Climate Change, Poverty and Climate Injustice

All around the world the poorest people are the first and worst affected by the consequences of the climate change. Universally this is called “Climate Injustice” because those people are the least responsible causing it. People living in extreme poverty do not have the resources to ensure their safety and well-being and thus are hit harder by the consequences of climate change. Fighting poverty worldwide also means addressing climate change and the effects it has on parts of society living in these conditions. The other way around, one needs to especially consider the poor people in the fight against climate change, because those are the most affected by the historical neglect of environment. Trying to raise the well-being of poor people, including their adaptation to the climate change, is what really needs to be aimed at by governments, businesses and society itself.

In several countries there are many people who are dependent on climate-sensitive activities like agriculture. They need the right crops to grow consistently in order to feed their families and to be able to make money and grow economically. Without their land they would have nothing. Landslides, long rain periods, draughts or other phenomena resulting from climate change which has already manifested itself intensely nowadays would expose them to various risks, such as hunger or homelessness.

“Climate Injustice” ought to be everyone’s concern. All of us need to recognize the seriousness of this problem and face it in order to design a global solution. Every country needs to undertake severe cuts in emissions and control them. At the Cancun conference in 2010 the World Meteorological Organization announced that the last decade (2000-2010) has been the hottest on record. Fortunately tropical forests absorb 15% of annual emissions of CO2. But deforestation prevents proper operation of this system because it returns the stored carbon to the atmosphere. The need to stop this activity is unquestionable, since forests are crucial to the survival of humanity. Worldwide deforestation has to stop in order to ensure the well-being of the economy and present and future generations of humanity. Likewise, the issue of solid waste needs to be taken into account. It is frequently overlooked though it doubtlessly constitutes a major influence on the daily life of mankind.

All of us live on this planet together and share its resources. Therefore, we must start acting immediately, helping and supporting each other, and use what is given to us wisely and respectfully.

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