The climate has changed before in world history. But the drastic changes of today are massively driven by human activity. The way we live our lives, by aggressively extracting resources and burning fossil fuels, is a huge driver of planetary devastation. At a human level, this global economy is deeply unequal at its core, based on corporations and rich societies profiting from the resources, lives, and habitats of others.
#ClimateofChange sees the climate crisis as intertwined with migration, rooted in an unfair economic system. Participation is core to securing a just transition to a sustainable system that works for all.
Our situation is highly complex, and you can’t separate these topics – they are connected.
Of course climate change is about environmental degradation, but that’s not the whole story. On a human level, marginalised countries and people are disproportionately hit by its terrible effects, in livelihood, work, health, access to rights. Countries and individuals who contribute the least to the environmental crisis are the ones who suffer the most from its effects.
Some Europeans might have the luxury of being green in their lifestyles, but the whole society is based on extreme consumption. If all people in the world lived like an average EU resident, we would need 2.8 planet earths to sustain us! People affected by climate change can suffer damage to their health and property, be deprived of livelihoods, incur irreparable debt and lose their capacity to pursue a dignified life in their own home.
The effects of climate change can push people to migrate either inside of their own country or over the border to neighbours. A minority of people end up going further, to Europe. Against their will they have to leave their homes, family, friends, and sometimes possessions, in search for a better life.
People forced to migrate often lack proper legal and social protection. They often have to take what work they can get, sometimes at the expense of their freedom. People who don’t have access to the most basic human and workers’ rights are then vulnerable to exploitation and even conditions of slavery by people taking advantage of them.
When undocumented migrants are used as an informal work force, then that gives companies who use them an unfair advantage over companies that respect human, economic, social and environmental rights and pay their workers a dignified wage.
When natural resources, work availability and services dwindle conflicts can occur, as people do what they can to survive. If people are prevented from leaving a territory with no work or food, emergencies can arise with immense human, social and economic costs.
We need a system that puts ecological and social aspects at the centre of political and individual decisions. Climate justice for all is a matter of rights. For a just transition, #CofC demands governments make the right changes to laws.
The term “just transition” does not only define WHAT this new system will look like, but also HOW we will make it there. A just transition ensures that a process towards change guarantees basic needs are met and social wellbeing is provided, for everyone.
For these reasons #ClimateOfChange advocates for: