International Day Against Climate Change: the importance of climate action
Scientists at NASA’s Goddars at NASA’s Goddars Institute for Space Studies in New York have established that the northern hemisphere summer of 2023 was the hottest have established that the northern hemisphere summer of 2023 was the hottest since global temperature records have been kept since 1880. These figures have dire consequences for the planet and human beings, increasing the frequency and risk of forest fires and extreme flooding, and reaching suffocating temperatures.
Even so, the global south is often the hardest hit by the anthropogenic climate and environmental crisis, with African countries being the most vulnerable to its negative effects. At the same time, these territories tend to be the ones that have historically contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions.
Thus, the climate crisis represents today’s greatest challenge. For this reason, the World Day Against Climate Change is a day to remember that climate change is a joint problem, since all the territories of the planet are affected, although some are affected more than others. Thus, climate action requires integrated international coordination, because if only one region of the planet takes measures to mitigate climate change while others do not, it will not be effective in curbing the adverse effects of climate change.
However, dealing with these threats often generates social problems that intensify historical inequalities within and between populations. This is because climate change and inequality are closely related, and we can see this in countries or populations that are more threatened by the climate crisis and have less means to mitigate these negative effects and adapt to its challenges. Discussions on a just ecological transition are therefore becoming increasingly important.
At the same time as progress was being made in environmental regulation, there were increasing reflections on the impacts that this regulation could have on certain sectors of the population. Therefore, environmental protection must go hand in hand with a just transition that leaves no one behind. All this has an impact on the long-term objectives, since conflicts must be resolved in the short term, but if the transition is not just, it will not be supported by the bulk of the population and will delay the process.
Even so, climate action is more urgent than ever, so countries as a whole must commit to the Paris Agreement and limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
In all this context of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, young people are one of the most vulnerable groups that will suffer the most from current climate action or inaction. That is why the participation of young people in the policies and measures that affect them is fundamental. They must be involved in the decision-making processes and promote climate action among their environment. From FIBGAR, we aim to encourage youth participation and raise awareness about climate and environmental issues and how they will affect new and future generations. Therefore, through the project DEC we have trained young people between 18 and 30 years of age in the proper use of new technologies and in the interrelation between climate change and human rights, so that they become aware of the importance of their participation in environmental issues. Through the implementation of this project and an observable trend in society, we can see an increase in environmental concern among young people, as they express that they are the ones who have contributed the least to climate change and who will be most affected, as well as their future and possible descendants.
Within the framework of this project, continuous monitoring has been carried out for participants to develop policy briefs on environmental and technological issues, and then disseminate them to different stakeholders and raise their voices in the decision-making spheres. These reports are available at the following link: https://fibgar.es/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/DEC-Policy-Briefs-e-booklet.pdf
Likewise, at FIBGAR we promote climate justice as one of the essential pillars in the fight against climate change. Ending impunity for the massive destruction of our ecosystems will help mitigate human activities that contribute greatly to the environmental and climate crisis. This is why the Foundation supports the recognition of the crime of ecocide as the fifth international crime in order to put an end to the impunity that environmental crimes have enjoyed for decades.
Carmen Coleto Martínez, project manager of the environment area.