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Climate action narratives need improvements

Opinion & Analysis
ANY talk about climate change is not complete without making reference to climate action. Climate action is the engine that drives climate change adaptation and mitigation. The success of climate action is measured by climate proofing, while the failure to implement climate action can be referred to as doing nothing about climate change.

Peter Makwanya

ANY talk about climate change is not complete without making reference to climate action. Climate action is the engine that drives climate change adaptation and mitigation. The success of climate action is measured by climate proofing, while the failure to implement climate action can be referred to as doing nothing about climate change.

Today, the world is conditioned towards realisation of the positive climate action strategies in order to avoid climate breakdown.

As countries shape up in sufficient preparedness for arresting mitigation challenges of carbon emissions for a transition to low carbon economies, the role of forests becomes supreme.

Forests or carbon sinks are important for carbon sequestration, to absorb greenhouse gases (GHGs), cool the atmosphere and reduce the global impacts of climate change.

As the world participates in fighting the impacts of climate change, it is confronted with a number of militating climate injustice issues, most of which are artificial and driven rather than natural.

The major obstacle in this scenario is the community of polluters, otherwise known as polluting actors, rich countries and their multinational conglomerates.

This community of suspects tells the world to plant trees so that those trees suck the carbon emissions churned out for centuries.

Indeed, the bulk of the carbon emissions is not from the poor countries, but the polluting actors.

By continuing to pollute unabated, the polluting actors always want to maintain their status quo.

That one of continuing to live their lifestyles of destabilisation, while the poor continue to be entrenched in the jaws of poverty, economic doom, inequalities and scarcities.

In order to protect the poor from emissions, the polluting actors need to pay for their sins of carbon.

There shall be as many conferences of parties (COPs) as possible, but very little is going to translate into holistic changes, lest that disrupts the momentum and status quo.

If these polluting actors, climate leaders and policymakers had conscience and empathy, they would imagine themselves in the shoes of the poor in order for them to make human-centred decisions.

The problem which is currently obtaining is that there are a few privileged individuals in poor countries, who are in the race to be like the polluting actors themselves.

They are simply obsessed with looting and making more money just to be like the carbon sinners so that the problems of poor communities do not concern them either.

Until and unless the polluting actors understand the lives of the poor communities, then there will not be any meaningful climate action solutions to talk about.

The world is not told about the qualitative and ethnographic information gaps from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s highly-driven computer modelling outcomes.

Some of these gaps are that a machine, although proficient and faster, cannot interpret human behaviour based on complex social phenomena.

While science gathers knowledge faster, it lacks the wisdom and humanism (Ubuntu) of the community knowledge banks.

The other scenario is that by continuing to invest in fossil fuel explorations and discoveries, some developing countries, which are largely poor, would be subsidising these polluting actors.

The way climate change narratives are being done requires a paradigm shift and we start focusing on the undue influence of toxic power relations from the established systems which breed inequalities.

The inequalities of global institutions are too wide, they comprise the institution of the rich and plenty on one side and the institution of poverty on the other end.

Therefore, concentration of power in the global polluting actors is becoming too much and the reason is to continue with business and status quo as usual.

Whatever the case, global polluting actors will not let go their entrenched budding rights and influence so easily.

Inasmuch as the weaker actors from developing countries would love to change the status quo and level the playing field, they will find polluting actors resourceful in their tool-kit of tricks, to evade climate justice, to politick and dodge accountability in very sophisticated ways.

Polluting actors have invested so much in the language of the wealth institutions and traditions, known as green discourses, to fool and cow unsuspecting stakeholders from developing countries.

Polluting actors need to deal comprehensively, and in utmost good faith, with the damage of poisoning the global environment leading to broken climate justice.

No social justice, gender justice, economic justice and energy justice can be realised if climate justice is broken and requiring healing for localised solutions.

The current climate action strategies, prescriptions and dossiers authored mostly by polluting actors are yet to translate into meaningful climate justice and solutions.

What is needed is the establishment of verbal, social and physical bridges in order to create collaborations for global climate justice.

As emissions gaps continue to widen, inequalities, poverty and climate injustices are becoming problems too much to handle.

The climate change global narrative is not translating into sufficient resources enough to meet the daily needs of those who reside permanently in the institutions of poverty.

This leads to challenges in accessing justice and the appropriate voices needed to communicate their entrenched standpoints.

In this regard, people are created equal only in the eyes of God and far from it in the eyes of the polluting actors.

The creation narrative may be seen as a myth in this cruel and unforgiving world. The integral connection between humanity and the earth is not sufficiently understood so as to deal with harmful effects of climate change.

In this regard, the polluting actors need to tone down their downright arrogance and machinations while the poor and the global South need to wake up from their deep and perpetual slumber, increase momentum and action.

Surely, the polluting actors cannot set fire in the world and then sell everyone their extinguishers or having climate solutions totally as prescriptive doses. Of course, the polluters cannot slap the poor and then tell them how to cry.