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Climate Changing Leonie (Osnabrueck, Germany)
I come from a mid-sized own in the North West of Germany. Even though the town is not affected by extreme whether events and not considered to be at risk by climate change, the climate in or town does change. My town monitors the weather since 1951. Since then the annual average temperature has risen by 1.4 ° C and the extremely high temperature events in the summer increase (partly by 30%). At the same time, there are less days at extremely low temperatures, whereas the annual precipitation levels remain approximately constant, and the stronger rain events – if at all – tend to rise slightly. Hence action on climate change is also needed in areas which are not in the spotlight of climate risks.
Climate Changing Ana (Berlin, Germany)
Countries in the global south will be hit earliest and hardest by climate change, even though they have contributed little to causing the problem. People in the global north think that they cannot do anything about it. But yes – they could change their lifestyle by travelling eco-friendly, buying saisonal and organic food and by just consuming less. Climate justice!
Ilona 25, Bulgaria
Starting to dig more into the understanding and feeling of the consequences of the almost lost relationship between people and nature, between people themselves, and between people and their own human nature, actually is changing me completely as a person. Great! The change starts from within, it starts from the self. I am growing, that’s amazing. However, I am asking myself – what I am going to do when aiming for a more mindful, harmonious, connected and fairly shared life happens in a world that is everything else but that? Having said that, climate is affecting my sense of living, my vision for existence and it bothers one of my very first human rights – to choose to live in harmony and real connection with nature and society.
Intensification of extreme weather event, floods, sea level rise, desertification and drought, etc. caused by climate change are further environmental stress factors that influence global phenomenon of migration, would they be internal or international migration. As the World Watch Institute’s State of the World report (2013) shows, loss of land, threat to livelihood conditions, instability and decrease of food production, as well as, increase of food price for example results in increasing seasonal and long term migration.
The UN International Organisation for Migration reports that most cited estimate states that there could be over 200 million environmental migrants by 2050 which corresponds to the current estimate international migrants worldwide. In 2015, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) estimates that an average of 22,5 million people (62,000 people every day) were displaced each year since 2008 because of climate or weather related events.
The relentless race towards growth in the world’s most industrialized countries and a culture of immediate and limitless consumption driving a growth spreading all over the nations, are based on an infinite exploitation of natural resources, which is already showing its catastrophic impact on the earth’s ecological equilibrium. Mining, extractive and emitting industries, coal, oil and gas combustion, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, changes in land use are among the most destructive practices of this unsustainable development model.
They are also the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions and the increase of global average temperatures, intensifying the phenomenon of climate change.
Politics lack binding measure to protect the people and nature. Global governance did not yet manage to establish sufficient means to intervene in a timely and efficient manner. The environment and climate treaties, from Rio 1992 onwards, have not led to strong binding commitments for the signatories, in particular in emission reduction, due to the idea that national sovereignty is an untouchable principle.
The response of the world leaders has been totally inadequate to the challenge ahead. Climate change policies, rather than questioning the activities that cause these phenomena, only identify quick-fix solutions, This is part of a vision of the world, based on the limitless exploitation of resources, on wealth accumulation and power in the hands of a few people. Many mechanisms or technologies implemented to tackle climate change represents false solutions (bio-fuels, geo-engineering, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds resistant to climate change), are only a few examples of this diverting operation. These false solutions, often hidden behind the name of green economy, respond to economic interests instead of truly address the emergency to protect our planet.
In this context of contrasting interests, each of us is threatened and feel the impact of climate change. Those most vulnerable are already paying a very high price for the consequences of climate change on their lives. With different range of intensity, it is increasingly affecting all of us, including all natural species, animals, plants and ecosystems.
Climate change calls for 1 priority action: SHUT DOWN emissions. To do so, the dominant energy, exploitation and production models should be radically changed. Also, high biodiversity areas should be preserved, smart mobility promoted, damaged territories cleaned up, overbuilding should be stopped. As such, public and participated management of resources and ecosystemic services should be guaranteed, etc.
In the light of the failures so far attested by recent information acquired (thanks to the Mauna Loa International Atmospheric Observatory – which recorded an increase in the threshold of 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere since 2015 (when its maximum limit would be 350 ppm), – it is imperative to rethink future actions that could guarantee the survival of our ecosystem, leaving the current path behind and starting a radically different one.
The first step is putting environmental issues first (nature and its inhabitants) rather than economic interests. The Earth is the habitat where human beings live, not the means through which they can increase their profits. It is necessary to promote an approach to climate justice that contemplates both Human and Nature’s Rights
Among key issues, It is time to adopt a new approach when planning our energy future. The introduction of energy efficiency measures, the development and deployment of new, clean renewable and safe energy technologies is an imperative that is not delayed. Ignoring our existing alternatives, we risk more than we can afford. The dependence of fossil fuels brings us only air pollution, bad health, energy poverty and more.
In order to build effective solutions, it is necessary to start from individuals and local communities as pillars of international political choices. For this reason, international collaboration is vital among organizations, associations, collectives and informal groups that work on or are committed to the protection of the environment, and acknowledge climate and environmental justice as fundamental elements of social justice.
It is also vital to show that a shift towards different lifestyles, that are respectful of the environment, needs to start from ourselves. This is a tool for a real change in the society we live in. We therefore need to build networks of knowledge, empathy and mutual support among different groups, with different geographical and cultural origins. This shows how unity, cooperation and the will for change are fundamental elements in the protection of our planet and all human beings.
THE CAMPAIGN #ClimateChangingMe
In order to start a network, we have designed the international campaign Climate Changing Me. The campaign has been created by a group of young activists from different countries gathering the international experience of social and environmental organisations in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. This international framework helped the campaign to provide different and wider perspectives on climate justice, claiming for more space for civil societyin independence from states and companies.
The debate on contrast to climate change can be often seen as a top-down undemocratic decisions that do not take into account the voice of the affected population. We question the readiness of global governance and economic powers to building the radical change that is needed to tackle climate change. That is why we strongly believe the alternatives are in the hand of the people and that more democracy in climate change decision making is urgent. To overturn the dynamics that brought us to the brink of climate disaster, we need to start by giving voices to those that are not heard and providing tools for mobilising to citizens, communities and youth in particular.
Our first campaign action wants to give voice to those who experience climate change and think they have no power of intervention. We aim to gather testimonies of those who suffer directly the consequences of climate change (to enhance the voice of the world’s citizens unheard by politicians), who feel powerless and believe they cannot make any difference.
Through this manifesto, we appeal to all the individuals, organisations, associations, grassroots, formal and informal collectives active in environmental and social justice to join us in this intend (promote together a first collective action through the campaign Climate Changing Me) by supporting the campaign on social media, organise direct actions, events and forums and extend this call to further many other groups around the world to keep rising our voices for a real shift in this system!
Environmental Rights Action FoEN
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