As our planet “hurls towards the point of no return”, who stands up for climate justice? – Croakey Health Media

Health professionals and scientists have been encouraged to consider disruptive civil disobedience as a legitimate strategy to promote climate action, as hopes are dashed that the global climate negotiations in Egypt will produce what is needed to avoid a catastrophic climate change.

The call by a leading international medical journal for a “provocative protest” comes as dozens of media organizations from more than 20 countries have come together to publish a joint call for an end to humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels and for rich countries to do much more for climate justice.

“Rich countries account for only one in eight people in the world today, but are responsible for half of greenhouse gases,” the editorial says. “These nations have a clear moral responsibility to help. Developing nations should be given enough cash to address the dangerous conditions they did little to create, especially as a global recession looms.”

The editorial calls for a windfall tax on the combined profits of the biggest oil and gas companies, with the funds redistributed to the poorest and most vulnerable countries as they are suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis despite having made the least to cause it.

He says that instead of ditching fossil fuels and moving to clean energy, many rich nations are reinvesting in oil and gas, failing to cut emissions fast enough and haggling the aid they are willing to send to poor countries. “All this while the planet is hurtling towards the point of no return, where climate chaos becomes irreversible.”

Guardian News and Media led the initiative to coincide with the COP27 meeting, which ends on November 18. Media organizations from almost every continent participated, including Hindu in India and Tempo in Indonesia, Mail & Guardian in South Africa and Haaretz in Israel, Rolling Stone in the United States and El Espectador in Colombia, and La Repubblica in Italy and Libération. in France.

“Since the UN Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow 12 months ago, countries have only promised to do one fiftieth than is needed to keep temperatures within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels,” the editorial says.

“No continent has avoided extreme weather disasters this year, from floods in Pakistan to heat waves in Europe, and from bushfires in Australia to hurricanes in the US, given that these were due to high temperatures of around 1.1 °C, the world can expect much worse things to come.

In fact, as many rural communities in Australia were experiencing catastrophic floodingthe latest annual climate change performance index was published, highlighting Australia’s dismal record on climate policy.

necessary and worthy

In the meantime, The Planetary Health Lancet magazine, in an editorial entitled ‘A paper for provocative protest’, says that there are some evidence that disruptive or radical nonviolent action, within the context of a broader movement using a combination of protest and lobbying approaches, can be effective.

Some have drawn parallels between the actions of climate change protest groups and the nonviolent protest tactics adopted by activists in the US civil rights movement, or the suffragette campaign for voting rights in women in the UK.

“These and other social movements have used nonviolent disruptive actions to draw attention to their cause; actions that at the time were denounced by the majority as extreme and counterproductive, but through the filter of history are now seen as necessary and dignified.

“In democratic societies, when governments fail to address gross injustices, civil disobedience may be the just response.

“It is difficult to argue that we are not at that moment. Reaching the internationally agreed targets of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C, and avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, requires a rapid transition away from carbon-intensive societies.”

The editorial says that “global progress is not close to enoughand recent political events, such as the United Kingdom Y German governments seeking to facilitate new oil and gas extraction projects, and the new Swedish Government that chooses to dissolve its Ministry of Environment: highlights the fragility of the political commitment with the promises of climate change mitigation”.

The editorial cites a recent revision asking why, despite 30 years of research, political negotiations and awareness-raising since the Kyoto Protocol, the world has failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The power and inertia of existing political and economic systems, and of vested interests in fossil fuels, have stifled change.

“In this context, provocative acts of protest could draw public attention to weak government action and help the broader movement hold politicians and business leaders accountable.”

The article says that scientists and health professionals remain among the figures. More reliable by the public

“Your voices are needed in protest. Members of campaign groups like Science Rebellion, Doctors for Extinction Rebellion, and Doctors for the Environment are leading the way in demonstrating how their experience, research, and personal concern can be used to confront climate injustice, speak truth to power, and help legitimize broader protests.”

Not guilty

Meanwhile, an English court acquitted seven health professionals who had been charged with breaching the Public Order Act during a protest in April when some 30 health professionals blocked Lambeth Bridge in central London.

They unfurled a banner that read ‘For the sake of health. Stop Financing Fossil Fuels’, to highlight the estimated £10bn annual financial support the government gives to the fossil fuel industry, according to the OECD.

According to a declaration on November 15 for Extinction Rebellion, the judge presiding over the case said, “I was impressed by the integrity and rationality of your beliefs” and “your evidence was very moving.”

Dr Fiona Godlee, UK Health Alliance Ambassador on Climate Change and former editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, said: “I was part of the protest at Lambeth Bridge and these doctors and health professionals have everything my support. They have acted at all times with enormous professionalism, courage and integrity. Their protest is part of a long tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience for causes that seek to advance social justice and, in the case of the climate protest, ensure a livable future for all.”

One of the defendants, Dr. Alice Clack, said: “As an obstetrician, it is becoming increasingly clear that climate change will affect the lives of every child I deliver. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said: “We have a rapidly closing window of opportunity to create a livable future” and yet our government continues to invest in new fossil fuels that we cannot safely burn.” .

Switched on

Meanwhile, at the COP meeting in Egypt, the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry has been evident.

At least 636 fossil lobbyists gained access to COP27, according to a published analysis by Global Witness together with Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory.

The analysis said 29 countries brought a total of 200 fossil fuel lobbyists as part of their official delegations. More than one in five in Russia’s 150-strong delegation are from the fossil fuel industry, and at least six came from Australia. suggests a search of the list

The analysis defined fossil fuel lobbyists as people who have ties to companies with significant business in fossil fuels, or who attend the talks as part of a trade body representing fossil fuel interests.

Global Witness, along with Corporate Accountability and Corporate Europe Observatory, have called for conflict-of-interest policies at COPs that restrict the role of fossil fuel lobbyists, similar to the international ban on tobacco industry lobbyists in public health.

Meanwhile, as the tweets below indicate, many have been hard at work promoting climate justice at COP27.

See the thread on food systems.


Bookmark this link to follow the #HealthyCOP27 series.
On Twitter follow #COP27Healthy and also this Twitter list.

We acknowledge and appreciate the mayor’s charitable trust for funding the #HealthyCOP27 series, and Adjunct Professor Janine Mohamed and the Lowitja Institute for partnering with Croakey Health Media on the project.

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