By Stephen Leahy
DOHA, Qatar, Dec 7 2012 (IPS) – Food prices will soar and hundreds of millions will starve without urgent action to make major cuts in fossil fuel emissions. That is what is at stake here on the last day of the U.N. climate talks known as COP 18, scientists and activists say.
Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia Pacific. Nacpil is based in the Philippines, which is currently experiencing devastation as a result of Typhoon Bopha. Credit: Stephen Leahy/IPS
Carbon emissions are already disrupting the world's climate, making extreme weather events like droughts, floods and storms more damaging. Agriculture and food production are extremely vulnerable to the impacts climate change, several scientific studies show.
The Earth’s climate is destabilizing and the planet is in crisis.
· Scientists predict that about 625,000 people will die each year from now until 2020 by causes driven by climate change.
· Many mountain glaciers, which act as source of water for millions of people, have significantly retreated. Changes in rain-fall patterns, due to climate change, are causing even greater water-stress particularly in Western Africa and South Asia.
· There is 80% less Arctic-sea ice today than in 1950. The melting of ice causes sea-level rise, threatening 600 million people living less than 10 meters above sea-level and coastal cities such as Mumbai, Shanghai, Manila, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Istanbul and 7 more of the world’s 20 biggest cities.
BANGKOK – Climate justice activists trooped to the venue of climate talks here Monday, condemning the rich, industrialized countries, especially the United States and European countries, for delaying the establishment and implementation of the much-needed adaptation fund for climate vulnerable countries or CVCs.
Led by Jubilee South-Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD), the protest action at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was participated in by around 50 activists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Africa, Kenya, Chile, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
BANGKOK – The latest offer of the European Union to cut its region's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent is "too low an ambition" and "will help kill the planet," climate justice activists claimed Sunday.
In a protest action outside the venue of climate talks here, advocates from various parts of Asia expressed dismay over the EU's proposal and demanded that "real solutions" to the climate crisis begin with deep, drastic and domestic emissions cuts by rich industrial countries, especially European countries and the United States.
We are movements and organizations from Asia, waging struggles on various fronts and arenas to defend our rights, resist policies and projects that cause harm and destruction, and to fight for immediate priorities and demands, as well as profound transformation of our societies.
We envision a social and economic system:
• that is aimed at providing for the needs of people and aspirations for a humane, empowering and liberating life in a manner that respects the earth's capacity to regenerate, and to sustain life based on the integrity of natural systems;
• that is based on and promotes equity, parity, solidarity and mutual respect among people and nations regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, capabilities and class;
• that promotes sharing of land, water, forests, atmosphere, eco-systems and territories based on the principles of stewardship and not private ownership, and the rights of all people to equitable and responsible access to, and use of the commons;
• where there is equitable and democratic control of economic resources;
• where there is peace based on justice, and not the overcoming of conflict through the use of deception and military might.