Saul Profile picture
Jul 11, 2022 13 tweets 3 min read Read on X
This week, Chile announced a proposed new constitution written by a democratically elected convention, and it is likely the most legitimate constitution in the world, as it is written boldly in the context of the climate crisis. A 🧵on its inspiring climate provisions.
Please note, this thread is among the most complete translations of the climate provisions into English yet, so please share widely so people know how serious this really is. On Sep 4th, Chile will vote on this Constitutional proposal, with fierce right wing opposition.
Right wing forces are trying to undermine and delegitimize an admirable, equitable democratic process, implying their preference for a dictator's decree over the will of Chilean people. Intl solidarity is urgently needed to fend off these attacks on Chile’s popular sovereignty.
Early sections of the constitution inscribe environmental protection, environmental education, and the right to clean air and a healthy environment as basic human rights. Nature is given an inherent right to exist and other rights cannot impede that. See Articles 39, 81, 103-106.
Chapter 3 covers nature and environment. It’s tremendous. It outlines state responsibility to protect nature’s rights and guiding principles inc. environmental justice and international solidarity. The state is mandated to work to prevent, mitigate, & adapt to the climate crisis!
Ch. 3 has four sections. The first covers broadly defined natural commons, which are guaranteed for present and future generations and include water, air, the atmosphere, and underground. Ecosystem integrity is protected, including watersheds, glaciers, permafrost, oceans, etc.
The second covers water. Chile is the only country on earth with a fully privatized water market and it has Latin America's highest water prices. The constitution would make water a human right equitably distributed by a Nat'l Water Agency and a participatory governance system.
Sec. 3 establishes “absolute and exclusive domain” over all minerals & fossil fuels. Any mining is made to consider their finite non-renewable nature and enviro/social concerns. Glaciers, parklands, & big water bodies are excluded from mining. Companies are made liable for harms.
The last section of Chapter 3 is especially creative. It establishes and outlines an autonomous body to protect the legal rights of nature, building on an Indigenous-led tradition that has been tested at smaller scales in the US, Ecuador, and India.
The proposed Chilean constitution enshrines Indigenous sovereignty (Article 5), official Indigenous languages (12), self-determination (34), and representation (162). These are central pillars of its environmental legitimacy. Also see Articles 58, 65, 66, 79, 102, 234, 235, 309.
In other sections, financial activities are made to consider the environment. The Central Bank, state financial activities, and any creation or change of territories to consider environmental protection as a core part of the process. See Articles 184, 187, 358.
The Chilean people have risen up and rejected a constitution written by fascist generals and US ideologues. They've proposed an alternative (linked in Spanish) that could well be the most reasonable constitution in the world. A stunning achievement.…
As someone who writes climate justice and Indigenous policy in the US Congress, I am blown away by the courage of Chile and the way this document is written for today’s reality. Follow along as I continue to update on its amazing provisions that should be an example to the world!

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More from @saaaauuull

Aug 18, 2022
Chile’s proposed constitution, written by a representative democratic convention, is up for a vote on 9/4. If passed, it’ll be a victory for Indigenous self-determination in Chile and across the 🌎. I've translated key Indigenous provisions to expand access & celebrate them. A🧵:
Many, if not all, of these provisions were written by Indigenous peoples of Chile - a critical step toward justice and the first Indigenous participation in co-drafting the document, w/ 17 convention seats reserved for Indigenous peoples including the Mapuche, Rapa Nui, & Aymara.
Throughout this thread, I will tag some North American Indigenous scholars, activists, and orgs whose work you can check out to learn more about referenced topics (all gave permission). I also hope they will find this translation useful. Please follow them and support their work!
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