As a fulfillment of three years of activities, the last conference of the DEAR project Climate Of Change kicked off on March 27, 2023. The event entitled Change Talks: Civil Society Dialogues on Social and Climate Justice, brought together academics, policymakers, grassroots activists from the Global South and youth representatives to discuss the great human and social challenges posed by the climate crisis.
The conference included two main panels. The first debate on Climate change-induced migration started by reassessing the phenomenon from the results of the research conducted by the team of the University of Bologna during the 1st year of project implementation. It highlighted how despite the fact that climate change is, and will be, a major cause of migrations around the world, there is still no specific protection status for climate migrants and refugees, according to the Geneva Pact.
The second round table focused instead on The rights-based road towards a sustainable economic system. Here the researcher Lukas Warning from OxFam Germany clearly highlighted the dangers and vices of the capitalist society we live in. While Karin Schönpflug, economist specialising in gender and economy, emphasized how climate change is more than just an environmental crisis and reflects the bias of economic paradigms that grant the unaccounted exploitation of natural resources around the world.
As a great moment to act together against the climate crisis, ALDA not only actively participated in organising the conference but also forwarded the invitation to the event to its members. Four ALDA members were involved and could enjoy the discussions sparkled during the conference: 1) Marcelo Gerlach, Trainee in Climate Change from CRISP- Crisis Simulation for Peace, Germany, 2) Konstantine Kakava, Deputy Mayor from Zugdidi Municipality City Hall, Georgia; 3) Nazlıcan Akcı, Training and Projects Expert from Marmara Municipalities Union, Türkiye; and 4) Sevket Kaan Ediz, Officer in the Directorate of Research and Development from Konak Municipality, Türkiye.
The event culminated with the handling of the Climate of Change petition to Clara De La Torre (European Commission’s Deputy Director for Climate Action) by the campaign youth ambassadors. As the petition was signed by more than 100’000 EU citizens, it asks for a number of actions for climate justice that can be summarised in three main points. 1) Keeping global warming under 1.5°C by achieving climate neutrality by 2040, 2) shifting towards a socially and ecologically positive economy, 3) protecting climate change-induced migrants through human-rights and enabling youth participation in these matters.
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