New Constitution To Tackle A “Climate And Ecological Emergency: Chile
The South American country of Chile has formed a Constitution Convention to write a new constitution to tackle a “climate and ecological emergency.”
- As climate catastrophes become inevitable, countries that are already struggling with resource depletion (water, in Chile’s case) are being forced to take action by its people.
- Chilean politicians want to leverage its lithium to make the country richer. As Most Chileans disagree with the government’s approach, similar measures in the past (including privatisation of water) have done little to help out people who need these resources the most.
- Under the leadership of military ruler Augusto Pinochet (who overthrew communist Salvador Allende in a coup in 1980), Chile began its ongoing journey of resource exploitation.
- There’s a problem – lithium mining causes soil moisture to decline and causes daytime temperatures to increase which in turn makes the area drier. While more lithium may be extracted, it may become even more unfit for humans.
- The new constitution will focus on lithium mining and its regulation. In addition, it will foresee how lithium mining benefits indigenous communities.
- The architects of the new constitution will also assess whether Chile’s political system needs a revamp.
- Their work will not only shape how this country of 19 million is governed.
- It will also determine the future of a soft, lustrous metal — lithium — lurking in the salt waters beneath this vast desert beside the Andes Mountains.
- This reworking of the constitution is a reminder of changing priorities in a world moving towards climate catastrophes.