The climate emergency is already making life almost unbearable for millions of the poorest people on Earth. We see it every day in our work around the world. Here are four reasons to stand with people like Amina , who fled her home with her family when drought hit…
1. PEOPLE LIKE AMINA ARE LIVING WITH THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE RIGHT NOW
“We lost our livestock, and we came here in search of food and water. We can’t go back because [of what] we lost.” says Amina Ibrahim in Ethiopia, who fled her home because of drought.
In 2016 and 2017 she says, “the rain was less and less, and the weather is a lot hotter now. We have no idea what is behind this, but I can tell you there is a lack of rainfall and it is a lot hotter climate now.”
Before the drought her family had 150 sheep and 15 camels, she says. “We raised animals, we sold them to buy what we need, and we had water, nothing was missing at that time. We had what we needed.”
“After [the drought] there was a cholera outbreak, it was the worst thing ever. Since I was young I have never seen anything like it. We lost everything to eat and drink, then it was the worst disease I have ever seen in my lifetime. I was thinking I would die, thank God we are still alive.”
“I am starting to recover from the drought,” she says, adding that some people are getting business training and can get a loan to start a food business and start making the cash to pay back loans.
Amina and her family know about animal herding, so she thinks maybe they could be livestock traders, that she should also get some wider business training.
“Now our children are in school here, and we feel like our life is starting again here.”
Right now, 52 million people in 18 countries across Africa are facing crisis levels of hunger from droughts, flash floods and other extreme weather. One person is forced from their home every two seconds by climate related disasters.
Over recent decades there’s been huge progress in the fight against poverty. But climate change is threatening to reverse this progress. We believe the climate emergency to be the biggest and most urgent threat to the fight against poverty.
2. THERE IS NO MORE TIME LEFT TO WASTE TACKLING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
More frequent and extreme weather – such as storms and droughts – are destroying homes and wrecking lives. Disasters like these aren’t new, but they’re intensifying.
The world’s poorest people are living with the worst impacts of the climate emergency right now and are the least equipped to cope. And to avoid even further climate change-related damage, scientists have warned we only have one decade left to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the goal agreed in the Paris Agreement.
3. 2020 IS THE UK’S CHANCE TO GET ON TRACK AND KEEP GLOBAL WARMING BELOW EVEN MORE DANGEROUS LEVELS
2020 is critical. Under the Paris Agreement, this is the year governments have pledged to step up.
As the hosts of a crucial UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow this November, the UK needs show the world it is serious about tackling the climate emergency by getting its own house in order.
This includes putting in place the policies, laws and investment needed to put us unmistakably on track to eliminating our greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
4. THE UPCOMING UK BUDGET IS A BIG TEST OF HOW SERIOUS BORIS JOHNSON IS ABOUT TACKLING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
When Boris Johnson first addressed parliament as Prime Minister, he said that by 2050 Britain, “will no longer make any contribution whatsoever to the destruction of our precious planet brought about by carbon emissions, because we will have led the world in delivering that net zero target.” But he must first implement the policies that will put us on track to reach the target. The upcoming Budget on 11 March will show just how serious the government is about this commitment, and whether they will provide the money needed to make this happen.
We’re writing to Boris Johnson urging him to make the climate emergency his top priority. Will you join us and add your name to our letter?