On World Environment Day People Push for Climate Justice
GLOBAL – Across the globe World Environment Day is being marked by celebrations and events, with calls for faster and fairer climate action.
“On World Environment Day volunteers across the world in the 350.org network have done what they do every day of the year – work for climate justice. We see people standing up to change their communities, to hold polluting corporations to account, and to change the policies of their governments. Across the globe, the movement for climate justice is growing daily” Hoda Baraka, Chief Communications Officer at 350.Org said.
“A few weeks ago the UN warned us of the huge risk facing the natural world with a million species at risk of extinction. On World Environment Day we must look after each other and for the world that sustains us.” Baraka added.
Environment Day actions in the Pacific.
The 350.org network is present on every continent, and the global day for the environment is being observed in different ways, with distinct forms of action and activism, but the message is the same: it’s time to shift away from polluting fossil fuels.
Brazil: The Bolsonaro Government came under pressure at the National Congress:
As the Bolsonaro Government cracks down on protest and dissent, Indigenous and climate groups met at the national congress on World Environment Day to add their voices to growing public unrest over the far-right government.
Representatives of several alliances of civil society groups attended the public meeting held jointly by the Parliamentary Environmental Front and Parliamentary Front for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples at the national congress on June 5th.
“This government is in denial of the forces of physics when it refuses to act on climate, and it is also in denial of the forces of politics if it thinks it can retreat from Brazil´s responsibility to protect and care for the natural world.” Rubens Born, 350.org Team Leader for Latin America said.
“People are gathered at our National Congress to make clear that we are not for retreating on Indigenous Peoples´ rights. We are here to say we will stand up against the corporations and the politicians they pay who want to frack Brazil or spill oil in our pristine marine parks. These poisonous projects will hurt our communities, destroy livelihoods, and damage our environmentally precious protected areas.”
Kenya: Activists take on coal and locals oppose oil in the DRC
In Kenya, anti-coal activists escalated a series of protests across the country to oppose coal-fired projected and its associated pollution linked with several health complications and severe environmental degradation.
Similar events are scheduled in Kinshasa and Goma, DRC to mobilise citizens to stand together against oil exploration permits in the Virunga park.
“This day comes at a time when our planet has reached the unprecedented level of 415 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, meaning more frequent and more intense weather events for the world and Africa where the adaptation and response capacity is very limited.
Allowing the development of fossil fuel infrastructures will not only increase emissions and air pollution but also exacerbate the ravages of climate chaos. The current transition away from fossil fuels should not exclude African nations.” Landry Ninteretse, 350.org Team Leader for Africa said.
India: Citizens document the horror of the air pollution crisis through “Breathless” photo project
In India air pollution extinguishes more life per person than terrorism, smoking or malaria. But the narrative around India’s biggest public health emergency continues to be myopic and Delhi-centric, focussed on death tolls and particulate matter data.
The Breathless photo project hopes to humanise what seems like an amorphous, seasonal and regional problem to many. It aims to tell stories that help connect town to city and sources of pollution, while introducing us to ordinary people resisting extraordinary pollution.
“The “Breathless” project is a manifestation of how air pollution affects the health of cities as well as citizens. This world environment day the global theme is air pollution and the the stories we are trying to tell through these photos are a stark reminder of the health emergency that air pollution has become.” Brikesh Singh Coordinator of clean air collective, India
“Our children of New Delhi are not in a position to celebrate Environment Day. As a parent it is disheartening to see my child have lungs of a smoker at such a tender age. Our government needs to recognise this as a public health emergency. Their denial is costing our children their lives,” Bhavreen Kandhari, mother and activist, Delhi.
Pacific: Islanders build community awareness through music
Twenty Pacific Climate Warriors ventured into the coastal villages of Pango and Melein the lead up to Earth Day to create more awareness on the climate crisis, supported by celebrity reggae artists Stan Antas and Metoxide.
Equipped with a strong sense of purpose, the youth displayed banners calling for climate action and told their climate stories through songs and poetry.
“The climate crisis can be very technical and difficult for people in our communities to understand. Visiting the communities and sharing stories that the youth have through music is an effective way to humanise the climate crisis. The Pacific Way of telling stories through song and dance is the best way to raise awareness on the issues, something the youth know how to do very well.” shared Isso Nihmei, 350 Vanuatu Coordinator.
Notes to editors:
Further information, interviews, and images related to any of these activities and campaigns is available upon request.