Across the world, whether in Durban, South Africa or Biloxi, Mississippi USA, communities of color and communities living in poverty are disproportionately impacted by sea level rise, extreme weather events, and decreases in food production that result from climate change. Did you know the United States is the world’s largest polluter and emitter of greenhouse gases? Yet we have still not signed onto an intergovernmental agreement to address climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol.
Governments, experts, activists, and leaders are gearing up for the next UN conference on climate change (COP17) later this month in Durban, South Africa. After the failure of other recent summits, coupled with the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, this is a pivotal moment for nations to reach an aggressive agreement for combating climate change.
The United States must step up and play our part to address this truly global challenge. We must engage around important questions around not only our own emissions, but also how we can help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. These questions and more must be addressed at COP17, before the effects of climate variability become a humanitarian disaster.
The time to act is now! So what can you do?
1. Learn more about climate change and the COP17 meeting: attend our free webinar with Ilana Solomon from ActionAid USA on November 17th from 8-9pm! Email us at email@example.com to RSVP!
2. Read ongoing analysis about COP17 by AIDemocracy’s Climate Change Team on our blog. We’ll even have a special correspondent at the meeting in Durban who will be our eyes and ears at COP17!
AIDemocracy is a member of the Stand with Africa: Act Now for Climate Justice Campaign. Along with ten other national organizations, we are putting the pressure on our administration to go to Durban with an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and commit to new public finance to help communities confront the impacts of climate change. Here are two ways you can ask your senators and congressperson to put pressure on the US delegation to Durban:
1. Amplify the voice of students on your campus around COP17! Help gather signatures for a petition to President Obama demanding a just and fair United States position in Durban. WE will e-mail you flyers and sign-up sheets; all you have to do is print, circulate in your dorm/classes/clubs, etc. Then, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by next week with the names that you collected. You can even take a photo of the names you’ve gathered—no need for tedious data entry!) All you need to do is spread the word among friends, family, and anyone else who is passionate about the effects of climate change!
Also, sign our petition: and spread the link to anyone who might be passionate about climate change!
2. It’s quick and easy to call your representative – and together with the many others concerned about the US position at COP17, your voice can have a big impact!
COP 17 is quickly approaching and climate change isn’t slowing; please take action today!