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Climate Change

International Civil Society Call to Address Inequalities and Social Justice in Climate Policy

October - November 2015

SUMMARY

Socioeconomic inequality is an integral part of the climate crisis, and must be addressed. Climate change disproportionately impacts poor and marginalized people and communities, who suffer climate impacts more severely, do not have the resources to respond or adapt, and lack the resources and influence to demand necessary changes. Climate change particularly impacts women and girls. Climate change is also a factor in the migration crisis. Climate change hurts the poor or marginalized more than the rich, compounding existing inequalities.

Inequality is a key driver of the climate crisis. Inequality lies at the root of unsustainable behaviors. Inequality makes it socially acceptable for some people to have far more than others, and ties consumption to social status, promoting over-consumption. Our economic system also drives the climate crisis, as growth, short-term incentives and profit motives systematically contradict sustainability.

Inequalities, both within and among nations, block agreements and pathways that could lead to sustainability. Within nations, socioeconomic inequalities reduce cultural diversity, depriving societies of potential models for more sustainable ways of life. Overwhelmed with problems caused by inequalities, societies cannot turn their energy towards the transition to sustainability. Between communities and nations who do not share common interests and responsibilities, agreement to address climate change is unlikely to be found. Socioeconomic inequality, by eroding trust and creating social fragmentation, blocks cooperation and joint problem-solving.

In a Time of Ebola, Lobbying for Action on Poverty

GCAP Liberia and a coalition of civil society leaders - representing women, youth, elderly, the disabled and democracy advocates - met with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in September to emphasise the urgency of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and adopting a transformative Post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of the Ebola virus, which was first reported in Liberia in March 2014 and has since claimed some 2500 lives.

"We are aware of the many challenges our President is facing in the fight against the killer Ebola virus and the slow economy growth," notes James Roberts of GCAP Liberia.  "Civil society actors will remain committed and persistent in influencing our President to push harder for a legitimate Post-2015 development agenda that is more inclusive and participatory."

El Salvador: Climate Action

As activists prepare for one of the largest climate days in history - some 250,000 people are expected to march in New York on Sunday 21 September - a broad alliance of organisations and GCAP constituents including youth and indigenous people are holding a Celebration of Sustainability in El Salvador's second largest city, Santa Ana.

This festival of solidarity will focus on creativity, invention and innovation in the areas of food sovereignty, natural medicine, folk arts and ecological tools like energy-saving stoves and solar energy.

action/2015 Asia

In the middle of a coup d'etat, representatives from GCAP Asia and the Asia Development Alliance (ADA) met in Thailand to form a broad and inclusive platform called action/2015 Asia to inspire and mobilise individuals, organisations, social movements and others across the continent.

The goal: nothing short of achieving a just and sustainable world.

action/2015 Asia -- which is aligned with GCAP's Global Moves for Justice as well as the global action/2015 campaign -- will amplify the voices and aspirations of Asians to influence governments, businesses, institutions as well as the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda and international climate negotiations. (Read more.)

Climate Change, Dams and Deforestation: The Bolivian Tragedy

By Carmen Capriles

I must share with you a little of the grief that we are suffering here in Bolivia over the past month.

Bolivia has endured the worst wet season in years, despite the fact that this has been caused by neither an El Nino or La Nina weather pattern.

58,000 families have already been affected, including 80% of the indigenous people living in the lowlands of the Amazonian forest.  At least 56 people have been killed.

Let's be clear. This is not just an act of Mother Nature. There are three major causes:

  • Climate Change
  • The Dams in Brazil
  • Deforestation

  

 

 

Rio 1992 Connected the Environment and Development, Rio+20 Looks Like Splitting Them Up

Rio De Janeiro - 18 June 2012 - The Rio+20 Summit will fail if it agrees to current proposals, which risk worsening the divide between environment and development efforts, warned anti-poverty and environmental campaigners today.

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