Climate-Affected Communities Speak Out

Climate-Affected Communities Speak Out

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UN climate conferences are a bit overwhelming. The negotiations, which are divided into several tracks that go on simultaneously throughout the two weeks, are awash in a sea of acronyms (SBSTA, SBI, AWG, etc.) and issue areas (adaptation, deforestation, technology transfer, clean development mechanism). Beyond the actual discussions between governments, there are numerous press conferences, side events, and even protests and demonstrations going on outside.

Friends of the Earth worked to bring the voices of people affected by climate change to the conference by holding a side event featuring people from the Carteret Islands, Haiti, and Indonesia speaking about how climate change is affecting them.

The Carteret Islands are immediately in danger of disappearing as a result of climate change, creating a situation of climate refugees with nowhere to turn as their islands are threatened by severe storms and sea level rise. In Haiti, people are suffering from changes in weather patterns, which can wipe out the rain-fed, subsistence agriculture that feeds most of the country. In Indonesia, where deforestation creates substantial greenhouse gas emissions, questions have focused on the drivers of climate change – not the local people, who often live quite sustainably, but the large corporations cutting down forests for export to consuming countries.

Friends of the Earth International has released a report on climate affected communities around the world: