Young people demand climate justice ahead of COP27 UN talks | Climate crisis

Young people from some of the countries most affected by the climate collapse warned that they are not victims but a force to be reckoned with in view of a United Nations climate conference in Egypt.

Led by climate groups across Africa and the Middle East, hundreds of activists from countries that are least responsible for the crisis but are suffering the worst impacts gathered in Tunisia to prepare for what they believe will be a collective struggle for justice for their countries and communities, which will lead to COP27 next month.

They are campaigning on issues including financing adaptation and compensating for the damages of the countries that have been most responsible for global warming.

At Cop26 in Glasgow, delegates pledged to donate a total of $ 350 million to help the worst-hit countries adapt to the climate emergency. But funding pledges have been broken in the past, and the issue of funding for adaptation, coupled with US and European demands for funding for losses and damages to vulnerable countries to vulnerable countries, is a point of contention with the south of the world.

Maria Reyes, 20, from Mexico, attended the Tunis climate camp because her experience as a representative of the global south at COP26 was so disappointing. You said that the gathering was exclusive and that Member States wasted time discussing commas rather than addressing the issues that mattered.

“I came home after the police with a deep need to be involved in the local resistance, because Glasgow made me lose all faith in international politics and made me realize that the real resistance against the climate crisis comes from the grassroots and from the indigenous communities. “, he said . “I wanted to join the camp to be part of building a space where we can develop skills and plan how to articulate during COP.”

Ayisha Siddiqa, 23, a Pakistani activist, who has organized many school climate strikes since 2019, believes that in order to combat the crisis, people must face the injustices affecting people in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and South Asia, whose countries have contributed the least, are suffering the most.

“I come from a tribal community in northern Pakistan and our way of life is in extreme danger as heat waves become more common, our glaciers melt and flash floods wipe out entire villages. These are things we cannot adapt to and the loss of communities, culture and families from which we cannot recover … I was very anxious to participate in this camp in Tunisia and build a community with people who have done environmental work on the ground. “

Some of those who attended the camp will travel to Egypt for COP27, in the hope that the conference this time will adequately address the needs of countries least responsible for the climate emergency.

Omar Elmawi, 34, from Kenya, is a climate activist who has coordinated a campaign to stop the world’s longest heated pipeline in East Africa, which is expected to contribute at least 700 million tons of CO2 in 20 years it should be operational.

“Aware of being one of the 3.6 billion people in developing countries who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis while we have done little or nothing to cause the problem, entering the camp allowed me to meet and get to know my comrades who are victims of the climate from other countries in the southern hemisphere, ”Elmawi said.

“My goal is to rise from the ashes to show that we are not just victims, but a force to be reckoned with. All we need to do is overcome our small differences and find unity of purpose to stop the exploitation of the resources of the global south, including oil and fossil gas, for the richest nations and instead push for real solutions that provide affordable energy and convenient for millions of people with poor energy ”.

Greenpeace, one of the organizers of the climate camp in Tunisia, expressed his anger at the revelations that COP27 will be sponsored by the Coca-Cola company, one of the main international polluters.

The Egyptian government announced last week that the beverage company would become a sponsor. In Plastic’s Breakfree audits, Coca-Cola is consistently identified as the largest plastic polluter in the world. More than 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels.

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