While the clock ticks on climate action, COP17 runs into overtime hours. It may turn out that today is not the last day of COP17 — but the significance of Human Rights Day underscores the urgency. “The ties between climate and social justice are incontrovertible,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May who has been attending the negotiations. “The people most affected by climate change are those who are already most vulnerable. Climate-related drought and flooding will have a severe impact on food supplies and for those already struggling, rising food costs will be a major blow.”
“Millions of poor people were depending on world leaders to make progress on the climate crisis in Durban. Canada has abandoned the rest of the world by refusing to engage in emission reductions and stalling on providing funding to assist poor nations. As an industrialized country that has caused our share of climate change, we have a moral obligation to ensure that the world’s vulnerable people have at least their basic human rights to clean water, food and shelter,” said Joe Foster, Green Human rights Critic.
Despite having their funding cut by the federal government, well-respected Canadian social justice group KAIROS has been active in Durban, calling for “the COP 17 negotiators to act with compassion and care towards all people in the world.” They point out that already, 300,000 people perish every year due to climate change.