Over 147 Heads of State will launch a two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) Summit on November 30, expected to deliver a global climate change agreement that would come into effect in 2020. The undersigned are afraid that this agreement will be a weak one and will do little to slow down climate change.
On the eve of the Summit, hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in some 150 countries to call for real action on climate change. In Malta, Friends of the Earth Malta has coordinated a series of live installations highlighting the implications of a weak COP agreement. This comes hot on the heels of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, taking place today at the very same place where the live installations were set up. The location was chosen specifically to remind the Commonwealth Heads of State of their responsibility to the people when they attend the COP21 meeting.
“People know that this time, we can’t count on the goodwill of our governments to save the world. We need civil society pressure in Paris. The transformation to socially-controlled, renewable energy, is underway, led by the real leaders – the people. If people's solutions are embraced universally, and not further held back by decision-makers, nor undermined by corporate incentives, we could together make huge strides along the path to climate-safe societies,” said Martin Galea De Giovanni, Director at Friends of the Earth Malta.
"The people are building a strong and radical climate justice movement which recognizes that climate change is not a single-issue struggle, and that injustices are a result of a system that is also fuelling climate change. This includes the forced displacement and migration of millions of people, whose fundamental rights are denied on a daily basis. The fight for social justice must necessarily include climate justice concerns.“ said Dr.Maria Pisani, Director at Integra Foundation.
Millions are already paying with their lives for our governments’ continued inaction. The climate crisis disproportionately affects the poorer nations and the poorest people, who are not responsible for the climate crisis we are facing. The world's richest, developed countries are most responsible for climate change, having polluted their way to progress. These nations have taken up much more than their fair share of atmospheric space and natural resources, and must urgently make the deepest emission cuts to completely transform their economies and societies. If we want to reduce the future suffering of millions of refugees, we need to make all the links in the bigger picture and start acting on the root causes.
“Today’s consumption and production patterns have brought humanity's impact on the planet beyond sustainable planetary boundaries. We are heavily dependent on the planet’s natural resources, including land, water, forests and minerals, yet we are putting ourselves and the earth's biodiversity in grave danger. The world urgently needs to come together to reverse the climate crisis and stop exacerbating hunger and poverty.“ William Grech, Director of KOPIN
Despite all the efforts being made, governments either lack a long-term vision when addressing issues related to climate change, or are blinded by short-term monetary gains of economic growth. Humans are integrated into the natural environment, and we affect and are affected by it. We encourage our fellow youths to learn, take part and play an active role in preventing irreversible damage to our earth system," said Danika Formosa, General Secretary of Institute of Applied Science Student Organisation.
"The potential for cycling to modify CO2 emissions via a 10% reduction by 2050 according to the studies by UC Davis and the ITDP clearly set cycling as a significant game player in the future of urban transport, worldwide as well as locally in Malta." said the Bicycling Advocacy Group (Malta)
“We have a duty towards future generations to change direction and reverse the climatic impacts of human activity. This may well be the last chance.” Carmel Cacopardo Deputy Chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party.
In Malta, successive governments have failed to implement Climate Change measures across the board, and as a result, Malta is still far from reaching its renewable energy commitments. This situation is aggravated by the fact that damaging planning policies are running counter to Climate Change values, in facilitating building on more virgin land and encouraging high-rise buildings which the UNESCO Sustainability Committee has confirmed create urban heat canyons and contribute to Climate Change.
The 26 local signatories endorsing this PR are the following:
Friends of the Earth Malta, Greenhouse Malta, Institute for Applied Sciences Students Organisation, Integra Foundation, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Organic Agriculture Movement, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Malta Water Association, Front ODZ, Migrant Women Association Malta, Green Drinks, Nature Trust, Organisation Friendship in Diversity, Say It - Youtheme foundation, Sharklab, KOPIN, Slow Food Movement, Studenti Demokristjani Maltin, The Critical Institute, Why Not? Alternattiva Demokratika, Bicycle Advocacy Group Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Core Green, fish4tomorrow and Why Not?.
Photo Credits: Glen Slattery Photography