The planet speaks, listen and respond with justice — Global Issues

While Africa is responsible for two to three percent of global emissions, the continent disproportionately stands out as the most vulnerable. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS
  • by Joyce Chimbi (Bonn and Nairobi)
  • Inter Press Service

António Guterres, in the UN Secretary-General’s special address on climate action titled “A Moment of Truth”, declared that 2024 was the hottest May in recorded history, and that it will was 12 consecutive months among the hottest months on record. Over the past year, each turn of the calendar has raised the temperature.

“Our planet is trying to tell us something. But we don’t seem to be listening. Humanity is just a blip on the radar. But like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, we have an outsized impact. In the case of climate, we are not dinosaurs. We are the meteors. We are not only in danger. We are the danger. But we are also the solution,” he said.

The speech was delivered at the 60th session of the subsidiary bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as the Bonn Climate Change Conference 2024, to build on the numerous mandates of COP28 in Dubai, advance progress on key issues and prepare decisions for adoption at COP29 of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024.

“We are at a moment of truth. It is a travesty of climate justice that those least responsible for the crisis are hit hardest: the poorest people, the most vulnerable countries, indigenous peoples, women and girls. The richest 1 percent emits as much as two-thirds of humanity,” observed Guterres.

Stressing that extreme events “stimulated by climate chaos are accumulating, destroying lives, undermining economies and harming health. Destroy sustainable development; forcing people to leave their homes; and shake the foundations of peace and security, as populations are displaced and vital resources are exhausted.

Climate justice is an approach to climate action focused on the unequal impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations. It seeks to achieve a fair distribution of both the burdens of climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change, examining issues such as equality, human rights and historical responsibilities for climate change .

This approach recognizes that marginalized or vulnerable communities, particularly in developing and least developed countries, often face the worst consequences of climate change. The “triple injustice” of climate change means that they often experience additional disadvantage due to responses to climate change, exacerbating already existing inequalities.

Meena Raman of the Third World Network spoke about the poor performance and duplicity of developed countries.

“They come to these negotiations talking about issues like mitigation ambition while regressing and moving away from the climate finance agenda,” she said, highlighting the failure of the developed world to deliver on its commitments. promises to reduce their carbon emissions by 25 to 40%. percent by 2020.

“There is only 17.4 percent overall emissions reduction in developed countries and transition economies… This is the height of irresponsibility.”

She also questioned them on climate financing.

“The developed world only managed to generate around $51.6 billion per year between 2019 and 2020, compared to a commitment of $100 billion per year. And here they are talking about achievements and goals when they are far from this goal,” she said.

Sara Shaw of Friends of the Earth International highlighted that developed countries have failed to provide the funding they owe to developing countries in recent decades to ensure a just transition and a meaningful and just phase-out of fossil fuels. This has led to a disastrous emergency, with the impacts of the climate crisis becoming increasingly devastating.

“The situation is rightly fueling a discourse on urgency. But instead of saying that urgency means action to address the root causes of the climate crisis at the source, including fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, we see rich and big polluters chase a range of dangerous distractions, such as carbon. market,” she said.

Raman speaks of a lack of good faith in the negotiations, with major countries downplaying and disguising their contribution to global emissions and their financial responsibility to developing and underdeveloped countries. Saying there is resistance to focusing on finance and a deliberate shift towards other issues.

“Developed countries say the negotiations here are not just about financing, but also about the global record – how parties have progressed towards achieving global climate goals – in their entirety. The negotiations cover all the results of the global assessment. But what they are trying to do is to dilute and confuse the discussions so that they do not focus only on finance,” Raman pointed out.

“For Baku, COP29 is a COP on finance and the new collective quantified target on finance is a very critical discussion that is currently taking place and which must be decided in terms of the amount of the new target.”

African civil society, as part of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), is in Bonn to express its concerns and demands on behalf of the millions of Africans suffering from the impacts of climate change. Remind Parties to the UNFCCC of their moral and legal obligations to protect their planet and their people from the existential threat of global warming. Hold them accountable for their actions and inactions that caused and exacerbated this crisis.

“Africa is on the front lines of the climate crisis. We are suffering the worst effects of a problem we did not create. Our communities face severe water shortages, crop failures, malnutrition, disease, displacement, conflict, heatwaves and loss of life due to climate change. Our natural resources and ecosystems are under immense pressure from climate change and other human activities. Our development prospects and aspirations are undermined by inadequate support and funding from the international community,” their joint statement said.

Their statement indicated that their appeal was not for charity or sympathy.

“We are here to demand justice and fairness; to demand that parties, especially those in the North, stop prevaricating; to call on them to listen to the voice of the people, especially those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized , and to act according to the best available science and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. We are here to call on rich countries to show leadership and courage in the fight against this crisis which threatens our future. common.

Report from the UN IPS Office

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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