Climate change is not a neutral issue. It is caused by, and increases, already existing economic, political and social inequalities. The skewed power relations between those responsible and those affected have also led to a problem of motivation. Those required to change the most to address climate change (wealthy and powerful consumers, governments and corporations) are those with the least incentive to do so, as they are also the ones least affected by the current consequences of climate change. A major challenge related to this is that for a long time, businesses and governments have been exempt from the rule of cleaning up their own mess. 25 countries produce 83 % of the world’s CO2 emissions alone and 80 % of the world’s resources are consumed or owned by only 15 % of us. This leaves 85 % of the world’s population with only 20 % of the world’s resources! It is high time to change this.
And in the process of changing these structures of power, resources and emission rates, the voices of those affected by climate change and climate injustice need to be heard, and they need to speak for themselves! Spires International Committee see it as our responsibility to use the organization, the blog and webpages as a platform for mediating the experiences and narratives disclosed to us by our fellow activists from the global South. For them, the struggle is real. But they are not beaten or passive – they are facing climate change head on. (Click here to find out more!) We have developed a photo-series documenting some of the motivations and demands articulated by participants in the workshop in Malawi this summer. The youth from Malawi and Ethiopia are affected by climate change in their everyday life – they have had their livelihoods jeopardized due to irregular and extreme weather events due to climate change. Floods, droughts and irregular rain seasons have enormous economical, social and cultural consequences. Our partners implement both adaptation and mitigation schemes in these days of climate change. They are empowered, and their experiences are truly inspirational. We hope to draw attention to these narratives of hardship and hard work, of struggle and success, and we hope it will lead people to act. The message from our partners and fellow activists is clear: #climateactionnow!
Tekst av Hanne Krystad, bilder av Spires internasjonale utvalget