Oxfam and ASSAR push for social justice at climate negotiations in Poland (COP24)
30 Jan 2019 - 15:30
By Daniel Morchain, Oxfam GB
Returning from coal country in Southern Poland this weekend, I couldn’t make up my mind about whether COP24 was a step forward. With Oxfam, Oxfam’s partners, and CARIAA colleagues from around the world, we made the case for increasing accountability in climate finance (and the amount of funding, too); recognising the harsh realities of displacement; and continuing our efforts for gender equality. On this last point, we staged a forum theatre session about gender and climate change during the Development & Climate Days.
The recently released 1.5C report couldn’t be clearer about upcoming climate change impacts. It says (in science language): it’s worse than we thought and it is happening sooner! But even despite this warning, at COP24 some countries that are key for global survival seemed to remain in denial. Why? Perhaps because embracing the 1.5 report and its implications would mean undertaking serious transformations in systems, lifestyles, and mind-sets, and doing it now… not later and not by others, but by us.
But amidst the gloom, there’s also reason to be optimistic. Transformations of energy systems are ongoing globally, awareness of climate and environmental change is even higher now, youth is gaining influence, and linking unsustainable diets to planetary boundaries is starting to be discussed by influential players such as the Potsam Institute for Climate Impact Research (this is a major breakthrough, considering big farming has so far remained stubbornly undisturbed).
There was much CO2 in the air in Katowice, but also something else…maybe a whiff of hope.