Stand up for Africa! Stand up for climate justice!

Stand up for Africa! Stand up for climate justice!

Date: June 17, 2011
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From 24-26 May 2011, representatives of African trade unions, farmers, women and faith-based groups, as well as key African non-governmental organisations and networks concerned with the climate change crisis met in Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss shared strategies to confront this crisis and its root causes.

Under the joint sponsorship of the Africa Trade Network (ATN), the International Trade Union Confederation-Africa (ITUC-Africa) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the meeting deliberated on the threats posed to the peoples of Africa and the world over by climate change, as well as the continuing inaction by governments in the face of these threats. The meeting reached the shared understandings and adopted the conclusions that follow.

This year and the next few years ahead are critical for the survival of humanity on earth, and for our ability to live in conditions that meet our material, spiritual and cultural needs and aspirations. There is increasingly little time left to take the action required to avert further catastrophic effects of climate change, in a manner that is consistent with the developmental needs of the overwhelming majority of people who live in poverty and deprivation. For Africa and its peoples in particular, governments meeting at this year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Durban must end years of unacceptable vacillation, and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations and commitments for action on climate change, in accordance with the requirements of science and the principles of equity.

Like the other major crises ravaging the world, the crisis of climate change arises principally from policies and practices of the advanced industrial countries over a long period of time, and the related systems of production and consumption by which the needs of the vast majority of people are sacrificed for the comfort of an elite few. The peoples of Africa and other developing countries bear little responsibility for the climate change and other crises, yet they are suffering its worst effects, and lack the means for countering them.


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