The planet speaks, listens and responds with justice – global issues

While Africa is responsible for two to three percent of the global emissions the continent stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable. Photo Joyce Chimbi

While Africa is responsible for two to three percent of the global emissions the continent stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable. Photo Joyce Chimbi
Although 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 & Nairobi)
  • Inter-Press Office

António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General’s special address on climate action, entitled ‘A Moment of Truth’, said that 2024 was the warmest May on record, making it twelve consecutive months of the warmest on record. Over the past year, every turn of the calendar has turned up the heat.

“Our planet is trying to tell us something. But it seems we’re not listening. Humanity is just a small blip on the radar. But like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, we are having an outsized impact. In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteors. We are not alone in danger. We are the danger. But we are also the solution,” he said.

The speech was delivered during the 60th Sessions of Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—also called the 2024 Bonn Climate Conference – to build on the many mandates of COP28 in Dubai, making progress on key issues and preparing decisions for adoption COP29 UN conference on climate change in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024.

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

Stressing that extreme events are “being turbocharged by climate chaos – destroying lives, devastating economies and damaging health. Destroying sustainable development; forcing people out of their homes; and shaking the foundations of peace and security – as people are displaced and vital resources are depleted.”

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

This approach recognizes that marginalized or vulnerable communities, especially in developing and least developed countries, often face the worst impacts of climate change. The “triple injustice” of climate change means that they often experience additional disadvantages as a result of responses to climate change, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities.

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

“They come to these negotiations and talk about issues like mitigation ambition, while they backtrack and move away from the climate finance agenda,” she said, pointing to the developed world’s inability to stick to their pledges to cut their carbon emissions by 25 to to be pushed back 40 years. percent in 2020.

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

She also called them out on climate finance.

“The developed world only managed to generate around $51.6 billion per year between 2019 and 2020, against a commitment of $100 billion per year. And here they come talking about achievements and that they are on track, when they are nowhere near that goal,” she said.

Sara Shaw of Friends of the Earth International emphasized that in recent decades, developed countries have not provided the financing they owe developing countries to achieve a just transition and a meaningful and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels. This has led to a serious emergency, with the consequences of the climate crisis becoming increasingly devastating.

“The situation is, understandably, fueling a narrative of urgency. But instead of urgency meaning action aimed at tackling the root causes of the climate crisis at its source, including fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, we see rich countries and big polluters pursuing a series of dangerous distractions, such as the carbon emissions. market,” she said.

Raman speaks of a lack of good faith in the negotiations, of major countries minimizing and concealing their contribution to global emissions, and of their financial responsibility towards developing and underdeveloped countries. Saying there is resistance to focusing on finances and a conscious shift to focusing on other issues.

“Developed countries say the negotiations here are not just about finance, but about the global stocktake – how parties have made progress towards achieving global climate goals – as a whole. The negotiations concern each outcome of the global inventory. But what they are trying to do is dilute and cloud the discussions so that there is no total focus on finances,” Raman points out.

“For Baku, COP29 is a financial COP and the new collective quantified goal in the field of finance is a very critical discussion that is happening now and needs to be decided in terms of the size of the new goal.”

Civil society from Africa, under the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), is in Bonn to express their concerns and demands on behalf of millions of Africans suffering from the effects of climate change. To remind Parties to the UNFCCC of their moral and legal obligations to protect their planet and people from the existential threat of global warming. To hold them accountable for their actions and inactions that have caused and exacerbated this crisis.

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

Their statement said their appeal was not out of charity or sympathy.

“We are here to demand justice and equality; to demand that the parties, especially those from the North, stop procrastinating; to call on them to listen to the voices of the people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, and to take action. We follow the best available science and the principles of equality and common but differentiated responsibilities. We are here to call on rich countries to show leadership and courage in tackling this crisis that threatens our common future.”

IPS UN agency report

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

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