ActionAid Association India seeks concerned people’s support in demanding countries most responsible for climate change to take responsibility for damages and losses that people are facing today on account of this planetary crisis. As a first step, they urgently need to create a funding facility to address climate-induced loss and damage impacting vulnerable communities in the Global South.
Due to climate change, floods, storms, heat and cold waves, rising sea levels, water stress, and air pollution is disrupting the lives of millions of city dwellers and rural populations. The impact is felt most by the vulnerable and impoverished residents of the cities and the landless agricultural labour, small farmers, pastoralists, tribal and indigenous people and other forest dwellers and coastal communities.
Ironically, people and communities are the least responsible for climate change and environmental degradation. We need to ensure that environmental protection and climate action are owned and led by vulnerable communities facing the brunt of the impact of climate change despite being least responsible for it. Those responsible for this planetary crisis are the greenhouse gas emitters from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia.
We are seeing the impact of climate change In India also. The heat wave that saw unseasonable high temperatures in March and April 2022 has led to a 15% harvest loss in Punjab and, in some regions, even 30%. The heatwave caused the Government of India to halt proposed grain export and explore imports.
In cities, heatwaves significantly impact informal, and daily wage workers already in precarious conditions find lesser work due to the slowing down of demand associated with outdoor work. Workers exert fewer work hours to avoid heat strokes, impacting their wages. Further, workers have to spend more on drinking water and cooling measures to combat the impact of heat waves.
Agriculture also witnesses depression in the incomes of rural workers with climate change events, alongside attendant livelihood and habitat losses. In a study carried out by us in 2013, nomadic pastoralists have reported a 56% drop in the size of herds over the past decade. Pastoralists face rising challenges caused by the shrinking of pasture commons and difficulty in accessing what remains, in addition, to support for ensuring livestock’s health and securing sustainable incomes. In a meeting in Cooch Behar, West Bengal, in September 2022, Lily Oraon, a tea garden worker, said, “During rain and massive heat, we have to pluck tea leaves without any shed or umbrella. We don’t get the full payment if we can’t pluck the specified amount. Nobody cares for us. Workers have to leave the garden and change jobs.”
We must take prompt protection measures for the most vulnerable and historically deprived communities and social groups. Else the spectre of forced climate migration will unfold. According to an ActionAid report, more than 62 million South Asians will have to migrate out of their homes by 2050, more than treble in 2020, unless urgent climate action measures are taken.
Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association said: “There is urgent need to develop loss and damage compensation policies and measures on the ground as “climate change compensation” measures for India’s most vulnerable majorities, among them informal workers and small farmers in rural and urban India. The most significant step would be to empower the communities facing climate change to take a leadership role in protecting ecological resources and providing ecological services. They are nature’s natural custodians and best suited to lead ground climate justice action. This would go a long way in ensuring social and ecological justice and universal well-being.”
The developed and wealthier nations are responsible for producing the vast majority of planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, these countries have a moral obligation to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in the vulnerable parts of the world that they have directly impacted.
Thus we call on concerned people to call on the US, the EU, the UK, and Australian governments, in particular, to agree to establish a new funding facility at COP27 to address climate-induced loss and damage.
Please click the link here to sign the petition: https://secure.actionaid.org/page/114473/petition/1
For more information, contact: Joseph Mathai | firstname.lastname@example.org | 98101 88022