CLIMATE JUSTICE AND WATER CRISIS
THE POOR GET THE SHORT END OF THE STICK IN A CONTEXT OF WATER CRISIS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
On the international panel 'Dialogues for a Sustainable Future', experts discussed climate justice, the water crisis, and the consequences of inequality in a scenario of scarcity.
The 18th edition of Dialogues for a Sustainable Future, held today by iCS - Institute for Climate and Society and Brazil’s German Embassy, promoted an international debate on "Climate Justice and the Water Crisis: Reflections on inequality in a scenario of scarcity".
Ana Toni, executive director of iCS, and Heiko Thoms, German ambassador to Brazil, delivered the opening remarks. The online event featured Theresa Williamson, editor of Rio on Watch (social institution dedicated to documenting the vision of favela residents about and for public policy), Luana de Brito, representative of the Black Women's Network for Food and Nutrition Security and Sovereignty (RedeSSAN), and German scholar Sebastian Helgenberger, research leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies - IASS Potsdam. Amanda Ohara, iCS Energy portfolio consultant, mediated the discussion.
Williamson addressed price increase and insecurity in electricity supply based on aspects relevant to income, race, territories, and gender. de Brito discussed perspectives of food security in the face of the crisis. Helgenberger introduced Germany's two fronts of action with regards to climate injustice: financial and logistical support for global initiatives targeted at sustainable development; and a robust program for the transition of Germany’s energy mix towards renewable sources.
The worst water crisis in Brazil in the last 90 years shows explicit evidence of climate change on a global scale. Also, it has significant economic impacts domestically as Brazil’s energy mix is 60% reliant on hydroelectric plants.
The chain reaction unleashes expected outcomes: energy gets more expensive, fuel gets more expensive, and food gets expensive. The poor get the short end of the stick. Individuals and groups that have always been marginalized due to social inequality are disproportionately affected.
The impacts of climate change are a global problem that affects everyone. The issue affects individuals and groups of people who are already subjected to various intersectional forms of discrimination and are marginalized due to structural inequalities.
EMBASSADOR HEIKO THOMS
The current IPCC report (IPCC stands for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) shows that global warming is advancing, especially in central Brazil, where it may evolve to worse levels than the global average.
Climate change is also a social challenge. As, it can seriously intensify existing problems and social inequality, as well as escalate conflicts between people. The issue mainly affects people who currently lead the most vulnerable lives and have contributed the least to the emergence of climate change.
We live in a system designed to maintain a structure of slavery to this day. The representation framework needs to change. Brazil is a mostly Black country, but Black people are underrepresented. However, Brazil’s civil society is increasingly organized. We are empowered by the fact that we have managed to survive the pandemic.
LUANA DE BRITO
There is a detachment between the priorities of vulnerable people facing hard times and priorities set by policymakers. There is no climate justice without social justice. Hunger kills people. Hunger kills Black people: Poor Black people are dying in Brazil. We urgently need to decolonize the system to ensure future generations enjoy some green to breathe.
There is no fight against climate change without tackling social inequalities. Climate justice and social justice depend on changing mindsets. Therefore, governments need to do more. We must consider how climate equality can foster justice and we need to empower communities. I do believe we are going to have a more promising future.
Embaixada da República Federal da
Alemanha em Brasília
SES - Avenida das Nações, Qd. 807, lote 25
Brasília, DF, Brasil - CEP 70.415-900
Tel +55 (61) 3442-7000