Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bolivia Against the Grain

Bolivia stood alone today at the UN Climate Summit in Cancun as the only country that opposed the summit's declaration. Why? Bolivia felt the declaration didn't go far enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions or to support the renewal of the Kyoto Protocol before it expires next year.

At last year's Copenhagen summit, British PM Gordon Brown accused Morales of "holding the world to ransom." The Bolivian position didn't seem to make a much better impression on this year's host, Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa who rejected Bolivia's attempt to "impose a veto" over the other 193 countries.

In economic news, Bolivia also lowered the country's retirement age from 65 (60 for women) to 58 and 55 in a time when crushing deficits are forcing Western economies to evaluate raising the retirement age.

It's worth pointing out however that France, which withstood protests to raise its retirement age to 62, enjoys a life expectancy of 81.5. By comparison, the average Bolivian (with a life expectancy of 65.2) could expect to get a whopping two-tenths of a year of retirement at the previous age of 65.

Image Source: The Guardian
Online Sources: Voice of America, Al-Jazeera, Google, MSNBC, The Guardian

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