakers, mainly about which strategies we need to implement to follow that/those theory/theories of change.
Friday we mainly had sessions and discussions (both pre-programmed and proposed during the conference for the open slot) about strategy and how to organize ourselves across our contexts to be most effective.
All the sessions that happened (except for the open slot) can be seen here, and the main discussions and conclusions from those sessions and plenaries will be available on a final report.
Over the weekend we had more-in-depth discussions about conclusions we draw from the sessions that we can take with us for our future work, what kind of international coordination do we need to build and strengthen our own climate realist plan, and what is the future of the Earth Social Conference and how to keep on boycotting the next COPs.
We decided to keep on boycotting COP and that the next Earth Social Conference will take place in México in 2024. Until then, we are all committed to strengthen this network and its message, so that this alternative space becomes the main space where climate realist groups and activists should go to fight for climate change and change the system within climate deadlines.
We also decided to start preparing already the boycott of the COP30 (in 2025) that is supposed to take place in Amazonia.
Besides this, some of the youth groups present at the conference committed to organize several actions to create disruption on public decision making intitutions demanding the end of fossil fuels by 2030, leading to a student uprising on 2024/2025.
Finally, we also reiterated our commitment to keep working on international coordination and to plan internationally to change the system, while cutting emissions, by 2030.
On the 8th of January, at 3PM UTC, we will have an online call where we will share in more depth the next steps that came out of the Earth Social Conference and how more groups and activists can get involved in them. If you are interested in attending this call, fill out this form and you will receive the details afterwards.
Join us in order to build the collective force we need to pull the emergency break.