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"It is because of individuals like you that I remain convinced that we can overcome the climate challenge and leave a just and better world for our children. The fight is not over”
Kofi A. Annan, Global Humanitarian Forum (timeforclimatejustice. org)
Within the next few years, the effects climate change, such as diminishing water supplies, rising sea levels, desertification, and forest fires, will displace millions of refugees worldwide. Evidence of this can already be observed. According to the UN, some small island nations and communities in coastal regions are already confronted with the prospect of having to relocate as rising sea levels continue to submerge the land that they call home.
Shrinking Lake Chad: Photo courtesy of NASA and commons.wikimedia.org
In Africa, what was once the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Chad, and covered more than 10,000 square miles, is today one-fifth of its original size. Warming temperatures and a change in rainfall patterns are blamed for upwards of 75 percent of the water’s disappearance. The livelihoods of tens of millions of Africans, who depend on Lake Chad for fishing and agricultural purposes, are today threatened by its disappearance.
Neighborhood in West Oakland
Photo courtesy of articles.sfgate.com
Climate change is caused most by wealthy polluting nations,that emit large amounts of CO2, but disproportionately affects those who are the least equipped to deal with the change—those of lower economic status and communities of color. Here in the Bay Area we are in no way exempt from the effects of climate change. Many communities in low-lying regions throughout the Bay Area will be affected by rising sea levels and the poorest neighborhoods, such as West Oakland, will be displaced without the resources to cope and relocate.
The Maldive islands is the lowest country in the world. The highest natural point is just 2.3 meters
Some progress has been made in the political arena, scientific community, and in public awareness. But much more needs to be done. Also, international treaties,such as the Kyoto Protocol and the recent Copenhagen Accord, are widely recognized as seriously inadequate due to weak targets and poor solutions. On the final day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the delegates only agreed to “take note of “ the Copenhagen Accord, but did not actually adopt it. Other criticism includes that the Accord itself is not legallybinding, that only five countries drafted it, and that it does not set any real targets to achieve in emissions reductions.
According to timeforclimatejustice. org, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, global emissions of greenhouse gasses around the world have to drop before 2020, but at the moment, emissions are still increasing rapidly. We must do our part to mobilize and tackle this issue before it is to late.
Please sign on your organization to this request:
While as national legislation, this Dear Obama letter is beyond the scope of what the Local Clean Energy Alliance will sign on to, several member organizations ofthe alliance have signed on or are in the process of signing on, including BayLocalize. Please address all sign on requests to Mari Rose Taruc:firstname.lastname@example.org
Underwater Government meeting in Maldives: Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post
To learn more about Climate Justice please visit the following links: