Learn to do good; seek good, correct oppression; bring justice… Isaiah 1:17
After two weeks of intense negotiations at COP25, there are only hours left before the meeting ends. What is currently on the table cannot save communities and creation from the perils of climate change.
Rich countries negotiating today must answer the call for urgent and bold action, and remember the needs and rights of the people on the margins of society, who are facing the brunt of the effects of climate change around the world.
“Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your elders shall dream dreams, and your young people shall see visions,” says the prophet Joel. We have heard the voices of the youth, Indigenous Peoples, women, vulnerable communities crying for justice. They see the reality in the world. They call for action. It must come now.
“The world and all in it is supported by a climate system whose integrity is critical for survival,” says Joy Kennedy, a senior from Canada. “We have heard the voices of affected communities, and those of scientists calling for urgent action. We must act now!”
“What you are doing here is sinful, immoral, unethical,” says Jo Mountford, an activist from the UK, “We hope you will decide to act, to provide what the world is calling out for- climate justice.”
“Doesn’t it matter to you that people are hungry, that island states are sinking, that cities will be lost?” asks Erik Bohm, a Swedish youth. “How can you sit here in COP discussing commas and adjournments when people are dying?”
“The ongoing climate talks in Madrid should act in ways that demonstrate commitment to protecting the world from adverse climate change and elevate climate action,” says Julius Mbatia, a youth from Christian Aid in Kenya. “Responding to the needs of the poor, women, Indigenous Peoples, marginalized, youth, and vulnerable communities is a matter of urgency that does not entertain, in any way, delays that cause slow progress in putting in place structures and systems to act on climate change.”
“An acceptable outcome must include human rights, gender justice, effective action on loss and damage, and protection for future generations. None of this is possible without enough finance,” states Ariel Chavez, an old man from Bolivia.
“What bothers me is that countries like New Zealand, Canada, the European Union that could do better are not stepping up. Others, like Australia, and the United States are standing in the way of a just outcome,” says Isaiah Toroitich, a Kenyan with ACT Alliance.