Climate Change

Help us take action against climate change…

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet. Burning coal, oil and gas, but also intensive agriculture or cutting forests pollute the atmosphere with greenhouse gases that heat up the planet.

The good news is that all we need to save the climate is in our hands.

 

 

Friends of the Earth, Malta seeks to influence government to make changes in policies in favour of people and planet
Our next challenge is to lobby the Maltese government to commit to renewable energy and energy efficiency as a tangible means not only to meet Malta’s international emission targets but to ensure a healthier planet and a better way of life for future generations
 
… join our campaign and support Friends of the Earth
 
It is now widely accepted that climate change will lead to both incremental and rapid ecological change and disruption. The impacts of climate change, which include increased droughts, desertification, and sea-level rise, along with the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events, will lead to a growing number of climate refugees around the world.

Although climate change is a global phenomenon that will impact upon critical life support systems such as weather and water cycles everywhere, certain regions of the world have already been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as extremely vulnerable to climate change. These include low-lying and small island developing states, North Africa and the Bay of Bengal.

According to a recent study commissioned by the EU “Climate Change and International Security”, Africa is one of the continents most vulnerable to climate change because of multiple stresses and low adaptive capacity. In North Africa, increasing drought, water scarcity and land overuse will degrade soils and could lead to a loss of 75% of arable, rain-fed land. The Nile Delta could be at risk from both sea-level rise and salinisation in agricultural areas while 12 to 15% of arable land could be lost through sea-level rise in this century with 5 million people affected by 2050.

Already today, climate change is having a major impact on the conflict in and around Darfur.  In the Horn of Africa reduced rainfall and increasing temperatures will have a significant negative impact on a region highly vulnerable to conflict. In southern Africa, droughts are contributing to poor harvests, leading to food insecurity in several areas with millions of people expected to face food shortages. Migration in this region, but also migration from other regions through Northern Africa to reach Europe is likely to intensify. In Africa, and elsewhere, climate change is expected to have a negative effect on health, in particular due to the spread of vector-borne diseases further aggravating tensions. 

The UN estimates that there will be up to 50 million environmental refugees by 2010, and much needs to be done to protect this particular group of refugees, who is not yet recognized through international conventions or treaties.

The International Organisation for Migration has the following working definition on environmental refugees, as ‘persons or groups who, for compelling reasons of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living conditions, are obliged to leave their habitual homes, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within their country.’

As one should seek to prevent rather than cure, it is also crucial to deal with the root causes of forced migration and conflict. Adaptation to climate change in developing countries must be made a top priority along with mitigation.

A broad approach to climate change adaptation is needed. Hopefully, climate change will foster a new and stronger sense of solidarity. It provides an opportunity for cooperation in addressing global issues such as conflict and displacement.
The world is facing two related challenges that threaten the lives and livelihoods of billions of people: climate change and the global energy crisis related to the competition for resources.

Friends of the Earth recognises that we must challenge the dominant, corporate-driven political and economic model that is the driver of both the global competition for energy and also of climate change.

Industrialised nations which have contributed disproportionately to climate change must take the lead in radically reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases.
In fact, the eight most powerful industrialised countries - the G8 - account for 43 per cent of the emissions causing climate change, yet have only 13 per cent of the world's population. That's climate injustice, because climate change impacts most severely upon the world's poorest people.

World leaders need to take urgent and resolute action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate, so that the entire world can move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty which is both equitable and effective in minimising dangerous climate change.

We demand that the long-industrialised countries that have emitted most greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere take responsibility for climate change mitigation by immediately reducing their own emissions as well as investing in a clean energy revolution in the developing world. Developed countries must take their fair share of the responsibility to pay for the adaptive measures that have to be taken, especially by low-emitting countries with limited economic resources.

During the past years, the rich industrialized countries have put unjustifiable pressure on governments from developing nations to commit to emissions' reductions. At the same time, they have refused to live up to their own legal and moral obligations to radically cut emissions and support developing countries' efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Once again, the developing countries are being forced to pay for the excesses of the minority in developed countries.

The just and equitable sustainable alternative is energy sovereignty: the power and the right of the people and the communities to have access and decide their energy resources and healthy energy consumption patterns that will lead to sustainable societies. This, combined with the need for all people to share an equitable amount of resources within ecological limits, is essential to achieving climate justice.

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