“For those living on the brink of survival, climate change is a very real and dangerous hazard. For many, it is a final step of deprivation.” – Kofi Annan
Climate change isn't just something to worry about in the future. For many of the world’s poorest people, those without a voice to protest, climate change is a problem now, even though their countries have contributed almost nothing to global greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
‘Climate Justice’ is urgently needed by today’s and tomorrow’s victims of climate change. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries die because of climate change-related crises. Environmental disasters cost governments billions, so people suffer even more as economies are hit. Climate Justice is needed by those whose communities and economies are ruined by abnormal and increasing tropical storms, floods, droughts and crop failures. Climate Justice is needed by the world’s children, because it is they who will face greater catastrophes tomorrow if something isn't done soon.
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change - rising sea levels, widespread flooding and drought - global emissions of greenhouse gases around the world have to drop before 2020. But at the moment, emissions are still increasing rapidly. Scientists point to a warming effect that continues for 20 years following any reductions in emissions. That will mean runaway climate change that we cannot stop - unless action happens now. Emissions know no borders, and neither do the destructive consequences of global warming.
But who takes responsibility? No one, really. Political leaders have a duty to act. Talk is easy, but action is limited, and now time is running out. Action needs to start with a binding agreement for change: tomorrow will be catastrophic unless the world takes action now. So why are we talking about this now and what can you do? The answer is Copenhagen, December 2009.