Environment on table in constitutional convention


Numerous delegates to Chile’s Constitutional Convention have a background in environmental advocacy, including five members of Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC), a network of 130 Chilean green groups. (Photo courtesy of FIMA)

Environmentalists played an active part in the popular uprising that shook Chile in October and November of 2019, when citizens nationwide denounced socioeconomic inequality. Today, one of their key goals in the wake of the unrest—a so-called “ecological constitution”—looks increasingly feasible. The 2019 protests underscored how Chile’s ostensible economic success over the years masked widespread public anger over low wages, high prices and dissatisfaction with the country’s partly privatized health, educational and pension systems. Millions took to the streets in a month of sometimes violent demonstrations in which over 30 people died. President Sebastián Piñera and opposition politicians ultimately eased tensions by agreeing in November 2019 to reform the country’s constitution, which was adopted in 1980 under the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Ever since, green groups have called for a new constitution that enshrines rights of nature, a human right to water, and limits on... [Log in to read more]

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