we sign it - Together for climate and social justice during COP22

Together for climate and social justice during COP22

From the shores of the Mediterranean to the Sahel, facing the challenges of climate change and living well together

The 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate Change will take place this November in Marrakech, Morocco. The conference will  focus on issues of funding and adaptation strategies in response to the disasters already provoked by climate change. This is a crucial issue. Yet, until now policymakers around the world have only come up with limited or wrong answers.

The communities on the « frontline » of climate change are mobilized, and their struggles to preserve our commons concern all of us, as they prefigure those of hundreds of millions people who will be more and more impacted in the near future.

This is particularly the case in the Mediterranean sea and the Sahel areas; regions that are already facing major disruptions. Within the next 35 years, up to 290 million Mediterraneans are likely to suffer from freshwater shortages, unless major emitters drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. By the end of the century, surface water temperature will increase from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, provoking gigantic losses of underwater biodiversity and the collapse of entire areas of economic activity.

The Mediterranean sea and the Sahel have always been areas of cultural, social, economic and political exchange. As the cradles of many civilizations, these two regions have been the locus of decisive developments for its peoples and humanity at large. Today, both suffer from major geopolitical tensions and the exacerbation of hatred, and are the targets of predatory militarism and armed conflicts. Every year, hundreds of thousands people cross these areas, seeking refuge from war, poverty, and from the first impacts of climate change: famines and ressource-based conflicts being the first of these. where decolonisation has set the path for authoritarianism and the wish for democracy is often violently repressed. As Europe closes its borders, too often they die here.

Despite these immense perils, all is not lost. Alternative aspirations and solutions exist, resist and develop : for sustainable energy, housing, transport, new technologies, agriculture, fishing, health, culture, industry, tourism, biodiversity and natural resource conservation... They give birth to new forms of solidarity and collaboration among local communities, as well as with migrants and refugees. They call for new ways to share lands and resources. They lead to a democratic renewal that respects plurality. They make it possible to « live well » and to reclaim control of our common future. Everywhere, millions of people are taking action to improve tomorrow's world. Responding  to the climate emergency and the deployment of barbed wires over our borders, they seek to link and unite.

With COP22 on the horizon, several dozen organizations and popular movements of Africa and Europe have launched a common initiative: the Odyssey of Alternatives Ibn Battûta. From October 19th to November 10th 2016, a flotilla will connect six territories by sea, from Spain to Morocco, stopping by France, Italy, Tunisia and Algeria. These stops will serve to renew connexions and networks, catalyze solutions and give voice to the voiceless. They will take the form of forums and festivals of alternatives and popular empowerment. They will be a step towards an adaptation to climate change that is emancipatory, because based on ecosystems and communities ; and towards a democratic renewal at  local, national and international levels.

From both sides of the Mediterranean sea and from Sahel, let's take a strong and united stand for climate and social justice! In these upcoming mobilizations, let's make the voice of affected communities be heard! Let's call upon the States present in Marrakech to scale up their pledges for the adaptation fund, and to dedicate at least 50% of this amount to projects of communities, citizens' movements and organizations, and to the consolidation of ecosystems !

 

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